Vari*Lites Dominate The Touring Circuit

Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012


Only a couple of months into the New Year and there have already been many high profile tours on the road with Philips VARI*LITES………

Ronan Keating toured with thirty-two VL3000 Spots and twenty-seven VL3500 Wash supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems. Lighting designer Neil Trenell used a simple three truss rig designed to cater for a wide variety of venues from state theatres to arenas in Australia and New Zealand and to make load in and out easy due to several back to back shows.

“The VL3500 Washes are great – very, very bright and deliver a great beam effect that compliments the other lights in the rig,” commented Neil. “The VL3000 Spots are just a really nice light and you get a great gobo out of them, they’re ideal for the theatre environment that we’re trying to create.”

Eight VL3000 Spots were situated on the floor, the back truss held a further seven plus eight VL3500 Washes, the mid truss held eight VL3000 Spots and seven VL3500 Washes whilst the front truss housed eight VL3500 Washes and seven VL3000 Spots.

The Vari-Lites are ideal for this type of application – very nice in the theatre environment,” added Neil. “The quality of the Chameleon Vari-Lites was great, they’re well looked after.”

Roxette’s lighting designer Calle Brattberg is using VL3000’s on their current Australian tour and he had the following to say – “The reliability and accuracy of the VL3000 Spot’s optics and zoom are ideal for achieving the diversity of moods the Roxette set demands. The ability to rotate a gobo smoothly, really slowly or zoom out to max and maintain the same focus are some of my favourite features. I‘ve always found the luminaires to be reliable with consistently uniform output, even across a large number of fixtures.”

Roger Waters bought his Wall to Australia in a show originally designed by Marc Brickman with lighting director Mark “Sparky” Risk on the tour. PRG supplied the tour with the circular screen above the stage rimmed with twenty-four Philips VARI*LITE VL3000 Spots and twelve VLX Wash units used across the stage floor. Eighteen VL3500 Wash units are used on six vertical torms stage left and right.

“The sidelight torm lighting is my signature,” says Brickman. “It creates a dimensional palette to get lines of light in a horizontal way like cutting with a knife. People look beautiful in that lighting.”

Rod Stewart’s lighting designer Mark Payne has been using VL3000 and VL3500 fixtures for years and the recent Australian tour was no exception with twenty-two VL3000 Spot, twenty-five VL3500 Washes and eight VL6c in the rig supplied by PRG.

“The quality of the beam across all the lamps is really important for me,” said Mark. “I rarely use smoke or haze so evenness of field on edge and focus across lamps is important. The new VL3500WASH lights are great.”

For the current Rod Stewart tour the VARI*LITE’s are distributed fairly evenly across the rig although Mark likes to rig in odd number groups such as three’s or five’s.

“I have eight VL6 fixtures on the set,” began Mark. “I often use the smaller lamps on, in or around sets; their size is the most important thing rather than features. I do use other brands mostly due to availability or budget, but given the choice VARI*LITE’s are my light of choice for arena shows.”

Taylor Swift kicked-off her “Speak Now” tour in Australia this month with a lighting design by Baz Halpin who once again relies heavily on the VARI*LITE VL3000 Spot and VL3500 Spot luminaires.

“They way I like to create my looks is to put fixtures in places that create beautiful pictures, and the VARI*LITE VL3000 Spot and VL3500 Spot luminaires are staples in my designs,” he said. “I can literally put them anywhere to use as a key light, a front truss light, a wash light, a side light, or for an aerial beam light. They are definitely the workhorses of my shows because of their versatility and reliability. While some fixtures may give you one great look, the Series 3000 fixtures give you many.”

The rig was supplied by PRG.

Photography: Troy Constable