Kaiser Chiefs Lighting Designer Richard Larkum and rental company Prism Lighting used over 300 Chroma-Q™ Color Block DB4 LED fixtures to create a unique effects lighting look for the band’s recent special homecoming concert at Elland Road football stadium.
[Photo credit: Copyright Louise Stickland. Prism Lighting, LD Richard Larkum.]
The gig secured the band’s place in history, making them the first hometown band to perform at the city’s home football ground, and was their biggest UK show to date, featuring an audience of 37,000 fans. It was also part of a huge tour of shows and festivals across Europe this summer for the band, including headlining or main supporting slots at the Isle of Wight Festival, V Festival, T in the Park and Oxegen.
The Chroma-Q™ Color Block DB4 provided show Lighting Designer Richard Larkum’s first venture into LEDs for the debut Kaiser Chiefs tour in 2005, and he’s been using them ever since on his rig for the band, with the number growing on each successive tour as the budget and venues have got bigger.
The Color Block has also been a main workhorse fixture in the rental stock inventory of Prism Lighting,
who introduced Richard to the DB4 for the band’s debut tour and have been supplying the lighting ever since.
For the last Kaiser Chiefs tour, Richard came up with the idea of custom lighting ‘pods’ consisting of square frames holding either strobes or Molephay strips. To enhance the concept, he decided to ring the frame with LEDs to give a square light beam, and had only one fixture in mind that could create the desired look he wanted.
He commented: “The concept was basically built around knowledge of the (Color Block) DB4, the DB4s being the most versatile LED unit on the market. The size and shape of the fixture was very important - rectangular, big LED pixels, uniform rows. I didn't want a fixture with the pixels spread out randomly. The uniformity also helps with the colour mixing - because they were forward facing, I needed the colour mixing to blend evenly on the eye.”
The pods were designed by Richard and Prism Lighting and manufactured by Tomcat, and are hung from a mother grid at various heights, angles and depths. Each pod features 22 Color Blocks providing a square light beam of very bold looks, outlining them using various colours and chasing them as whole entities, with various dimmer effects through them.
For the Elland Road homecoming show, which also marked a turning point in the band’s career as they move up to a stadium-level band, the group wanted to put on something extra special to commemorate the event and thank their fans. It was therefore decided to up the production ante for this gig by adding a further 84 Color Blocks on top of usual rig’s 220 units, to provide truss warmers in the stage legs and create an even bigger look for the unique show.
Prism Lighting Project Manager Mark Roberts had no hesitation in making the investment in another 100 Color Blocks for the event, commenting: “They were bought for the Kaiser Chiefs tour primarily, but we’ll easily be able to promote them onto other jobs afterwards. As well as being great for rock ‘n’ roll tours, they also make ideal uplighters for the large amount of corporate work we do.”
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