Rayzor 360Z™ pods, DARTZ 360™ effects complement dynamism of diverse band. Lighting design by Alexandre Bucher
French band Shaka Ponk is one of the most eclectic you’ll ever run across. Adored by a growing fan base captivated by the group’s artistry and wildly energetic mix of rock/funk, the band is touring through 2018 with a rig that includes flexible lighting pods full of Elation Rayzor 360Z™ LED fixtures, as well as Elation’s new narrow-beam DARTZ 360™ LED moving head.
Lighting design is by Alexandre Bucher of the 4eleven company, who has worked with Shaka Ponk for seven years as a lighting and video programmer and has toured with the band several times. The current “MonkAdelic” tour is his first as lighting designer. The LD, who also serves as lighting director on the tour, works with a set rich in scenery and detail with accompanying video show that flows in imagery and imagination. Bucher uses lighting to add another layer of dynamism to the set while accentuating the on-screen visuals and has integrated the two Elation LED source luminaires in his design in large numbers.
Compact Rayzor 360Z fixtures, high-speed LED beam/wash luminaires with zoom, are located in six kinetic lighting pods that form a central element of the set. “I wanted massive fixtures that could do a powerful beam with pixel control of each LED but I never found it,” the LD said of his search for a super big LED light. “Therefore I thought I would design it by assembling a lot of little LED fixtures. I tried several different small fixtures and was finally enticed by the Rayzor 360,” which was demoed for the LD by Dushow, who provide lighting for the tour. “I chose this fixture because it fit perfectly, it has pixel control of each LED and it has continuous and unlimited rotation on pan and tilt.”
The moveable pods, which appear and disappear often during the show, were designed to integrate with the decor and video and are used during specific segments to accentuate the visual impact. “I like using them as a big beam effect, like a Svoboda, with a color temperature close to the original conventional fixture,” Bucher says. The pods work with the scenic visuals as a flexible element that can either heighten the atmosphere of the show or make it more intimate. Taking advantage of the Rayzor 360’s continuous pan and tilt, at times Bucher turns the units around to illuminate the interior of the pods, creating a type of large projector lens. “More than a fixture, it then becomes a deco object,” he said.
Dual DARTZ duty
The Rayzor 360s and LED wash lights are reinforced by floor-positioned DARTZ 360s, Elation’s new narrow-beam LED beam/spot fixture that houses an effects package that includes gobos and dual prisms. Bucher explains that on the Shaka Ponk show the DARTZ 360 has two roles: “The key role is to do backlight effects to empower the rhythm and give dynamism. It also reinforces the video effects. For example, in the song “Gung Ho,” the entire floor on the video leans stage right. At this moment, I use the DARTZ on the same side to give the audience the feeling that not only the video but all the stage is leaning. The other role of the DARTZ is to light the musicians with its frost for an intimate front light.”
Bucher says he chose the DARTZ because of the power of the beam, its two prisms, gobo projection capabilities, and also because of the continuous and unlimited rotation on pan and tilt. “I needed small sources on the ground that do not take up space on the stage and which are punchy,” he said. “After several tests at Dushow, I fell in love with this source and its functions. When it is lit in a tight beam, the rendering is unmatched compared to other LED projectors of this type.”
The Shaka Ponk tour is Bucher’s first experience with Elation lights. “Dushow are continuously looking for new and interesting products. They introduced me to the Elation lights and I decided to trust this product and give it a try. They are good advisors,” the LD said of the French technical production company, adding that he was the first to use the DARTZ on a large tour in France.
The “MonkAdelic” show has received praise with a lighting design that supports all that Shaka Ponk encompasses without stealing the show. The band has been on the road since the beginning of the year and will be playing dates across France through November.
Photos: Jérôme Boutié