Queen + Adam Lambert LD Rob Sinclair

PLSN Staff • Designer Insights • October 9, 2014

Designer Rob Sinclair has just completed a tour leg for Queen + Adam Lambert that finished in New Zealand Sept. 3. We caught the show while the band was touring the U.S. and spoke with Sinclair about the tour he directed as well. Among some of Sinclair’s credits — Miley Cyrus, Peter Gabriel, Pet Shop Boys and Keane (all covered in past PLSN issues). He’s also designed for Adele, Vampire Weekend, Goldfrapp and many more. Here’s what Sinclair had to say about the Queen + Adam Lambert tour.

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve JenningsRob Sinclair, Lighting Designer/Director:

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve Jennings“I first got involved with Queen when Juliette Slater, the tour director, asked me to become involved with The Queen Extravaganza Tour, which is the official tribute show, produced by Roger Taylor and Brian May. We had a great time working on that show, and I was then asked to light the previous Queen + Adam Lambert shows in 2012. It’s always great to have repeat business, and I was delighted to be asked back this year.

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve Jennings“Working with Queen is very daunting because of their long and impressive legacy of amazing, cutting edge shows stretching back to the 1970’s. Both Brian and Roger know a lot about the mechanics of production, and it’s always great to work with clients who like to be involved at all stages of the process. This is one tour I stayed on as lighting director when the band asked very nicely, the dates worked out and it’s one of those lovely tours where the whole team is a pleasure to be with. Plus, I get to run lights for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ every night. What’s not to love?

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve JenningsQueen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve Jennings“I’m running the show using the Jands Vista console, which I’ve used for so long that it’s almost an extension of my brain. I like that I don’t have to do lots of math, don’t have to remember lots of numbers, and that it’s really quick and simple to make things happen. Plus, ‘copy-paste’ between fixture types is worth the price of admission alone.

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve Jennings“Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert had a tremendous amount of input at all stages in the show. Brian and Roger wanted the iconic Q stage that’s been brought to life so well by Ric Lipson and Ray Winkler at Stufish, and even sketched it in one of our early meetings in a way that’s still very recognizable. Brian, Roger and their longtime manager Jim Beach have been putting shows together since I was at infant school and have a tremendously broad knowledge of all aspects of production. I’ve learnt so much working with them.

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve JenningsQueen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve Jennings“Production Manager Joe Sanchez and his team are old friends from past Pet Shop Boys tours, and it’s been great to see them again. They have a very well-honed and efficient way of working that I really enjoy. Seth Conlin is the lighting crew chief. It’s my first time working with him, and it’s been a pleasure since the first email. His attention to detail and good humor under all circumstances is remarkable and much appreciated.

“Lighting is supplied by Upstaging Inc. I’ve been working with John Bahnick since my first U.S. tour 15 years ago. He’s looked after us really well and I very much appreciate all of the Upstaging attention to detail. I knew we needed a lot of lights for the huge Queen look, and I also knew that our budget, although generous, wasn’t extremely huge, so I chose fixtures that I liked and that I knew Upstaging had in stock. Asking for new toys isn’t the best way to stretch a budget. It’s not too surprising — the [Martin] MAC Vipers and [Vari-Lite] VL3500’s are the workhorses of the rig. The [Ayrton] MagicPanels (and the custom software Ayrton made us to cut the corner LEDS out and make the beam look oval to match the set) light the Q really well, and the Clay Paky Sharpys cut through everything and are the cherries on the cake.

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve JenningsQueen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve Jennings“On the laser side is ER Productions, and my longtime friend and collaborator Marc Weber together with Ross Marshall who ran the show on tour. We have some of the first of their new RGB Beam/Burst boxes, which are wonderful, as well as six more conventional Tripan scanning lasers. As always, the ER guys really shine at detailed and sensitive programming, and I couldn’t be happier with the laser programmed songs. VER Productions and Cherie Sturm have done a great job with the screens and video control. The band’s reaction to the quality of the screen when they first saw it was one of amazement at the clarity. We had to spend a lot of time cleaning up old standard definition footage, as the screen would show up any flaw.

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve Jennings“It’s the first time I’ve worked with Steve Price, the video director, and it’s been a joy. His cut is engaging whilst always staying informative, and we always see exactly what we need to. My old friend Nev Bull works alongside Steve to do some great Catalyst camera effects and to deal with all the content playback. It’s a high-pressure job — Freddie Mercury can never be out of time in his appearances on screen — and Nev does it brilliantly.

Queen + Adam Lambert 2014 tour photo by Steve Jennings“It’s been one of those fun tours where everyone knows what they’re doing, there are no weak links and I’m incredibly happy with, and proud of, the result we’ve achieved together.”

Queen + Adam Lambert Tour 2014

Production Companies:

  • Lighting: Upstaging Inc. (John Bahnick)
  • Set Design: Stufish (Ric Lipson, Ray Winkler)
  • Video: VER Productions (Cherie Sturm)
  • Lasers: ER Productions (Marc Webber)
  • Pyro: Quantum Special Effects (Shaun Barnett)
  • Trucking: Truck N’ Roll


  • Lighting Designer/Director: Rob Sinclair
  • Production Manager: Joe Sanchez
  • Set Fabrication: PRG (Mark Peterson)
  • Tour Director: Juliette Slater
  • Tour Manager: Justine Ellis
  • Stage Manager: Roger Cabot
  • Show Stage Manager/Carpenter: Jim Webb
  • Production Coordinator: Jil Aram
  • Lighting Crew Chief: Seth Conlin
  • Lighting Techs: Benji Meserole, Kenny Rutkowski, Robin Sheridan, Justin Doucette, Tony Quinn
  • Video Crew Chief/Camera Operator: Ed Prescott
  • Video Crew/Camera Operators: Conrad Perry, Liselle Bertrand, Tim Cerola, Graham Lambkin
  • Video Catalyst Operator: Neville Bull
  • Video Content Producer: Jack James
  • Video Content Creators: Stefan Goodchild, Louise Rhoades-Brown, Alexander Adderly
  • Laser Programmer: Ross Marshall
  • Pyro Tech: Brian Baker
  • Head Rigger: Todd Mauger
  • 2nd Rigger/Automation: Frederic Jacques
  • Carpenters: Tom Keane, Mike Burgess, Andy Bews, Brian Neighley


2       Jands Vista Lighting consoles

98     Martin MAC Viper Profiles

40     Vari*Lite VL3500 Wash FXs

23     Clay Paky Sharpys

45     SGM X5 Strobes

24     Ayrton MagicPanels

60     2-Lite Molefays

28     8-Lite Molefays

6       DF50 Hazers

6       ZR 44 Foggers

For additional Queen + Adam Lambert tour photos, go to www.plsn.me/QueenLambert2014

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