Robe double rocks for Ghost & Volbeat tour
Celebrating some superlative Scandinavian rock music, fans across the USA reveled in a recent high‐ powered double headliner tour delivered with passion and style by acclaimed artists Ghost from Sweden and Volbeat from Denmark.
This tour also united the imaginations of two diﬀerent but equally talented international lighting designers – Niels ‘Niller’ Bjerregaard for Volbeat who is based in Denmark and Erich Berti from Brazil, LD for Ghost – who combined creativity and lateral thinking to design a top rig that would work for both bands but yield totally contrasting results!
Robe moving lights – MegaPointes, Spiiders and BMFL Spots – were the primary moving lights of choice for this challenging task, all supplied by Premier Global Productions out of Nashville.
The pressure was on for both designers to create completely unique shows for their respective bands using this shared lighting system plus their own individual floor packages.
For practical and technical reasons, Volbeat played first, thrilling the audiences with their futuristic‐looking set and high energy video visuals which were matched and paired perfectly with a non‐stop barrage of complementary lighting looks and cues. Ghost then took to the stage, and blasted through a potent, highly theatrical and action‐packed performance, rammed with lighting drama, changing back‐cloths and epic presence. While the contrast could not have been starker, the two designers fully embraced working together, and from the first discussions six months out, they were both equally decided on one thing – they wanted Robe on the rig!
VOLBEAT Niller has been working with Volbeat for 13 years and with new album Servant of the Mind just released, like everyone, they were ready to rock post‐ pandemic! The 30 x MegaPointes and 50 x Spiiders were distributed over five slightly raked upstage/downstage orientated truss sections, each rigged with six carefully positioned MegaPointes.
The Spiiders were dotted in between and around these, and this carefully calculated placement created the depth and dimension essential to fashioning the video visuality of Volbeat’s show, together with the brightness of both fixture types they needed to slice through the lumens!
The 16 x BMFL WashBeams were supplied with separate cameras to work with the four RoboSpot systems, with the luminaires rigged in banks of four. Eight – four a side – were on downstage trusses in ideal side positions for neat and close following, non‐classical follow spot style, and another four‐and‐four were rigged on two oﬀstage trusses just downstage of the back wall and the ends of the five ‘finger’ trusses.
The four RoboSpot BaseStations and their operators were located wherever they best fitted in each venue, usually somewhere behind the stage, and all they had to do was focus on pointing the lights on the band members as all the parameters were running through Niller’s main ChamSys MQ500M console. All the lighting and video cues were meticulously planned together.
Erich Berti is a DoP and a lighting designer / director who has been working with Ghost (Tobias Forge) since 2018, initially put forward for the ‘hot seat’ – which had consumed several of his predecessors – by production manager Eddie Rocha.
This was the first time that Erich had used MegaPointes as a main fixture which worked brilliantly – “I really liked them – they are dynamic, durable and well‐engineered.” He also relished using the Spiiders. “I love them – another great fixture,” he commented, saying that had there been more space in the roof, he would have requested Tarrantulas! He also made the most of the 16 x BMFL Spots of the RoboSpot systems, and he thinks that of all the various remote follow spoting systems on the market, this is the best. His original floor package also contained a quantity of MegaPointes, but he ultimately chose 12 x BMFL Spots which were deployed around Ghost’s multiple staircase and riser set. Changes have subsequently been made to the original set design to enhance its three dimensionality, so Erich will use MegaPointes when the tour resumes in Europe in a couple of months as a smaller fixture is now needed in these positions. Erich programmed lighting for Ghost’s show on a grandMA3 console running in GM2 mode. www.robe.cz
Photos © Ryan Chang for Ghost Photos © Britt Bowman for Volbeat