Electronic music pioneer and innovator Gary Numan is on the road again showcasing his acclaimed, apocalyptic, and highly topical climate crisis highlighting studio album Intruder – his 19th – which dropped in 2021, combined with some greats from his impressive back catalogue. The UK leg of the tour featured a show-stopping performance at Wembley Arena in London for which lighting designer Dustin Snyder used large quantities of Robe MegaPointes and LEDBeam 150s together with other lights supplied by rental specialist, Siyan.
Dustin has been working with the artist since 2014. The Intruder tour started in the US with Dustin taking the three fractured lines of face paint from the album artwork as a creative starting point, which translated into columns of asymmetric and fragmented video panels onstage.
The UK tour was designed around Wembley being the largest gig, which was also a DVD record, and to be scalable to fit into other venues, so Dustin specified 88 x Robe LEDBeam 150s and 30 x MegaPointes. These were used tastefully, stylishly and to great effect for that flagship performance and then scaled to 60 and 20 fixtures respectively for the rest of the tour.
Gary Numan takes an active interest in the look of all his stage shows whilst also giving Dustin the space to develop his own ideas and directions. “He’s great to work with,” comments the LD, explaining that for this tour, “he specifically wanted lots of beams,” partly to complement the playback video content, much of which was created by Paul Green, and also because he likes the definition of beams and the ephemerality of break up effects.
The MegaPointes were absolutely key to the show aesthetic.
For the tour, these were positioned on the deck and upstage on the floor on top of a row of flightcases. For Wembley, MegaPointes were also added to the overhead trusses giving plenty of powerful multi-layered MegaPointe looks that helped define and frame the stage.
These were complemented with the LEDBeam 150s, some rigged on vertical ladders in between the columns of video panels, in the gaps between a series of vertically mounted LED battens. The battens were all run in ‘pixel’ mode for additional dynamics, running via Resolume.
Another two banks of LEDBeam 150s were under the band risers onstage with more topping six side booms, each of which also had a vertical LED batten below. Their deployment also mimicked a layered grid system similar to the MegaPointes, and juxtaposed with the video design, produced a vast selection of anarchic looks sitting alongside the perfection of symmetry.
While he knew exactly what the MegaPointes would produce which is why they were on the spec, it was the first time Dustin had used the tiny LEDBeam 150s, which he describes as “pretty awesome!”
He looked at Siyan’s inventory ahead of the tour for something small that would fit in the gaps and give both a wash and a beam, so it proved a perfect fit.
Overall, Dustin, who is based in LA and working internationally, thinks Robe is a “solid and reliable brand,” and notes, “I’m always happy when I see it is available.”
He was also pleased with features like the continuity in colours between the different Robe fixtures, and the combination of MegaPointes and LEDBeam 150s gave him all the power needed to deliver an exciting and edgy lightshow.
The UK leg of the tour all went “very smoothly” he reported, in no small part due to the “fantastic” crew from Siyan who dovetailed and worked harmoniously with the touring production team.
The UK lighting crew included touring lighting techs Jason Tomes, Tom Hewitt and Sam “trash panda” James. Chris Cunningham looked after all the extras at Wembley and Jon Barlow was the Wembley lighting crew chief.
The tour’s FOH sound was mixed by Dave Dupuis who is also the tour manager.
Tom Grant, Siyan’s account handler and Wembley production manager, commented, “It was great to be working with Dave again after crossing paths on previous tours and also meet Dustin who came onboard to design lighting this time around. Both are a pleasure to work alongside and presented us with a clear picture of what they wanted to achieve, so we had all the info needed to help develop the creative into physical reality.
“It also was a huge honour to be asked by Dave to production manage the Wembley gig, given the historic significance of this show for Gary. Being part of making this happen will be a career highlight for sure!”
Mike Williams was the video project manager and the IMAG & live camera director at Wembley was Oliver Bowring. Paul Green was the DoP for the DVD shoot.
For the tour, lighting and rigging were supplied by Siyan with video by Universal Pixels. Audio for Wembley was supplied by Stage Audio Services.
Photo Credit: Lindsay Cave
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