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Yellowcard Turns Up the Intensity with Rogue RH1 Hybrids

PLSN Staff • News • November 20, 2015

NEW YORK – LD Cody James and others at JDI Productions lit Yellowcard’s latest shows with gear from Chauvet Professional, turning up the intensity a notch with Chauvet’s Rogue RH1 Hybrid moving fixture.


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Even by the most eclectic standards of alternative rock, the music of Yellowcard defies easy categorization. Not many other bands, after all, will routinely blend violin arpeggios with scorching guitar riffs. In recent years, the Florida band’s musical wanderings led it in the direction of a more acoustic sound. A road that winds one way, however, inevitably turns back, and so it was that on its recent tour in support of its Top 40 album Lift A Sail, Yellowcard returned to its hard-edged punk-tinged roots. To complement its more aggressive sound, the band punched up its lightshow with help from the Rogue RH1 Hybrid moving fixture from CHAUVET Professional.

“The Rogues turned up the intensity on this tour,” said longtime Yellowcard lighting designer Cody James of JDI Productions. “It was a trip back in time in a way, with the band returning to some older songs that were faster and more hard-driving than the new material they’ve been performing. We wanted a fixture that could reflect this attitude – and the Rogues fit the bill. Plus they were compact and easy to set up, which helped a lot on this cross-country tour. The user-friendliness of this fixture, together with the help I got from  the guys at JDI Productions – Derek, Fred, Mark, Ryan and Dylan made my life easier. I was on the road right before this project started, so I had to keep emailing those guys for information that helped me nail the prep.”

James used six Rogue RH1 Hybrids to go along with the 12 Legend 412 RGBW moving fixtures he already had on his Yellowcard rig. The Rogues were arranged three to each side of the drum riser. A pair of the fixtures on each side of the risers was positioned on cases, while one unit on each side was set on the stage deck directly in front of the cases.

“The Legends were positioned to work with the Rogues to give the stage depth,” said Jones. “We put two Legends between each set of RH1s on the cases. We also put two more Legends on the drum riser in front of the kick drum, two on the stage deck in front of the riser, and two each downstage left and right. Then we added four Legends downstage.”

James used the four downstage Legends primarily as band washes. Meanwhile the Rogue RH1 Hybrids were used to slam the stage with slicing dueling beams of intense colors. “The  Rogues move fast and have sharp beams, so crossing them and playing them off against the colorwashes from the Legends not only gave us extra energy, it also gave the stage depth, without me having to use a large number of fixtures.”

Keeping the number of fixtures in his rig controlled was critically important to James, given the necessities of the Yellowcard Tour, a hectic three-month journey with stops everywhere from The Wiltern in LA to the Best Buy Theater in New York. Yellowcard co-headlined with fellow alternative rock icons New Found Glory. The groups took turns opening for one another on different nights, which meant that James had to adjust his setup time continuously.

“Since the Rogues were so compact in relation to their output, we didn’t need a ton of them, which made it easy to roll them on and off the stage when we opened,” said James. “They were also very easy to pack and they don’t weigh a ton, so stacking in the trailer didn’t take a whole team of people. The Rogues’ cases also ended up being the perfect height to sit the lights on top of for the look I was going for in my show.”

The versatility of the Rogues also helped James keep the looks in his show fresh. “I used a Road Hog 3 to run the show, and my goal was to never let the crowd see the same look two songs in a row,” he said. “I did a lot of switching between the Rogue’s beam, spot and wash functions. From a practical standpoint, it was great to get so many looks out of one fixture.

Although he didn’t use the Rogue’s gobo capabilities often, James called on them at  strategic points in the concert to set a distinct mood for select songs. He used gobos with prisms to contribute to the dark and brooding mood of the 2007 hit Light Up The Sky and the equally haunting Empty Apartment. For the group’s distinctive 2005 Top 20 hit, James accented the violin solo with the Rogue RH1’s gobo roll.

“As a designer, you don’t want to keep using all the tools at your disposal all the time,” he said. “You want to mix things up to keep the show engaging. A nice thing about the Rogue is they gave me lots of tools to choose from, which helps the creative process.”

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