LD Gigi Pedron employs Elation KL Panel as rock 'n' roll art for Queens of the Stone Age
Lighting designer Emmanuelle “Gigi” Pedron has taken Elation Professional’s broadcast market KL Panel XL IP™ LED soft light and transformed it into a high‐impact, aesthetic rock 'n' roll light for Queens of the Stone Age’s “The End Is Nero” tour. After playingEuropean festivals throughout much of the summer, the band launched their North American leg August 3rd in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
“I wanted to do a color field type show in the style of an abstract painting, minimalistic in form with a sense of open space,” Pedron explains of her design. “I want peopleto see what I see in my head when I hear the music—like Chromesthesia—and I needed a light that could express that with color.”
Pedron says the idea behind using the KL Panel XLs on the tour came about during the pandemic when the designer was working in TV and film. “You see special types of fixtures for TV and special types for touring and usually those universes don’t mix,” says the California‐based designer who has been a touring LD now for 25 years.“I noticed on a TV or film shoot that light panels were really underutilized; the white correction and intensity were used but not much else. I thought, what if I could use those on a rock show but really use their full features and color ability. And instead of just using 10, what if I used 70of them to light a rock stage, what would that look like?”
Pedron’s curiosity led her to the Elation headquarters in Los Angeles earlier in the year, where she saw a demo of the KL Panel XL. “I liked what I saw and brought a unit back to my oﬃce and just thought it was fantastic,” she said. “It’s a great light. Actually, it’s not just one light, it’s eight different lights. One panel has eight different segments and because the show has 68 KL Panels in the rig it’s actually like having 544 different lighting fixtures. That’s how I treat it. I couldn’t wait to see how grandiose it looked on stage.”
The main form of the setup is a pyramid, a type of stage within a stage that captures the audience's attention while serving as the focal point beneath which all the action unfolds. The KL Panels are located in every dimension of the setup and used dynamically for intensity, vibrant color and keylighting. They are suspended on the downstage truss, forming a first layer of a multi‐ layer look, and also function as pivotal keylight sources from side positions.
“It gives the set a bit of a TV studio vibe without really being treated that way,” the designer says, noting that 90% of the lighting on the show is static.
“Usually a rock show is all about directional lighting but this is something different – nondirectional, soft light but still very bright and impressive.”
For Pedron, who is a specialist in the use of saturated colors, color mixing was extremely important and the KL Panel’s RGBW +Lime + Cyan LED array covers the full spectrum. “I believe that color itself can convey a deep emotional experience,” she says, “and since my idea was to create a color field for this show, for a color freak like me, the KL Panels are just perfect. They mix really well and I really like the Lime emitter. It gives me a proper white but also a nice acid green,” a color she says doesn’t really exist in the natural world but appears several times during the show.
The KL Panel XL, which outputs a blistering 40,000lumens, features multi‐ zone control which the designer takes advantage of for a mesmerizing array of eye candy looks, for example in a song where she cuts the stage in two and keeps the middle panels in blue and orange.
The rig incorporates other lighting as well including 49 Elation Smarty MAX™ hybrid moving heads chosen for their speed and impressive beam characteristics. The Smarty’s work with the KL Panels, along with pixel strips, from the same positions. Within each layer of the 45‐degree forced perspective approach which the designer uses to achieve a captivating pyramid effect is a combination of these three types of lighting fixtures.
Pedron handled lighting programming and also operates the show on tour, which she says keeps her on her toes as the show is diﬀerent every night and changes are made on the go. Lighting supply for the tour in both Europe and North America is by Christie Lites.
Photos © Will Stockwell