Neil Finn is on the road with his Dizzy Heights tour, a show full of lush aural landscapes and exotic arrangements complimented by evocative lighting and a large, fluffy tapestry backdrop created by Noel Crombie and partner Sally Mill.
Lighting designer David Harding began his relationship with Neil way back in the 80’s when he was the Vari*Lite tech/operator for Crowded House. Over the years he has built a solid relationship with Neil who didn’t even have to brief David on what he wanted for his lighting on the Dizzy Heights tour, such is their relationship.
“I opted for practical lighting for the band and Neil is quite minimalistic,” explained David. “Colours are either in contrast, or, complimentary to how the backdrop is lit. The backdrop is the cornerstone for setting the scene. It reacts brilliantly and in a great number of ways to light.”
David deployed two truss system with VL550 for tungsten wash colour, VL3000 Spots for air art and stage floor texture, plus 8 x VL3000 Spot for backdrop art. UV picks out hidden highlights in backdrop whilst LED lighting is used for the rear cyc and front up light of backdrop.
“I have always loved the optics of the VL3000,” said David. “While some other fixtures on the market are very appealing, they don’t have the zoom range I need working in smaller theatres. I was an early fan of the original VL5 when that series was released and used them for a Wendy Matthews tour. I am a huge fan of varying colour temperature through the dimming range. Only tungsten can provide that effect. The VL550 is the perfect small tungsten wash for small theatres.”
David also has VL1000 TS in his rig, again for the tungsten effect as well as the shutters. He describes the fixture as the perfect key light particularly as Neil’s show is too theatrical for follow spots.
As David was a major contributor in development of the Jands Vista control platform, it was no surprise that he chose it for this tour! For the USA and Europe legs of the tour he travels a Vista L5 as the master and his own S1 console as well as two M1 wings with a Dell touch screen as backup and for hotel programming. “The manual interface is perfect for when there is a need for lot of on the fly manipulation,” David commented. “It allows for a fluid, organic show.” David also favours the Vista’s assignable surface functions as well as the timeline.
- Vista L5 Console
- Vista S3 Control Surface
- 2 x Vista M1 Control Surfaces
- 16 x Vari*Lite VL500 w/external dimmer
- 14 x Vari*Lite VL300
- 6 x ChromaQ ColourForce 48
- 6 x ChromaQ ColourBlaze 72
- 6 x Red Heads
- 6 x DWE 8 light floods