Robe is icy cool for Twenty One Pilots tour
Maintaining that delicate balance between enigmatic, arty, alternative popularity and success … the much anticipated Twenty One Pilots “Icy” tour hit the road this summer, oﬀering lighting designer Tyler “Shap” Shapard the chance to produce an elegant and imaginative lighting design based on atmospherically engineering the mood and vibes ‐ with many dramatic diﬀerences – for each song.
A cornerstone of this design was 80 x Robe MegaPointes explained Shap who collaborated closely on this tour with co‐designer and programmer Dayne DeHaven. Their creative process involved Shap producing the essential looks and building blocks for each number and Dayne completing the nuts+bolts programming which they finessed together. Shap was also on the road running lighting day‐to‐day.
MegaPointes are a personal favorite fixture of Shap’s and they have featured on the last two Twenty One Pilots tour cycles which included the immediately post Covid “Takeover” tour earlier in 2022, where the band played four diﬀerent sized venues in six key cities, followed by an international summer festival tour. Everyone liked the Arena version of the” Takeover” rig so much that this became the starting point for the “Icy” tour, modified, reimagined and with additional lights! Shap loves the sheer speed and the power of MegaPointes, “It totally bridges that gap between being intense enough for a workhorse light and fast enough for an eﬀects light” he noted, adding that it is a “completely unique” fixture, and nothing comes near to it in terms of “simply being able to do so much” which is the dream of any LD!
The MegaPointes were dotted all over the five upstage/downstage orientated touring truss ‘fingers’ which gave the whole stage an aura of architectural elegance and were joined by 21 x Robe BMFL WashBeams being used for primary key light. “BMFL WashBeam is an epic great wash light! The framing shutters are fantastic, and when hung on a downstage truss with the zoom rolled right out, they bring an incredible depth to the picture. The intensity fall oﬀ is very limited along the BMFL zoom and it blends very naturally, producing that unique even wash right across the stage.”
This is “by far” Shap’s best go‐to downstage truss wash light. For the “Icy” tour he used the BMFL WashBeams constantly in this context, as well as for specials, reiterating the usefulness of that ‘deep zoom’ eﬀect as a creative treatment, really making the artists ‘pop’ out onstage. Eight BMFL FollowSpots with integral cameras were another critical element of this light show. They are “amazing” declares Shap.
He thinks RoboSpot is even more so because diﬀerent quantities and types of Robe fixtures can be hooked into a RoboSpot and remote controlled, so he can have follow spots all over the rig covering all angles.
For “Icy”, the RoboSpots were running fixtures positioned in three diﬀerent areas ‐ upstage right and left, and the front ‐ keeping the focus on lead singer Tyler Joseph from three diﬀerent perspectives. Six of the BMFL FollowSpots were on the two downstage trusses with two more on the end of the most upstage truss.
Shap also drafted 36 x Spikies into the floor package, chosen for their minuscule size, brightness and 360‐ degree rotation. Twenty were deployed along the top of the low onstage video wall, and the rest dotted around the two ‘cry decks’ interspersed with a battery of cryo jets and confetti canons. “A great little light with plenty of punch, a good zoom, a prism, the flower eﬀect, fabulous color mixing and super‐fast … all in one very compact unit.”
Keeping everything flowing smoothly on the “Icy”road was production manager Rodney Johnson. Lighting, video and rigging equipment was supplied by Solotech, audio by Clair, SFX by Image SFX and automation / staging by SGPS.
Photos © Todd Kaplan