PROVIDENCE, RI — LD Cody James of JDI Productions lit Yellowcard’s concert at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel concert hall here earlier this year using Legend 230SR Beam and Legend 412 moving heads from Chauvet Professional. The concert marked the 10th anniversary of the release of Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue album.
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The platinum recording group Yellowcard refuses to be pigeonholed. That’s not surprising from a band that was featured in a compilation called “Punk Goes Acoustic.” Audiences may love Yellowcard’s meshing musical performances — but some flexible fixtures in the hands of a skilled LD are required to create a lightshow that keeps pace with the group’s eclectic musical mix. The Legend 230SR Beam and Legend 412 moving heads from CHAUVET Professional provided this flexibility, while LD Cody James of JDI Productions furnished the skill to create just such a lightshow for the band’s sold out performance at the iconic Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel concert hall.
Described by one music critic as “two concerts in one,” the Lupo’s appearance marked the. The concert was divided into two hour-long sets: the first devoted strictly to acoustic performances, and the second turned over to the band’s famous hard-driving electric punk sound.
Yellowcard’s LD since 2012, James relied on the CHAUVET Professional fixtures to set a distinctly different visual tone for each set. “The moods of the two sets were very different, and this had to be reflected in the lightshow,” he said. “We used the Legend 412s to create a mellow atmosphere during the first set and then turned to the SR Beams to create a big bang in the second hour. In both cases the mood created by the lights got the audience more into the music being performed on stage.”
Time pressure made James’ task even more challenging. As a result of scheduling issues, he had only six hours to build and program the Yellowcard lightshow. “I’ve worked with Legend fixtures before and they are very responsive; this made programming very easy, which was essential given the timeframe we faced,” he said. “The lights were critical to this show coming off successfully, so was Derek Iorfida at JDI Productions, who was always there when I need him.”
James used 12 Legend 412 moving heads on upright trusses across the back of the stage. The fixtures were staggered at different heights on the truss to provide a more textured color wash. With a light source of a dozen 10-watt RGBW LEDs and color macros with speed adjustments, the Legend 412 units provided a richly saturated uniform output that supported the mellow acoustic mood during the concert’s first hour.
When the pace quickened in hour two, the half dozen Legend 230SR Beams in James’ rig were there to pump up the crowd with their smooth ultra-quick movements across the stage and audience. “The hard edged beams from the 230SR have the same punch and intensity as the band’s music, so it gave the fans the same visual feeling they were already getting from the songs themselves. The fast pan and tilt movements of the Legend 230SR Beams were important to me, because the pace of the band’s electric music is pretty intense.”
Powered by a 230-watt Osram Sirius lamp and putting out an intense 96,000 lux at 15 meters, and with a slit-like 2.25-degree beam angle, the Legend 230SR Beam delivers the intensity Yellowcard’s music calls for, according to James. The LD was also impressed with the gobos he could create with the fixture. “I liked the gobos’ capabilities,” he said. “This definitely came into play with my lighting design. During the electric set the band went from fast punk pieces to giant crowd sing-alongs, so I used the very distinct gobos to create some separation between the different types of songs.”
Figuring out how to navigate your way through sharp musical turns is part of the challenge and fun of designing for a group like Yellowcard, says James -- especially when you have some nimble fixtures like these Legend units in your rig.