& Adam Lambert
Queen & Adam Lambert kicked off their 2017 tour of North America in Toronto earlier this month, promising to shake up the set list and dazzle audiences with the show’s production design.
True to form, the veteran rockers and Lambert, who replaced Freddie Mercury as the band’s touring frontman in 2011, have not disappointed, receiving rave reviews for their performances in Canada and the US.
Having worked on the band’s World Tour in 2015, Lighting Designer, Rob Sinclair turned to Marc Webber, co-founder of ER Productions, to incorporate cutting-edge laser solutions into the production.
“Rob wanted big and bright this year. Although we’ve specified a similar laser package to the band’s previous tours, the design is fresh and packs a punch. He loves our Phaenon lasers and specifically requested these for the tour. He also wanted to use diffraction effects during Brian May’s guitar solo.”, he comments.
This certainly reflects the sentiments of Lambert who was quoted in NME as saying, “We thought it would be good to challenge ourselves a bit. Change it up a little bit, change the visuals, change all the technology, change the set list to some degree.”
With the laser design and programming undertaken by Lawrence Wright, General Manager of ER Productions in the US, the award-winning British laser specialist supplied six Phaenon Pro 30000 and sixteen BB3 systems for the tour, which is heading to the UK and Ireland later this year. Six Viper deLuxe smoke machines and two Unique Hazers have been provided to highlight and accentuate the laser package.
“One of the unique things about this tour, is how we’ve approached bringing lasers on and off stage. For example, we needed the lasers, which were clustered centrally upstage, to clear a huge video screen. To get around this problem, Rob suggested rigging the lasers to a motorised ribbon lift, which unrolls to create a 10m tall tower made of sheet metal. This enables us to bring the lasers in and lower them out precisely when they are needed and without them colliding with the screen.”, Marc continues.
During Brian May’s solo, the 70-year old guitarist is hoisted into the air and the stage and audience areas are filled with laser diffractions, “This is my favourite bit of the whole show. It looks like he is in space, which is quite fitting for an astrophysicist. It has been such an amazing opportunity again to work with rock and roll legends. Who doesn’t love Queen?”, he concludes.
Operated by ER’s Alex Oita, the lasers are controlled using Beyond software and a Hedge Hog console. Key laser tracks include Who wants to Live forever, Radio Ga Ga & Bohemian Rhapsody.