“It’s been a while, but we’re going on tour in November and can’t wait to see you again.” So read the official statement announcing the recently completed UK tour by the Kaiser Chiefs.
The multi Brit-Award winning band did indeed get a good look at their legion of loyal fans as they blew the roof off 13 sold-out venues, thanks to a dynamic lightshow run on ChamSys MagicQ MQ250M console that featured ample amounts of engaging audience lighting.
“This is a band that thrives on interacting with the audience,” said Jason Hyne who co-designed the show with Mike Darling. “Ricky Wilson, the band’s charismatic leader feeds of the crowd’s response to his actions. Our goal was to create one space for the band and crowd to share this connection.”
Facing a tight time schedule and a limited budget, Darling and Hyne worked concepts from previous tours into their new design. After only one-day of production rehearsals, the tour kicked off on 2 November in Liverpool using a kit supplied by Adlib. Hyne ran the first five shows before turning the tour over to Steve Mccracken, Both ran their shows on MQ250M consoles with MQ80s as backups.
“The show was run seamlessly throughout the tour,” said Hyne. “Mike and I designed, drew and programmed the show in Capture, which ChamSys works very well with. It is very easy for Steve and me to do some preprogramming of the show on the 250M when required. We ran the show as a cue list per song. A nice thing about the 250M is that the Cue Stack Tracks are very easy to navigate.
“As far as my running the show goes, I just purchased a new MQ250M,” continued Hyne. “I had been using the MQ500M on festivals all summer, but the 250M is a perfect middle ground desk for shows of this size. The FX Engine, Group Palettes are exceptional. As a longtime ChamSys user I am very familiar with its software, and its layout is very logical –plus you can’t beat the small footprint.”
Running the rest of the tour on his MQ250M, Mccracken continued to connect to crowds at every stop with well-balanced audience lighting. The flexibility of his console made it easy for him to adjust fixtures positions to accommodate different venues, whilst its overrides helped adjust audience lighting levels.
In the end, the design team were able to create audience lighting that was engaging without being overwhelming. By strategically lighting the crowd at select moments during the 90-minute 18-song set, and illuminating the audience from different directions, they created an immersive environment for band and its fans alike.
This wasn’t lost on frontman Wilson who shouted out during the band’s show at Leeds’ First Direct Arena, “I recognize so many of you!” His words were music to the ears of Hyne, and everyone else behind this audience-immersing show.