Lighting Designer Matt Mills recently specified over 50 Chroma-Q® Color Block LED fixtures as part of his set lighting for the Three Doors Down US summer co-headline tour with Lynrd Skynyrd.
The 45-date tour for two of the country’s biggest southern rock bands was in support of Three Doors Down’s smash hit album Seventeen Days – one of the top five selling US rock albums of 2005 – and Lynrd Skynyrd’s recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Lynrd Skynyrd was already on the road when Three Doors Down joined the tour, so Matt and Lynrd Skynyrd LD Steve Owens co-designed a new rig, doubling the size of it and incorporating the drum riser and backline elements from previous Three Doors Down tours.
As it was a scaled down version of the band’s rig and they were reluctant to purchase another backdrop,
Matt thought it would be a good opportunity to explore new creative possibilities using an LED drape for the backdrop and lighting the drum riser with a fixture that was capable of displaying low res images.
Matt had used Chroma-Q® Color Block LEDs on several large corporate conventions and knew what they were capable of doing, but hadn’t had an opportunity before to really test their performance.
So when it came to lighting the drum riser, which was built to resemble an old rock show type look, Matt thought Color Blocks would be a perfect fit due to their compact design and high brightness level, and would compliment the LED drape well.
The Color Blocks were permanently mounted in the drum riser using just zip ties and lived in the set for the duration of the tour, making changeover very fast.
Matt programmed the Color Blocks in full channel mode to give him control over individual LEDs in each fixture, and used the ‘Bitmap Effects’ mode on his console to map the LEDS to the pixels of low res images.
To create the looks he needed, Matt used a combination of the console’s rotate, tile, scroll and zoom images functions to manipulate multi coloured litho pattern gobo library bitmaps, as well using as the Color Block’s built-in effects engine.
He commented: “The Color Blocks really made the LED drape look even bigger than it actually was. I used them for everything – sudden blast, low intensity mood setting, complementing the content I was playing on the LED drape. I was able to make some good-looking fire and water effects using the bitmaps and also created some nice looks with the Color Block’s built-in effects engine.”
Three Doors Down tour suppliers Christie Lites provided the Color Blocks and control console, whilst Lynrd Skynyrd tour suppliers Bandit Lites provided the rest of the lighting rig. The rig consisted of a Catalyst media server providing all content for the main LED drape backdrop, sixteen Mac 2000 washlights, twenty four Mac 2000 profiles, twenty four Studio Beam PCs, seven Atomic 2000 strobes, 120k Par Can rig, ten 8-Lite blinders and fourteen 2-Lite blinders.
Summarising his experience using the Color Blocks Matt commented: “I’m a big fan of the Color Blocks. I’m very impressed with how bright they are and how many different configurations you can create with them. They’re like Lego, you can build all sorts of interesting designs with them. They stole the show every night and I really enjoyed using them. Thanks also to everyone at A.C. Lighting for all the help they gave me.”