With over four million records sold in the US, a Grammy nomination, and songs on soundtracks for hits like Game of Thrones to their credit, heavy metal masters Killswitch Engage have achieved much. Seventeen years after their founding, the band from Westfield, Massachusetts continue to push the musical envelope out a little further with each passing show.
This passion for defying comfortable expectations is shared by the band’s lighting designer Freddy Thompson of JDI Productions. Working on the group’s current tour in support of their album Incarnate, Thompson tore up his old playbook and rewrote the rules to come up with a lightshow that matches his client’s evermore ferocious sound with an explosive mix of fresh new looks. Key to helping him accomplish this feat is a collection of eight Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures from Chauvet Professional that he added to the KSE Incarnate tour rig.
“I was looking for something that could keep up with the direction the band is taking and do justice to the fast-paced music,” he said. “When I first saw the R1 FX-B, I knew I found it. The RGBW colour rendering, pixel mapping, and 360° pan and tilts, give me this incredibly huge basket of looks to pull from to fit different stage setups at different venues. At the same time, it’s still practical for a rig that’s out on a constant touring schedule.”
Thompson has made the Rogue R1 FX-B the central component of his floor package. “We have four 5′ upright truss structures on stage,” he said. “We put two of the FX-Bs on each of these units. A pair of the truss towers flank the drum kit, followed by two sets of 4′ by 6′ custom designed set carts on either side, each with two Rogue RH1 Hybrids mounted on top. The two other truss towers are located stage right and left. I use them to split the center of the set carts.”
In addition to the Rogue R1 FX-Bs and Rogue RH1 Hybrids, his rig includes four colour strobes, four Legend 230SR Beams, 12 Nexus Aw 7×7 warm white LED panels and eight COLORdash Par-Quad 7 fixtures.
However, it’s the Rogue R1 FX-Bs in Thompson’s rig that bring the whole design together. “The FX-Bs are the first infinite pan and tilt fixture with 5 individual LED tilts per fixture that I ever worked with,” he said. “They are giving me the ability to use this innovating design to create some different ACL style beam effects to add to the show. Josh Mihlek, KSE production manager, and Derek Iorfida of JDI Productions gave me some great input, and the FX-Bs have really helped me pull a lot of great looks together.”