WORCESTER, MA – A Motionless in White concert is not for anyone expecting a predictable metalcore experience. Sometimes described as “horror metal,” the iconic group never fails to surprise and unsettle audiences by pulling unexpected tricks out of its musical bag, whether it’s a shattering blast beat that bursts out of nowhere in the middle of a verse or a haunting keyboard effect that leaves audiences looking over their shoulders. The band’s headline performance at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival was no exception, arousing the crowd with its unexpected twists and turns.
Keeping pace with the music was an intense and sometimes darkly theatrical lightshow by lighting designer Freddy Thompson of JDI Productions that featured a collection of Legend moving fixtures and Vesuvio RGBA foggers from CHAUVET Professional. Thompson used six Legend 230SR Beams and eight Legend 412 moving washes positioned on truss towers, as well as two Vesuvio RGBA foggers on a rig that also included blinders, strobes and hazers to capture the penetrating mood of Motionless in White’s music in light.
“I was going for was a darker theatrical look which I felt would complement the band’s persona,” said the LD. “I used very, very minimal lighting from the house rig at the Palladium, which helped the Legend’s beams stand out even more. By layering the stage with the rich colors of the Legend 412 wash fixtures, I could capture the moment during every song on the band’s set list (which began with Death March and ended with Devil’s Night).”
Thompson was careful to coordinate the colors of the two Legend fixtures in his rig. “At critical points we wanted to bathe the stage in color,” he said. “At those points, I would use brighter colors in the beam fixtures to ensure that they cut through the rich color wash of the Legend 412 units.
“The Vesuvios were critical to creating the theatrical atmosphere on stage,” continued the LD. “We used them to send up colorful columns of fog (the Vesuvio RGBA shoots light through fog). Aside from adding extra drama to the stage, the fog also worked well to highlight gobos, rotating prisms and fast random strobes.”
Thompson positioned the Vesuvio foggers on the downstage center edge, leaving enough room for an ego riser to be placed in between the units. “We arranged the Vesuvios this way so the artist could stand between the units while they shot colorful fog upwards,” said the LD. “It was all very dramatic.”
The Legend fixtures were arranged on four 8’ and two 5’ truss towers. Thompson spaced the taller towers evenly between the drum riser and guitar cabinets. He positioned the shorter towers stage left and stage right. Each tower had a Legend 230SR Beam on top. The taller center truss towers had two Legend 412 fixtures, while the smaller side towers had only one 412 unit.
“Having the beams mounted on top of the towers helped create a great position for these fixtures to be focused almost anywhere desired, whether it was on the audience or a point on stage,” said Thompson. “The 412s were mounted on the face of the truss towers to help create an eye candy effect for the set. I knew these Chauvet fixtures would be a good choice for this design because the units have proven their road worthiness time and time again. With such a short time frame loading in at the beginning of a three-day music festival, I needed fixtures I could trust would get the job done with no issues.
“A big challenge with a project at the end of a three-day festival is that there isn’t a lot of onsite programming time available,” continued the LD. “Thanks to Josh Korel, the band’s production manager sending me a complete set list, I was able to complete most of my programming in our visual studio at JDI Productions using Light Converse. By the time the rig was set up at the beginning of the festival’s third day, I had just enough time to update my position, focus my gobos and start the show.”
Start the show is exactly what Thompson did and with flying colors, not to mention a fistful of dramatic effects. The end result was a lightshow that was as intense, original, evocative and multi-layered as the music of one of the metal genre’s most complex bands.