The internationally acclaimed Life In Color tour is aptly named. Aside from featuring some of the biggest stars in dance music like Calvin Harris, R3hab and Steve Aoki, the multi-city EDM tour, which bills itself as “the world’s largest paint party,” is a freewheeling festival of sights and colors with lavish spray painting of audience members, zip lines, carnival rides, dancing robots and, of course, an intensely bright, colorful and unforgettable lightshow.
The MVP 18 LED video wall panel from CHAUVET Professional has been an “indispensable” part of this lightshow throughout the Life In Color Rebirth Tour, according to designer Collyns Stenzel, who has been the Life in Color lighting director since 2010.
This impact of the MVP 18 panels was very much in evidence during the tour’s final 2013 stop at a jam-packed Sun Life Stadium in Miami at the end of December. A total of 189 MVP 18 panels captivated the crowd in Stenzel’s eye-popping “Rebirth” design, which also drew on two other CHAUVET Professional products: the COLORado™ Batten 144 Tour and the Legend™ Wash 1200E.
The inspiration for Stenzel’s design came from the name of the tour – Rebirth.
“I associated ‘rebirth’ with the Phoenix rising and created the stage lighting design around this image,” explained the LD. “In the middle area of the stage is a circle symbolizing the head of the Phoenix. The ‘body’ is the upstage wall; the wings emanate from there; and the talons are the DJ booth.”
Stenzel created this design on a 40' x 40' (12m x 12 m) SL320 mobile stage. He built a video wall mid-stage using 99 MVP 18 panels, and positioned 45 additional panels on each wing. Most of the panels were hung in vertical strips with the exception of the upstage wall.
For Stenzel, creating an elaborate video wall that covered all sections of his intricate and thematic stage design was essential to conveying his message and connecting to the audience. “Life in Color is really a multi-dimensional show,” he said. “It’s not just about the stars performing on stage, or the lights or any of the other visual elements; it’s about everything coming together to create a total experience. In this design, the video wall is essential to pulling all of these different elements together visually.”
Aside from their wide viewing angle and the color consistency afforded by their calibrated tri-colored SMD LEDs, the easy-rigging features of the MVP panels also made them ideal for Stenzel’s Life in Color design. “The rigging on the MVP panels is really easy to work with,” he said. “There are no extra parts needed to hang the wall, it's all built in. I wouldn't have chosen any other panel for that design. The angles that we needed to hang the video at are impossible to get unless there are rear threaded M10 holes on the wall to install a clamp and the panel is light enough to fit the design. I can tell you without reservation that the MVP panels were a ‘perfect fit’ for this design.”
Stenzel also praised the MVP panels for being “bright enough to keep up with” the output of other fixtures on stage, notably the COLORado Batten 144 Tour from CHAUVET Professional. ““When you are up against the extremely bright COLORado Batten 144, you need a bright video panel,” he explained. “The MVP 18 is a very bright panel for its resolution. When switching back and forth from lighting to video, we needed the brightness to be somewhere in the same range to avoid too much eye strain. The MVP 18 proved itself to be perfect for this job.”
On the Life in Color Rebirth stage, Stenzel used 46 COLORado Batten 144 Tour fixtures in Block 2 Mode. Every batten was hung vertically between the strips of video on the stage and on the wings. Stenzel also relied on four Legend Wash 1200E fixtures to add an extra dimension of wash colors to the stage and provide tight audience sweeps.
It was the COLORado Batten 144 Tour, though, that really made magic with the MVP 18 panels. A widely-used batten-style wash with 144 calibrated red, green, blue, white and amber LEDs, five dimming curves and dual 15° and 30° optics, the COLORado Batten 144 Tour produces a very broad, bright wash for covering stage applications like the Life in Color tour.
Stenzel drew masterfully on the COLORado Batten 144 Tour’s performance features in his Life in Color design. “I used them as a blinding overpowering effect for simple chases and a little bit of pixel mapping-like effects,” he said. “In Block 2 Mode I was able do some low res mapping effects that worked out really well.
“Overall the Batten 144 Tour commanded the stage with its brightness,” he continued, “but the MVP panels were bright enough in their own right to stand up to them and allow us to create a balanced, richly colored lightshow that played off perfectly against all the other exciting things happening on stage to create the great sensory experience – which is what Life in Color is all about.”