Sizzling Red Hot Chili Peppers' Tour Enhanced By The Grandma

LOS ANGELES, CA--On the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium Tour a pair of grandMAs has a key role in a show acclaimed as "a constantly mutating technological wonder" and "the grandest dazzler" by The Orange County Register. A.C.T. Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for the grandMA.

Playing to packed houses from coast to coast, the Stadium Arcadium Tour follows the number-one debut of the Chili Peppers' eponymous album and a sold-out European tour. The band's on-fire performance is made all the spicier by innovative video and lighting design controlled by a pair of grandMAs.

Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith, bassist Flea, guitarist John Frusciante and singer Anthony Kiedis are backed by four Barco D7 screens on trolleys and an 80-foot wide VersaTube wall which extends to the venue's roof then out over the floor via fingers stretching to the front of house. The 760 VersaTubes provided by XL Video display a changing palette of lighting treatments and an array of video content, including animation, flickering CG imagery, IMAG and colorful band footage crafted to enhance the energy and vibrancy of the band's performance.

"With the grandMA, we can adjust IMAG on the fly with the buttons on the desk," notes Scott Holthaus, who along with Grier Govorko, the show's designers from 40wattlabs. "We can distort images for an effect or go black and white from a rescan camera or supplement the performance with odd video clips." By taking content from the media servers through the grandMA and out onto the D7 screens and VersaTubes Holthaus is able to craft an effect "like a big broken TV" where random channel surfing ultimately resolves to images of perfect clarity.

The grandMA also controls a Vista Systems Spyder, which "makes switching more precise and frees the director to cut cameras and not cut Spyder so the content on the D7 screens change in perfect synchronization with their movements," Holthaus explains. The D7 screens are often in motion behind the band, configuring and reconfiguring in 4x4 or letterbox arrangements as their content conforms to the trolley moves.

All of the show's lighting is also controlled through the grandMA. The extensive lighting inventory, from Nashville-based Premier Global Production Company, includes 80 Mac 2K washes, 13 5K Syncrolites, 50 3K Atomic Strobes, 50 3K Atomic Color Changers, 8 Robert Julliat 2.5K Ivanhoe spots with CXI changers, and 4 2K Bambinos.

"This is my first tour with the grandMA, and I'm incredibly pleased with it," notes Holthaus. "I think I'm a convert!"

The tour's production manager is Bill Rahmy, production coordinator Natalie Drillings, visual designer Grier Govorko, video server engineer Leif Dixon, lighting crew chief James Vollhoffer and VersaTube crew chief Kenny Ackerman.

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