BOSTON – Described by Billboard as “trance music’s most influential curator,” Armin van Buuren has taken this branch of electronic music to new heights. The Dutch-born DJ’s “State of Trance” podcast attracts over 25 million listeners a week and is broadcast on 40-plus FM radio stations around the world.
As captivating as these broadcasts are, however, they’re only preludes to the truly transformative trance experience of a van Buuren concert. This was clearly evident in late September at the House of Blues in Boston, where the Grammy-nominated artist served up a mesmerizing mix of music wrapped around an immersive lightshow. At the heart of it all was a towering video wall made of MVP Ta8 Curve SMD LED tiles from CHAUVET Professional.
Image Production Services used 136 MVP Ta8 tiles, which have an 8.33 mm pixel pitch, to create the striking display. The majority of those tiles were used to build a 26’x18’ main wall, while the remainder went into the construction of a 12’x 6’ screen in front of the DJ booth. Mounted on a 40′ truss with 4 ½ ton motors, the main wall dominated the venue like some giant digital altar.
“The big wall performed flawlessly,” said Darren Lussier of Image Production Services, which installed the video wall for the concert. “Armin van Buuren’s people provided the custom content for the wall. We ran the wall at full brightness because of the intensity of the show. We had an army of moving head beams, washes and lasers to either side of the wall, as well as flying overhead on truss, but the wall had no trouble standing out against them. Whatever we threw at the wall, it was there front and center commanding attention.”
Aside from being bright, the video wall panels had to be fast and versatile. Even by the standards of trance music, Armin van Buuren’s music is wildly free flowing, filled with rollercoaster-like arpeggios, and veering from big sound washes one minute to frenetic synthesized staccatos the next.
The video walls, along with the moving fixtures on the House of Blues rig, were able to keep up with every twist and turn of the music, reflecting its powerful emotional force with saturated colors, breakout patterns, video images and eye-searing strobing. For example, at the start of the show when the music was slow and sultry, the panels showed flowingly evocative images of dancers. Then when the musical tempo suddenly took off, the breakout images on the panels kept pace with a ferocious visual intensity.
Offering a perspective on his chosen musical genre, Armin van Buuren once remarked to the press: “It’s more than just music, it’s a lifestyle for a lot of people.” Lighting displays as delivered by Image Product Services on that night in Boston are definitely part of that experience.