PHOENIX – At the entrance to Bassrush Massive AZ was a massive art display that featured two cubes, a smaller one wedged inside a larger version of itself. Emulating the signature artwork of the festival’s promotional material, the object attracted the immediate attention of fans, most of whom stepped inside the mesmerizing cubic structure for social media photos. It was the first, but certainly not the last, immersive experience they would enjoy that evening.
Kicking off the Sun Valley’s Fall Music Festival season on Saturday August 25th, the event took fans on a head-banging journey deep inside the heart of bass-heavy sound, serving up a relentless sonic barrage from the likes of Zeds Dead, Nightmre, HEKLER and other artists. Keeping pace with every bass drop and trapstep was a searing, fast-moving lightshow designed by Joe Musico and run by Lighting Director Luis Torres that featured CHAUVET Professional Maverick and Rogue fixtures.
“I have been working with Guillermo Roggero from Hardwired Productions for many years, and we’ve been doing shows for many years with Relentless Beats, which produces Bassrush,” said Torres. “These shows have been growing at an incredible rate, and a big reason why is because they really immerse the fans in what this music is all about. Lighting is a big part of that experience. Joe Musico’s design didn’t just light the performances, we use light to grab the audience.”
Running the lightshow for all the artists at Bassrush, Torres drew on a deep bag of tricks to keep things fresh all night long. With the exception of some brief fade to black moments, the lightshow was a swirl of constant motion, with chase sequences running across the entire stage, strobes flashing in sync with the music, beams weaving patterns in the air, and audience lighting filling the spacious Rawhide Event Center venue. Color palettes changed throughout the show, going from pale monochromes to bold, vivid hues. Large puffs of fog accented the intense lighting at key points.
“Every act was different from every other act, and that made the show interesting,” said Torres. “Some were very chill and relaxing, which allowed us to use darker colors and slow things down a bit. Other moments were very energetic and fast paced, which let us go all out with strobes, vibrant colors, movements, and dimming effects.”
Helping to keep things varied were the 20 Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures and 20 Rogue R2 Washes in the Musico-designed rig. “The Mavericks and Rogues were both very bright, so they had no trouble keeping up with the intensity of our strobing,” said Torres. “They were also very effective with the fog. I really appreciated how their light looked with fog, and how bright and intense both fixtures were in general. Both the R2 and the MK2 Spots allowed me to create very dynamic looks and effects regardless of which color I used. Plus, the gobos in the MK2 Spot look great with fog.”
Musico and Torres positioned eight of the Maverick MK2 Spots on truss that hung over the crowd 25 feet in front the downstage edge. The 12 Maverick fixtures were arranged on the stage deck. “They were one of my main fixtures for the show,” said Torres. “The fixtures’ wide focus and awesome gobos allowed me to create some very cool static looks over the crowd.”
Drawing on the versatility of the Rogue R2 Wash, Torres positioned this fixture throughout the rig. “We had four Rogues hung on the downstage truss over the crowd to use as a DJ wash,” he said. “An additional four Rogues were flown on upstage truss, and the other 12 were used with the Mavericks in the floor package for eye candy.”
As a Phoenix native, Torres was especially moved to be running the lights at Bassrush in his hometown. “Being able to do this every year in the town where I’m from is special,” he said. “It’s something I’ll always remember.” So will the fans who turned out for this immersive sound and sight experience.