Petar Grašo wanted to make a visible impact with his first series of post-lockdown live shows – marking the first arena-sized shows to take place in Croatia – so his brief to Lighting Designer, Sven Kučinić was to devise a concept as awe-inspiring as possible.
Kučinić – who devised all lighting, set and video elements – selected around 200 Robe moving lights, supplied by Zagreb-based rental company, Promo Logistika.
The Zagreb Arena shows were followed by performances in Split and Slovenia in this high-profile mini-tour which delighted the artist’s many fans in the region, going ahead in truly “seat of the pants” fashion as COVID-19 restrictions relating to large audiences were lifted on the morning of the first gig in Zagreb, which was attended by a wildly enthusiastic capacity audience of 15,500.
Starting with basic geometric shapes, after some brainstorming, Kučinić developed the concept of eight flown cubes, three large ones and three smaller ones, each one containing a 2m by 2m LED screen and strategically positioned over the stage and audience. This accentuated the width and the depth of the stage which was shaped like three diamonds.
“The idea with this architecture was to bring a look of grandeur, stature, gravitas,” explained Kučinić, who specified the kit while the two organising bodies – the artist and management, as well as Narodni Radio Croatia selected the suppliers.
Two Robe FORTES, positioned right at the back and to the sides of the arena and run manually used regular follow spot handles, with all the parameters controlled by Kučinić’s MA Lighting grandMA3 console, allowing the operators to concentrate on following the artist. Kučinić coined FORTES as a “fantastic long throw fixture in a very compact package,” when run at 80%.
He turned to his trusty MegaPointes as the main effects fixtures with 70 on the rig. They are a go-to multi-purpose luminaire, and on this show the vast number of possibilities they bring to the table enabled him to keep a vibrant array of dramatically different lighting looks pumping throughout Grašo’s energetic performance.
“Before MegaPointe, I’d have to use regular Pointes and then at least one other type of fixture to create enough diversity of looks,” Kučinić commented. “However, with Megas,I just need only one type of light – I can’t imagine doing any reasonably sized show without them.”
MegaPointes were attached to some of the cube structures, and were dotted over a series of straight trusses above the stage. Around 66 LEDBeam 150s were positioned in straight lines with a set of 22 in a row on the upper downstage area and on two trusses of back-lights that hung beneath the lowest cube level. Some were also rigged on the bottom of the cubes, including those above the audience.
Around 12 LEDWash 600s lit the cyc, and the main front lights for the artist and band were 18 MMX WashBeams. “They are still hugely capable lights, I have used them successfully on many large shows over the years and they have always been reliable,” Kučinić remarked.
In addition, 12 BMFL Spots on the overhead trusses served as additional key lighting, and there were around 200 other sources on the rig including LED tubes outlining the eight video cubes.
With 24 camera feeds – a combination of operated and remote devices – IMAG and recorded video was another vital element to consider. However, nothing was run to the timecode. “You get a complete sense of how the lights are an integral part of the show ambience,” the LD noted.
Kučinić operated and programmed himself, including the flame effects, and all the playback video feeds appearing on the cube screens were also running via his console, with the IMAG mix that was cut by Kristina Bengez and Viktor Krasnic going to the side screens.
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