CHAUVET, Santana, and Buddy Guy — Lighting Legends!

Posted on August 4, 2014

Ask any music critic to make a list of the most influential guitarists of all time, and it won’t take long before the names “Santana” and “Guy” appear. Carlos Santa and Buddy Guy have garnered 16 Grammy Awards between them and for one magical night this summer, the two guitar virtuosos performed on stage at The Greenwich Town Party under the light of 22 Legend 230SR Beams from CHAUVET Professional.

An intensely bright moving yoke fixture powered by a 230-watt Osram Sirius lamp, the Legend 230SR Beam anchored a muscular lighting rig installed by JDI Productions of Johnston, RI. “We used over 140 fixtures on the stage, covering the performers and reaching out into the audience,” said LD and Lighting Crew Chief Derek Iorfida of the show. “This was a dynamic series of performances, not just by the two iconic headliners but all the artists on the program and we wanted to match the intensity of the music with an overwhelmingly powerful lighting display.”

Iorfida singled out the Legend 230SR Beam, which has an output of 96,000 lux at 15 meters and a sharp 2.25° beam angle, for the visual bang it brought to his lightshow. “The Legends were so impactful, they were without a doubt the primary fixture on the rig; they added a lot of intensity to the performances and drew the crowd toward the stage. They had the throw distance to reach out into the crowd as audience lights, which was essential to creating the atmosphere we wanted.”

The Legend 230SR Beams were positioned mid-stage and upstage plus on towers placed under the upstage truss.  “The idea was to create an immersive lighting experience,” said Iorfida. “We wanted bright colorful light everywhere to capture the excitement. We asked a lot from the Legend fixtures; and we pretty much used every feature they had during this 12 hour show, including split colors, gobos and beam shaping.”

Iorfida and Lighting Programmer/ Operator Dara Guiney varied their lightshow during the half-day concert to enhance each act’s individual identity. “We had a number of different acts coming on stage in addition to the two main stars, “he said, “so we felt it was important to have breaks in the lightshow to create different looks for different artists on stage; all the while projecting the same level of intensity. Given the stature of Santana and Buddy Guy, we wanted the show to look clean and sharp. ”

A local summer festival that features two of the music world’s most significant guitarists is obviously no ordinary town party; but then, Greenwich is no ordinary town. The affluent enclave on the Long Island Sound has, after all, been ranked number one on the CNN Money and Money Magazine lists of the 100 best places to live in the United States and is home to a wide variety of media celebrities who work in nearby Manhattan.

Iorfida has been lighting the annual event, which is open only to Greenwich residents, for five years. “The party is a very big deal locally,” he said. “Last year 5,000 people attended. We put a lot of work into creating a lightshow that leaves everyone feeling that they’ve been to something special. That’s really what concert lighting is all about.”