A set of stairs formed the focal point of singer and television personality David Hasselhoff’s tour of German-speaking Europe, where he first won live music fans shortly after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 with an estimated 100,000 capacity concert at the Brandenburg Gate.
His tour of venues including Germany’s Sporthalle (cap. 7,000) in Hamburg and Berlin’s Friedrichstadt Palast (1,895), plus Austria’s Gasometer (4,200) in Vienna saw the artiste use the stairs both as a performance platform and a lighting effect, interacting with LED screens behind him.
Lighting designer Martin Kames, whose Austrian company of the same name provided audio, video and lighting for the tour, lined the steps with Chorus Line 8 LED Pixel Bars, housing eight 40W RGBW LEDs, including motorised zoom optics and letting designers position the unit dynamically during a show via a 220° tilt motor function.
“The staircase was the most essential part of the stage design and the Chorus Line 8s were essential for unique light beneath each step,” says Kames. “We made custom-built mounting frames underneath each riser so they could still rotate, which gave us the chance to use a variety of great looking effects.”
“They wanted one big LED screen behind the band but I convinced David and his musical director Marcus Barone that multiple screens with lighting placed between each screen would be more interesting and modern. I think we found a very cool compromise between video, live content, lighting and the actual performers on stage.”
In one climactic effect, Kames merged archive video footage of Hasselhoff performing at the 1989 concert in his characteristic “blinking light” jacket, with this live show in which the artiste wore exactly the same jacket.