For the international contemporary live music industry

Minimalist approach pays-off for Metallica

Production News
April 28, 2018

Known for their preference for in-the-round performances, Metallica decided to use 52 one metre video cubes suspended above the stage for their c.

Designer Dan Braun insisted there should be no traditional trussing on the show, so 36 of the cubes are suspended on steel cables and motion-controlled by a hoist system supplied by US-based entertainment technology provider Tait. The remaining 16 are in fixed positions.

Lighting fixtures are suspended from the cubes for arena shows including the US’s Bridgestone Arena (cap. 20,000), North Carolina, and Times Union Center (17,500), New York, Germany’s Olympiahalle (15,500) in Munich, and Canada’s Sasktel Centre (15,200) in Saskatoon.

Lighting designer Rob Koenig deploys 72 Robe BMFL WashBeams, attached to each of the cubes, which function as follow spots for the band members, as well as providing other effects.

A Disguise video server maps the video onto the moving cubes, while a Tait Navigator and grandMA2 control systems pinpoint the lighting positions. Other lights on the rig include 32 hybrid moving fixtures on top of Meyer VLFC subs stacks in the corners of the arenas, and a selection of strobes such as 44 LED wash/strobes flown for audience light.

“I relish the challenge of using the ‘negative space’ [between the video cubes] for weaving in lighting looks,” says Koenig. “Generally, fixture counts are getting bigger on tour, so I was nervous about lighting this one with just 140 lights. But the minimalist approach has paid off.”

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