When LeRoy Bennett started specifying SGM’s X-5 LED strobes, he not only had Beyoncé’s The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in mind but also the hard industrial sounds of Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails.
The deployment of 144 heads on NIN’s world arena and festival shows, he believed would contribute to a production that was “visually high art minded”. Returning to the stage after a long break the band’s mentor for the last 25 years, Trent Reznor, introduced a new line-up to promote the band’s eighth album, Hesitation Marks.
When he first selected the SGM fixtures for use on his shows, LeRoy Bennett had stated, “I was impressed by the combination of power consumption, brightness and rugged design and the fact that each strobe breaks down into three individual cells.”
The design for this production featured eight floor-standing lighting pods, each pod including three rows of six X-5s mounted vertically amongst other discharge and LED fixtures. The six upstage pods stood side by side, making a wall of lights with one single pod each downstage left and right.
Paul ‘Arlo’ Guthrie toured the show as lighting director. For his first time out with the X-5’s the experienced lighting director said, “I loved the colour temperature of these strobes and the way the overdriven LEDs emulated xenon strobes.
“They were used in graphic ways, splitting them into the individual cells and turning them right up. They both looked and worked great. I also like the smooth block of light that they produce — not pixelated like most other LED fixtures.”
The same Upstaging rig travelled to all 14 shows around the world. “During that time they were regularly thrown in and out of freight planes. We experienced no technical issues whatsoever — and everything worked fine,” concluded Guthrie.