Memories of NYE with Maroon 5
Anyone enjoying Maroon 5’s New Year’s Eve special shows at Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas this year will have witnessed the cool and elegant geometric lines of Brian Jenkins’ production and lighting design … for which he also utilized over 200 Robe moving lights.
The band have frequently played this slot – December 30-31 – at this venue in recent years, and the objective is to present a completely new and fresh visuality for the occasion which is different from any of their touring shows. This year the New Year shows were ahead of an upcoming album release and 2020 world tour.
Brian had wanted to “go geometric” as a design concept for some time, and this presented him with the perfect opportunity, together with the relative luxury of two days for the get-in and set up.
Knowing the band’s video content also helped fuel Brian’s thought process. The upstage LED screen was a triangle 50ft wide at the base and 30ft high, and this was flanked by two angled lighting pods either side at the top – in a diamond orientation – with a third pod over center stage, also at 45 degrees to keep the triangular / diamond architecture. These three trussing pods were each filled with 49 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams in a 7x7 matrix format.
Brian needed a lightweight fixture for this that he could source easily in quantity, and that had some degree of pixel control. Spiider was “a robust fixture and a great fit.”
Fifty-six MegaPointes were on the plot as they are among his current favorite beam lights. Describing these fixtures as “reliable and with plenty of tools”, 30 x MegaPointes were positioned along the sloping edges of the LED screen with the remainder on a V-shaped truss in between the pods.
“They work well for big graphic looks and sometimes cutting across the video imagery,” he commented, adding that if they develop this design in the future, he will add some wings with MegaPointes for additional filling.
He positioned 13 x Robe BMFL WashBeams on an upstage truss, used for powerful silhouetting of the band and to outline them without getting too beamy. They were also used to fly out into a cool fan focus that framed the whole visual stage picture.
The band prefer to use video sparingly. Around a third of the show features playback content, a third IMAG and the other third has no video content onscreen, so lighting was used to produce much of the visual mood and styling.
These Robes and other lighting fixtures – including LED profile moving lights, tilting LED battens and bright LED strobes were all programmed and run by Brian using a grandMA2 full size console supplied by Delicate Productions the lighting and video vendor. His account handlers there – Jason Alt and Angelo Viacava – “were brilliant.”
The biggest challenge of shows like these says Brian was delivering a product to meet all expectations… after management have approved the budget and the crew have worked so hard to hang it. “I strive to be a good steward of people’s time and money” he states, “the pressure is on me to make the design work, be diligent in programming and put in the extra effort.”
Brian has worked with Maroon 5 for some years and enjoys the creative freedom they offer and working with a talented and excellent team of good people including production manager Alan Hornall and tour manager Fred Kharrazi.
Delicate lighting crew chief Paul Mundrick was also an essential part of the human equation which helped deliver these shows so successfully … and we all look forward to catching Maroon 5 on the road in 2020.
Photo Credit: Brian Jenkins