Squeek Lights has had their busiest summer ever supplying state-of-the-art lighting packages for tours across the U.S. An especially busy June had the New York-based rental house hopping as they supplied and serviced several acts, including an outing by rock instrumentalists Chon, who toured with a rig of Elation DARTZ 360™ LED moving heads and SixBar 1000™ LED battens.
“We’ve had an insane number of tours going out this summer, which of course is a good thing,” enthused Steve Kosiba of Squeek Lights. “We actually had two tours out in June with rigs that featured Elation lights and just bought more DARTZ so we’ve upped our inventory of those.” Kosiba programmed both those June outings with the Chon rig running off an M2GO lighting console running ONYX software and operated on tour by Colin Bennet.
Squeek Lights has been working with Chon on the California quartet’s last few tours. The band is unique and plays an appealing style of instrumental rock, a blend of interlacing guitar and rhythm that, when complemented with a dynamic light show, is richly captivating.
From looking at the band’s visual vocabulary of the past, Kosiba noted a good deal of pastel colors – cyan, magenta, yellow, lighter lavender. “A lot of fixtures with color wheels don’t give you a lot of pastels to work with but with the DARTZ you can mix any color you want, which was really useful when reaching for those lighter pastel colors, which I did fairly often,” Kosiba explains. “Just having a color mixing fixture that small with that tight of a beam is fantastic.” He adds that he generally turned to more saturated colors with the SixBars to provide more contrast and offset the pastels coming from the DARTZ.
The compact DARTZ moving heads lined the upstage on 2 ½ ft pipe and base to peek out from behind the bassist and drummer with other DARTZ fixtures working from atop road cases. “They provided a line of beams upstage and continued to impress me as far as brightness,” Kosiba said of the narrow-beam LED moving head. “The fact that it gets all that output just from a 50W LED engine is impressive. It’s a great little fixture that you can get cool looks with.”
The LED beam/spot DARTZ projects a tight 3-degree beam and has gobos, dual prisms and unlimited rotation on pan and tilt for a stage filling effect. “I used the prisms a lot,” Kosiba said. “The dual prisms and being able to throw both prisms in at the same time is a really cool look but in particular I really like its big fat circular prism.” The programmer used the continuous 360-degree tilt in a couple cues. He explains, “I’d offset them tilt wise and then start the continuous tilt so it was like two of them at the same angle at any given time rotating through the whole line. It looked really cool.”
Working unobtrusively from the front as foot lighting onto performers were full color SixBar 1000s, 3-foot long LED battens with 6-color multi-chip and discreet, narrow profile. More SixBars worked from the side of the stage. “It’s a bright fixture so I usually ran them at 30-50 percent to avoid blinding the band too much,” Kosiba says, adding that he had the included frost on them to spread and soften the beam. Four SixBars were used to light the downstage guitars with two pushed back to light the drummer and bassist. “Especially when you go into venues that don’t have great front light and side light to have something repeatable like that is great.”
Photos by Sarah Hess. El Ray Theatre, Los Angeles, June 8, 2019