With the ever-rising cost of going to music events, it takes more than just good music to ensure a great show. Artists such as Eric Prydz, Bassnectar, Savoy, Excision understand this and go the extra mile with their production. I have been following Seven Lions for years and it has been a pleasure to watch him and his team go from playing on a fold-out table in front of a 6-foot projector screen into the jaw-dropping production his team brings to the table.
Recently I had a chance to speak with Jose Antunes who was the lighting director of the Seven Lions Journey 2 tour. Once you take a look into what goes into the making of these shows you really have a better appreciation of these events. While the scale is nothing like festivals such as EDC or Tomorrowland the thought behind everything is what matters.
On this tour Jose explained the lights they brought with them on tour were 22x Clay Paky Sharpys, 12x Elation ACL Bar 360s, 12x Elation Cuepix WW2, 12x Robe Color Strobe. This does not include the 280 LED tiles. All of which packs down into a single semi-truck and can deploy in as little as 2 to 4 hours depending on the room. This is what Jose had to say about the end result.
It’s not so much the gear specs that makes this show special and unique though, as it serves no comparison up against arena-sized productions. It’s more in the heart and souls put into the creative side of it. The video content is beautifully curated and in some cases created by Ian Alvarez (who runs the visuals for Seven Lions), every piece tells a story that’s a small part to a bigger narrative. The lighting is right there with it, enhancing every song and video to create an ambiance and mood. The Sharpys are often used creatively with just about everything it can do on mellow parts and builds and goes full on beam on drops with enormous looks no matter what size room it’s playing. The ACL 360s are used probably the most out of all the fixtures, as they are perfect for just about every moment in the set where we want to add but not take away from the moment and the video. The Strobes are total eye candy throughout and punch hard when they need to, with the WW2s being used sparingly and as necessary. My favorite and most powerful moments in the set are the full blackouts of lighting and video with a Single Robe Color Strobe behind Jeff creating a beautiful full silhouette as he showcases the emotion behind some of his big heartfelt songs. Every piece was Timecoded on both video and lighting to never miss a beat. The backbone of the system is TC Supply, which can connect to the Pioneer gear Jeff uses and creates Timecode offsets for our Front of House set up. The GrandMa2 is then listening to 2 TC inputs (Deck A and Deck B). Running the show consists of monitoring the TC supply system and staying alongside Jeff mixing between songs on the different Decks, except instead of music we are mixing video and lighting.
All of that technical speak results in what I feel is pure art. A combination of sound and sight that leaves me in awe and is one of the reasons I will not pass up a Seven Lions show. You can see the end result in the pictures in this article as well as the clips posted below.
Photo and Video Credit: Adolfo Kahan Instagram: @adolfokahan
Feature Image: Rukes