A number of Australian rock & roll royalty gathered together to play nationally as part of the 2017 edition of A Fist Full of Rock tour. The Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, Jebediah and Adalita (of Magic Dirt) made their way across the country with stops in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane.
By Cat Strom.
Lighting was designed by Bazz Barrett who designs for the two headliner acts anyway, with lighting supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems. Bazz has been with You Am I for twenty-two years and The Hoodoo Gurus for twelve, he also used to light Magic Dirt and has done a few Jebediah shows so this tour was clearly made for him!
“Being intimately involved with every band, you get a sixth sense as to what is coming up next,” said Bazz.
On this tour he decided to go with an open white rock’n’roll look for You Am I with blasts of punchy white, some movement and just a little bit of colour. The Hoodoo Gurus get all the colour and projection with psychedelic movies melded with Bazz’s extensive media server collection.
Bazz loves to use colour in his shows, admitting that maybe he uses too much. Not all at once however and he’s not afraid to make people green!
“What’s wrong with green?” he asked. “Colour for me brings emotion and using green can be a valid thing!”
Bazz is known for filling spaces with lights incorporating the fixtures and not just their output into his design. Usually his designs are about balance rather than symmetry but for this show the rig was quite symmetrical.
“That’s mainly due to the screen formation which is not one big screen as you may think at first but rather three staggered runs of six Martin LC2140 LCD panels,” explained Bazz. “I’ve used the space in between the screens to hang the lights and that tends to make it all more symmetrical.”
Consequently each of the three trusses held six LC Panels thus making seven ‘gaps’ with a Claypaky B-EYE K20 hung dead centre and one either end of the truss, and the remaining four gaps filled with a Martin MAC101. Each truss also held seven Sunstrips mounted at unusual angles.
“I absolutely love the Sunstrips,” said Bazz. “I’ve placed them so that they basically fan out towards the centre and I run a lot of chases with them.
The MAC101 is my favourite Martin light as they remind me of a very narrow PAR that changes colour but with me, it’s all about the dimmer curve. Although it’s not so important with a full on rock show like this, I have just finished a Sarah Blasko tour where I needed them to fade to black gently and not just suddenly ping off. Tonight it’s a bit more ‘bashy’ but you still want them to behave like PAR can. Raylights and PAR cans are still my favourite fixtures and if I had a 1000 raylights in the show, I’d be really happy.”
Similarly, Bazz prefers the Claypaky B-EYE K20 over its’ competitors because it behaves like a light and has a great dimmer curve. He says effects are effects, but the B-EYE feels like a light as he drives it from the console.
The front truss held MAC Auras; four from one side for a colour block and four from the other side for profiles. Again, these were chosen for their fading ability and richness of colour. Nine Atomic Strobes were scattered through the rig and four DF50’s provided a haze heavy atmosphere.
Bazz is quick to point out that the show would not be what it is without Tony Davies from Chameleon. “I first did a gig with Tony Davies in 1990 and he has been treating me like gold ever since,” he said. “He gave us a great deal on the rig just to make all of this possible. Without him we wouldn’t even have half of this rig!”
Bazz provided his own console, a Chamsys Maxi Wing and Extra Wing which he has had for nearly nine years and it’s still like brand new. In all of that time it has never crashed even though Bazz always runs the Beta software.
“They stopped making the Maxi Wing last year and although the new MagicQ MQ500 Stadium looks fantastic, I can’t get that under my arm and on a plane,” he said. “With the Maxi Wing I can program it at home, download the software for free, it has an onboard visualizer, onboard paperwork, onboard 3D views …. everything is there. You don’t need a single light to train yourself on the console, you just need a computer and a screen. It’s unreal and doesn’t have a logic path that does your head in. Within three days of using my first Chamsys, I wanted to buy one. Don’t get me wrong, the grandMA is a wonderful console and the Rolls Royce of lighting consoles, but I believe the Chamsys does just as much for a quarter of the price.”
Bazz ran the visuals via ArKaos MediaMaster from his laptop.
This article first appeared in the print edition of CX Magazine October 2017, pp.52-55.
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Photos: David Youdell. All text and photos © CX Media
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