Someone once said that if rock concerts were just about the music then people would just stay at home and listen to their favorite band on the radio or mp3 player or over the Internet. After all, the studio mixed and mastered versions of our band’s favorite songs are superior in sound quality than any live performance can be. No, attending a concert starring our favorite artists is all about the experience. It’s about seeing that performer live and taking in the event with others who appreciate the same kind of music that we do. It’s about the spectacle and the adrenaline of music, mixed with dance, mixed with light. They all commingle to make rock concerts a memorable experience for all involved. Lighting in particular has become an integral part of every rock concert. Indeed, technology is now at a point where the display of light rivals the music itself. Among rock concerts where this has been demonstrated best are the following shows:
Genesis – Abacab and Mama tours (1984): The mega-band of the 80’s didn’t let the fact that concert lighting technology was relatively primitive by today’s standards stop them from giving a spectacular performance as the audiences took many of their cues from the light displays. Ratpac wireless dimmers were not available at the time but the engineers used their patented Vari*Lite system.
Pink Floyd – Division Bell Tour (1995): Never has the merging of lighting and music made more sense than with the songs of this band as they mingle hallucinatory imagery into their lyrics. This tour encompassed three stages, with lasers, spotlights and two custom designed airships. Fans were not disappointed by the display.
Phish: Lighting is so important to this band that its lighting director – Chris Kuroda – has often been called the “5th member of the band.”
Nine Inch Nails: Roy Bennett is at the helm of this band’s light shows which include a chaotic blend of strobes and rolling video projection screens. The band’s “Lights in the Sky” tour wowed audiences and critics alike.
Yes, rock concert light shows give fans the perfect opportunity to experience music with all their senses not just the sense of hearing. Music and light have become inseparable in this time of experiential entertainment that engages us as active participants in the events we attend. As luck with have it, the time is perfect for this merger since the technology provided by companies like ours allows engineers and artists to create unique fan experience.