Maarten De Man Reflects Meaning of Tourist LeMC Tour with CHAUVET Professional

Posted on July 8, 2024

Photo: Picturesk

ANTWERP – “The atmosphere during a concert in a theater hall is very different from that at a festival or in an arena.” Tourist LeMC told a journalist at the start of his Onrust tour. That is precisely why the renowned Flemish hip-hop-folk artist eschewed his usual venues and built this 23-show tour around more intimate theatres.

Theatres, as Tourist LeMC noted to his interviewer, exert a “unifying force” on audiences, encouraging them to see each other, come together, and be open to new ideas and messages. Communicating with the audience on this level was critical to Tourist LeMC’s vision for this tour. Building on the theme of his recent hit “The Other,” he wanted to emphasize the importance of people overcoming the boundaries that separate them, an especially important ideal in times like these.

Setting a supportive tone for Tourist LeMC on this tour was an engaging, intimate lighting design by Maarten De Man of MDM Productions that featured CHAUVET Professional fixtures supplied by Splendit.

Photo: Picturesk

“This was the very first time that Tourist LeMC played in theatres,” said De Man. “Normally we are playing at larger festivals and larger concert halls. I designed the set to fit the Bourla (a 900-seat theatre in Antwerp). To bring this powerful story so close to the audience in a theatre was quite a challenge.”

A challenge? Most definitely — but it was one that De Man met with grace and style. Using beautifully balanced down lighting, subtle color combinations, tightly focused spots, and occasional monochromatic washes, he conveyed the wide range of moods, musings, and emotions that gave this concert its engaging power.

Contributing to the show’s ethereal effect were the rig’s 12 Rogue Outcast 1 BeamWashes used as top lights. “During one song, I used the ring of the Outcast fixtures to achieve the effect of twinkling stars,” he said. “This was why I specifically chose this wash. It also has a powerful output compared to other brands.”

Photo: Picturesk

Adding to this transcendental effect was a Maverick MK3 Profile, positioned overhead and used at times to create a “sunlight effect.” Adding depth and texture to the stage were the rig’s floor fixtures: five Maverick Storm 2 BeamWashes, and six COLORado PXL Bar battens.

De Man, who ran his show on a ChamSys Stadium MQ500 underscored the thoughtful, redolent mood of the show with evocative backlighting. “There is a mirror foil on the floor behind a tire,” he said. “As an audience you actually ‘do not like this,’ but at certain times, I focus a number of spots on this,” he explained. “Then, sometimes I hit it from the ground or from the air. For example, I focus that one MK3 spot on this mirror foil, beautifully cut out with the knives and this is how we create a reflection beam on the backdrop.”

Combined with De Man’s adroit use of shadows and dark spaces, distinctive lighting angles like this compelled the audience to engage with Tourist LeMC’s message… a message that is worth listening too, especially today.