LOUIS – There is no shortage of theatrics in the annual series of El Monstero concerts that sweeps through America’s mid-section every year like some tornado of light and sound. Formed by members of Stir in 1999, and currently made up of musicians from a variety of different bands, the group pays tribute to Pink Floyd with an immersive concert experience involving upwards of 75 actors that’s as mind bending visually as it is musically.
El Monstero captures the evocatively edgy Pink Floyd sound with spot on renditions of songs from classics like “The Wall,” “Dark Side of the Moon” and more. A Pink Floyd concert was never just about sound, though. To recreate the complete concert experience in 2017, the band serves up a dazzling visual show with fantastical live characters in costume, all colorfully illuminated by a Chip Self-designed lightshow that features Rogue and Legend fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
Self, the owner of Logic Systems Sound and Lighting in St. Louis, positioned 24 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures on upstage truss and arranged them on side stage truss ladders. His rig also included 18 Legend 230SR Beams, which were flown on upstage and mid-stage truss in addition to being arranged on the deck to either side of the stage.
From these positions, he was able to create a variety of aerial effects to accent some of the band’s bigger sounds. He also swept the stage with colorful washes and back washed the band. To immerse the crowd further in the show, he used his beams and washes for audience lighting.
Going beyond these concert functions, however, Self relied on his lighting rig to accent the show’s theatrical dimensions, creating a visual experience that challenged perceptions in true Pink Floyd fashion.
El Monstero’s tribute to the iconic band is rich with outlandish characters, from stylized police officers to floating urchins and acrobats. Self dramatized the other-worldly aspects of these characters by drenching them in a variety of rich shades of vivid light from the RGBW Rogue LED wash units. Drawing on the Rogue R2 Wash fixture’s five zones of LED control and wide 12° to 49° zoom range, he also used the fixture to effect sudden changes in the appearance of the stage.
At other times, Self layered his Rogues, Legends and other fixtures to add a sense of depth to the stage. “My goal was to create an immersive experience that encouraged the audience to escape day-to-day reality and get caught up in the Pink Floyd experience as conveyed by El Monstero,” he said. “We have so much technology today in products like the Chauvet fixtures that wasn’t available in Pink Floyd’s heyday. This opens a wide range of new creative opportunities, which makes the experience of designing a show like this even more fun.”