Ed Warren works magic for Sugababes at the O2 with ChamSys

“A stunning celebration of chemistry!” That’s how one music journalist described the triumphant return of the original Sugababes when the multi-platinum Brit Award winning trio made their moving O2 homecoming on September 16. The 15,000 fans in attendance on that Saturday night not only eagerly embraced that chemistry, they expanded on it as well, creating a warm, emotional glow that transformed the entire arena.

Ed Warren felt the energy too. “I just loved how the whole thing came together,” he recalled. “It wasn’t just the lighting, but also the choreography, the music, the lasers, the confetti – and most of all, the beautiful harmonies of the three iconic singers.”

Warren, or course, was also a big part of the evening’s vibe. As the show’s lighting and stage designer, he supported the beloved stars’ performance with a production that celebrated their place in British music history, while also reflecting the redolent moods that ran through every song in their 90-minute set.

Running his Colour Sound Experiment supplied rig on his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M Stadium, Warren created myriad looks that ranged from flashy disco-like specials to soft, contemplative washes in his impeccably crisp timecoded show.

“The entire show was programmed to timecode; the only live busking I did was for key lighting the performers,” he said. “I worked very closely with Matt Sharp and Pete Thornton from More Eyes in the time leading up to the production to coordinate light and video.”

Part of the evening’s magic came from the classic Ed Warren mirror ball. At one point in the show, the only light in the arena came from the beams reflected off the massive ball hung over the audience. “We also had a one-meter mirror ball over the B stage,” said Warren. It played a huge part in making the moment special.

The colorful effects Warren created were also critical in weaving magic throughout out the evening. A longtime ChamSys user, he credits the MagicQ console’s FX Palettes feature with making it easier for him to add this dimension to his show, as it allowed him to build up FX quickly from existing Palettes.

“This is a fantastic feature,” he said. “My FX are updated each time the Palette is changed, rather than me having to go in and update FX or Cues. I’m not sure how I survived before it!”

Also making Warren’s life easier on this show and virtually every other project was the Timeline feature that allowed him to program his show over a variety of desks and laptops. “Regardless of what I programmed the show on, it translated across devices perfectly,” he said. “This was important since I was able to program this show in my spare time as I traveled. So, I did so on my laptop during flights and on train rides, as well as on my MQ250 and MQ70 at home. Every second counts! And yes, I love programming to timeline, being able to skip forwards and back through the audio.”

Working with a great team, was another big timesaver. “Neil Smith, the lighting crew chief for Colour Sound Experiment, as well as the techs Tyler Paxton, Cem Hurrell, and Simon Robertson were wonderful,” said Warren. “We had a special group of people on a very special night. It was a great memory maker.”

Info: www.chamsysusa.com

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