You’d be hard pressed to find a band that plays at a more upbeat tempo than August Burns Red. The metalcore band’s fast-paced, aggressive sound keeps listeners on the edge of their seats, a dynamic style of breakneck metal that has endeared them to their fans for the past 15 years.
Needing a compact yet powerful narrow-beam fixture that could keep up with the band on their 2019 “Dangerous” tour, which kicked off January 24th in Lexington, Kentucky, lighting designer David Summers chose 12 Elation DARTZ 360™ fixtures, supplied by Squeek Lights, as the bread and butter of his design.
“It takes a lot to keep up with a band this fast,” says Summers, who’s been with the band just over a year and describes his lighting design as fast-paced, precise and large. “We needed a light that could move fast with a good mix of color and effects options.” Using 12 of the 3-degree RGB DARTZ fixtures grouped across four towers of 5-foot pipe in a straight line upstage, Summers put together an impactful yet artistic design that captures the emotion of the band and the energy in the hard-driving music.
“This set up yields insane positions, especially for universal pan/tilt cues,” the designer says, referring to the DARTZ’s continuous 360° pan and tilt capability, an ideal feature for an aggressive band like August Burn Red . “I obviously love the infinite pan and tilt options with this light. But truthfully, I think it’s an awesome beam fixture that doesn’t eat up your budget but can absolutely deliver in any setting.” Using the fixture’s 3-degree aperture to create classic ACL beam looks, the designer also dug deeper into the fixture’s feature set to access an effects package of gobos and prisms.
From their four 5-foot high upstage positions, two each side of the drum riser, Summers effectively splits the visual plane in two, allowing for a variety of design possibilities. “I’m a big fan of symmetrical looks and movements so anything with big sweeping ‘XX’s’ and ‘VV’s’ I love,” he said. “I have an ‘XVXVX’ cue that I use frequently on the tour.”
The band also carries six Elation SixBar 1000™ six-color LED battens as side light along with six Proton 3K Color™ LED strobes positioned on the upstage deck. “These are my favorite for creating builds and I love using these while I’m transitioning between cues,” says Summers, adding that he has been using Elation lights on shows for three years now. Antari Z-350 Fazers provide a canopy of dry haze for revealing mid-air beams while lighting control comes via an M2GO console with an M-Touch used as a wing.
Lighting vendor for the “Dangerous” tour is New York-based rental company Squeek Lights, headed by Victor Zeiser. “I was waiting for an LED beam fixture with good color mixing and intensity,” he said, “and I found it in the DARTZ and its narrow beamy look.” LD Summers comments, “Squeek Lights is completely dedicated to bringing production to bands of any level and any genre at a price bands can afford without breaking their budgets. Put simply, they’re doing it smarter and I’m grateful to be a part of their team.”
August Burns Red’s winter “Dangerous” outing runs until March 2nd and includes several Canadian dates.
Photos: Rob Wallace, @mindful_photo on Instagram