Two top performing artists – Fleetwood Mac and Maroon 5 – helped revelers ring in 2014 in Las Vegas with two shows using Robe equipment provided by VER, which included ROBIN Pointes, ROBIN LEDWash 1200s and ROBIN LEDWash 600 moving head fixtures.
Fleetwood Mac entertained the high rollers of the MGM Grand Casino in a special New Year’s Eve VIP Party on December 31st in the casino’s Grand Garden Arena. Their Show Designer of eight years, Benny Kirkham, claimed this season’s show as “The biggest ever – massive – and more challenging this time.”
Only an hour after Fleetwood Mac’s regularly scheduled concert for the public on December 30th, Benny Kirkham and his crew began loading in at midnight to set up the VIP High Rollers party and concert where he supplemented the regular concert set-up with a whole new environment, and the Robe rig.
After 19 hours of prep, doors opened at 7 pm for MGM’s VIP New Year’s Eve party featuring a 70 minute live performance by Fleetwood Mac.
“The VIP party had to stand on its own. It was exclusive to the high rollers at the hotel. You couldn’t buy a ticket,” Kirkham said.
The party environment featured four separate performance areas with a suspended DJ and dancer platform, an extra articulated circular truss, and a separate production stage that broke into two. The arena floor was walled in and wrapped in mapped video projection and the space filled with round tables for the guests.
The party itself had 500 lights in its’ own rig – of those, Kirkham specified 180 x Robe Pointes, along with 40 x LEDWash 1200s and 40 x LEDWash 600s.
Kirkham chose the Pointes for their sharp, parallel beam look and their beam spread. “Until now, I used old style pinspots – PAR 36s – to light the centerpieces on the tables, but we had to move the truss higher this year, so, above 45 feet, pinspots do nothing. So we used the Pointes for those parallel beams across a great grid of tables. Using the colour wheel to sweep across the tables was pretty dramatic. We achieved many positive responses to it.”
“The Pointes are an improvement on a similar competitor’s product. I find the beam to be cleaner, and I love the zoom and the optics. I predict a bump in Pointe sales in hotels in Las Vegas after this.”
He chose the LEDWash 1200because Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks did not want haze, “So I wanted to create interest without beams. The LEDWash 1200 is versatile and brighter than I expected. It worked as a wash and effects light, was fast and programmed quickly. It’s a cannon – very bright compared to other ‘dinner-plate’ type LED fixtures, and it saved me when I didn’t have smoke.”
The LEDWash 600 was an economical choice, he says. The 600s lived on a large 4×6 grid behind the DJ and were used as eye candy. They filled the space with color and formed a continuation of the low-res video.
During the recent LDI 2013 show in Las Vegas, Kirkham spent some time at the Robe booth and discovered the fixtures. “The selection of new products opened my eyes to Robe fixtures. I’m blown away and I plan to use them more in the future.”
Over at Mandalay Bay Resort Events Center, there was another special New Year’s Eve performance by Maroon 5, who performed two nights, Dec. 30th and 31st, also using Robe fixtures. Lighting Designer Bill Sheldon chose 40 Robe ROBIN Pointes and 56 x LEDWash 1200s for his special NYE design.
This was Sheldon’s first time using the Pointe. “I was impressed that the Pointe could produce the tight beam effects that I use on many of my productions, and also with the extended focus and zoom ranges I did not find in any other product of its class,” Sheldon said.
Most of the Pointes were placed on the six 30-foot vertical towers located upstage between the video screens. He explained, “I mainly used the Pointes as an effect unit, but also found that they make a nice spot unit that produces nice gobo images in such a small fixture. Also, they are the best mirror ball light money can buy!”
The LEDWash 1200s were scattered everywhere on the rig and used as upstage effects and downstage washes. “After seeing them on other shows, I was sold. For years I have been waiting for an LED fixture that had punch and did not produce the bubble gum light output – that’s what I call a non-homogenized fixture!”
The color quality of the LEDWash was also a plus for Sheldon. “The white output was the best I have seen in any LED wash product and I also was able to produce some crazy colors,” Sheldon added. “The Robe products performed flawlessly through five days of production rehearsals and shows.”