Alligatoah’s “Retour” continues with GLP
The artist Alligatoah is not easy to pin down. He nonchalantly marries rap with catchy pop melodies, slips into ever‐ changing personae and has been delighting large audiences for years with his unique overall package. The theatricality certainly suits him, and this phenomenon of German rap will continue with the latest leg of his ‘Retour’. Christoph Schneider is responsible for the lighting design on this tour, which is promoted by ibb Booking GmbH and Boldt Berlin GmbH. He specified 46 GLP JDC1, 10 JDC Line 1000 and five impression X5 Wash to fulfil the artist’s vision. “Alligatoah is a very creative person who is heavily involved in the show design,” states Christoph. “He designed most of the set himself, as well as the intro and choreography for individual songs. To complement this, I created the lighting design and programmed the show, further developing Alligatoah’s ideas and bringing the concept to life. This influenced, for example, the positions of the risers in the individual songs and the question of when everything stands still or when (and how much) it moves.” The artist himself made the prop selection for the individual songs.
The stage depicts the supposed heart of modern society: a parcel warehouse. Two 14‐metre‐long conveyor belts send packages, musicians and props back and forth, with the lighting on the belts varying fundamentally throughout the three acts. While in the first act the impression X5— hidden inside old industrial lamps—sets the lighting mood, package drones with beamlights are used in the second act. The third type is characterised by two light lines made of GLP JDC1, which float above the conveyor belts as variable light objects. Two movable risers for DJ and drums ensure constantly changing light images. The trapezoidal dystopian stage set is closed oﬀ at the front by a roller shutter. The look of the show in this instance is rather dark and disturbing.
Using the GLP JDC1—one of Christoph’s favourite tools—the designer traces the trapezoidal shape of the stage. A second trapezoidal truss that tapers towards the front deliberately reverses this shape. Together with compact beam lamps, JDC1 also forms the floor set and creates a minimalist‐looking architectural space, especially in the third act.
“JDC1s basically have a permanent place in my designs because they are so incredibly versatile,” states the designer. “I regularly use them to replace classic wash lights, strobes and floodlights. I also like to use them very graphically. The amount and density of hybrid devices in the rig allows me to stage them almost like a coarse‐pixel LED wall.”
Christoph chose the impression X5 because of its baseless design; thanks to this, it fits into the limited space of the industrial lamps selcted. “I wanted to make the moving lights completely disappear in the lamps, but still allow for some movement. Therefore, I chose an appropriate compact device.”
For the third act, which culminates in a gigantic rainbow after all the predominantly monochrome and reduced‐lit looks, Christoph designed a clear architectural space with LED bars and a central light object made of JDC Line 1000, which looks like a light art installation in a museum.
The lighting object consists of two lines of light, which primarily shape the dynamics in the third act. For the last song ‘Willst du’ they repeat this, changing the entire light space again. Through strobe eﬀects and— sometimes faster, sometimes slower— chasers, they emphasise rhythm and tempo … from the gently flowing to the lightning fast and blindingly bright, in this final act.
In addition to the lighting design, Christoph Schneider programmed the show purely in timecode, with only a few ‘live’ cues (e. g. Blinder, Followspot, Fog machine). Adrian Schmidt operated the first tour segment in February of this year, while Thomas Stranzl took over the festival shows and the Autumn tour.
Photos © Paul Gärtner