Amidst the thousands of celebrations happening world-wide for the 2018-2019 roll over… the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) played a very special Great Gatsby themed party in the super-plush lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dallas, which required diligent lighting to produce the correct ambience.
Randy Cline of Time Matters Entertainment, based in Plano just north of Dallas, was the event’s technical producer, coordinating all the staging elements, and working for communications agency Wheelhouse Marketing & PR. He asked lighting designer Eric Wade of Crossfade Design to create a dramatically different lighting scheme to set the scene and a stylish tone for a classy evening of fun and music.
Challenged for power and lighting positions in and around the lobby, powerful LED light sources were the only way to go, so Eric selected Robe LEDBeam 150s and DL7S Profiles as his main fixtures.
This was also a unique presentation in that there was no conventional stage, instead, the 16 NOJO musicians were positioned in the lobby, all on the deck, with a dancefloor and a VIP area set up immediately in front of the orchestra, near the bar entrance.
In response, Eric deployed lights wherever he could fit them. Fixtures were ensconced around the floor, on the PA stacks, secreted behind couches, tables, and even around the hotel’s front desk!
“I like to take a truck load of lights and design onsite to cover all bases on these type of shows” he explained. “I took the ‘Grip Truck Theory’ quite literally and then just had my guys grab what I needed from it to light all the different areas.”
Eric has used Robe Tarrantulas many times – including for the house rig which he designed at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quicken Loans Arena and in fact it’s his favorite LED wash luminaire – but Tarrantulas were far too intense for this application where he needed stealth, subtlety and smallness!
This was his first time using both these types of Robe LED fixtures!
The DL7S Profiles were used to light the lobby celling. Two fixtures covered the entire ceiling evenly and Eric was able to create striking multi-layered patterning and texturing. “It’s a great light” he said, impressed with the zoom, focus, and gobo selection.
The LEDBeam 150s were the “perfect fixture for this job – wonderfully small with more than enough horsepower for the size and application! They made a huge impact in the limited available space”. He intimated that he’ll be using them a lot more in the future.
He also used some wireless battery powered LED fixtures and some LED battens, all supplied via Time Matters Entertainment’s dry hire division TMELED.com and controlled from a grandMA2 console.
Endeavouring to maintain an atmosphere of elegance in the marble columned lobby with its intricate deep blue and gold Texas flower petal carpets and other bespoke features while loading in, positioning and rigging fixtures was another galvanizing task for Eric and his crew! This included his sons Aaron and Brandon Wade, both Oklahoma University Drama department students who have toured extensively during the summers.
“They have been working with their Dad so long that they know my mood and MO exactly, which helped make designing on-the-fly extremely straightforward in this case” stated Eric.
Eric has always been a big Robe fan, and talking more generally, he commented that being “quite old-skool”, he really cares about the service and commitment. He has the utmost respect for ‘his guys’ on the Robe North America team – Craig Burross and Marty Postma – who always ensure that he has everything he needs for shows and are there to support him.
Randy is also sold on Robe. He and business partner Taylor Hobart recently established Time Matters Entertainmnent’s TMELED.com rental shop – to service both existing and new accounts due to Randy’s many years working as a show producer and general contractor. This new venture has made some serious investment in Robe including BMFL Blades, LightMaster side mounting kits (to facilitate their use as follow spots), RoboSpot BaseStation & MotionCamera systems (for remote follow spot operation), Tarrantulas, MegaPointes, DL7S Profiles, DL4F Washes and LEDbeam150s.
“After much due diligence I came to one conclusion… and that is that Robe’s technology and team are the future and we look forward to a great partnership with John McDowell and the Robe team for many years to come.”
Helping to make this gig rock were NOJO creative director Adonis Rose, Randy’s client Julie Curtis, president of Wheelhouse Marketing & P.R, event producer Sarah Campbell, audio designer Keith Kettrey, and our audiovisual partners at Showtech Productions.