Entec supports US rockers on follow-up tour

Re-establishing themselves as kings of alt-metal, Deftones wasted no time in melting their fans’ faces with the unforgiving onslaught of ‘Korea’ as they opened their set on May 5th at London’s Alexandra Palace, the first stop on their latest UK mini-tour – part of the band’s second European trek in less than a year to take advantage of a lighting package from Entec.

One of the most animated frontmen in rock, singer Chino Moreno – and colleagues Sergio Vega (bass), Stephen Carpenter (guitar), Abe Cunningham (drums) and Frank Delgado (keyboards) – seemed to almost blow the roof off the historic 144-year old landmark at a show that also boasted support from another successful American act, AFI (A Fire Inside).

Entec was onboard from April 11th to provide equipment for five days of rehearsals at Cato Music’s south London studios and 13 shows in Europe ahead of their UK performances, which had crew support from Entec’s Peter ‘Pepper’ Schofield, Andy Emmerson and Damian Courage.

When the Sacramento outfit enlisted Entec’s support last summer for their show at Wembley’s SSE Arena and at a number of European festivals, their lighting rig intentionally had an ‘old school’ flavour, with a heavy dose of white light and little in the way of colour. According to Andy Tinsley, their tour/production manager and FOH sound engineer, however, colour plays a much bigger role on this latest leg of the Gore tour, not least due to the increased dominance of the Ayrton MagicPanel-R, whose 25 15-watt LED sources per unit offer a range of creative possibilities.

Also known for his work with Rise Against, Alkaline Trio and Mastodon, Tinsley commented: “They really help to create some diversity because they can be programmed to produce automated windmill effects and create different patterns of light by altering the selection of the 25 LED sources. I think that this show has at least as much impact as it did in 2016 but through a different approach that uses less electricity, as you’d expect from an LED solution. Those MagicPanels can be incredibly bright if you need them to be and deliver a serious amount of punch.

“It is possible to put video through the MagicPanels although the results would have a very dot matrix quality about them which, although not necessarily a bad effect, isn’t what we were looking for. Having said that, we are looking at the DreamPanel which offers more video-friendly options and we may choose to integrate them at a later stage.”

Previously operating an Avolites Pearl Expert Pro console, lighting designer Jon Eddy picked an Avolites Arena desk for this UK tour. The Arena combines the Tiger Touch II interface with increased live control, and both Eddy and Deftones’ lighting crew chief Dave Garcia – who also piloted the lights for support band AFI – were able to link two of the consoles, allowing them to double up on the faders and multiply certain abilities to individually control the floor package and, for the UK, a separate flown rig.

This arrangement was totally in keeping with Eddy’s style of directing a show that, said Tinsley, is very reliant on his feel and desire to respond to the performance differently from one night to the next. “He has to put his hands on the desk rather than program a time code-driven design where everything just happens automatically,” he explained.

The six partially pre-rigged Total Fabrications LAD moving light towers on the stage carried 18 MagicPanel-Rs while four overhead truss fingers housed further MagicPanels. Eddy, who took charge of Deftones’ lighting at the start of 2014, designed the show such that the flown rig mimicked what was achieved with the towers in Europe, while the rake of the fingers gave the flown elements the appearance of a cage above the band with the lights in close proximity to the musicians’ heads.

Between the floor and flown rigs, the other main fixtures on duty included Clay Paky’s A.Leda 20 B-Eye LED washes and Sharpy moving beam lights (mainly used by Eddy as spots), Martin MAC Aura XBs, Viper Profiles and Performances, and old school Atomic 3000 strobes and scrollers.  Conventionals such as Thomas 2- and 4-lite molefay units and Selecon fresnels, and Lycian followspots, along with a set of drapes and Electro Kabuki kit were also part of the touring package.

DIMMER WORLD

Entec stocks a wide variety of distros and buffer racks in different sizes that are specified depending on the scale of the job, and the responsibility of suggesting the most appropriate systems for clients generally falls to the company’s Will Wright and Peter ‘Pepper’ Schofield, the dimmers technician for the flown rig on the UK tour.

Schofield said: “I tend to choose the smallest configuration that we can work with so that we are maximising everyone else’s space, but I’ll factor in enough flexibility to cope with any additional production requirements on-site. We all have our personal preferences and there are certain boxes that I would want to take on a longer tour because of familiarity or efficiency, or both. For a Hammersmith Apollo show, we might take two buffer racks whereas for this one at Ally Pally, I have six.

“Fibre is obviously at the top end of our snake systems; I might also go out with a copper system but on Deftones we have Cat-5. It all comes down to scale and type of application. We always try to build redundancy into our systems and have back-ups close to hand, so that if anything ever went wrong, we are completely prepared to act very quickly.”

Tinsley was once again very positive about the quality, style and delivery of Entec’s service. He commented: “Our experience of working with them on both these tours has been great. In all our dealings with Entec, they’ve responded well to our needs and really taken care of us right the way down the line. I have a lot of respect for them – they go the extra mile to make sure that our show is always what it needs to be.”

After completing their London show with the double-header encore of fan favourites ‘Rocket Skates’ and ‘Back To School’, Deftones hit the road for two additional UK shows at the O2 Apollo in Manchester and Glasgow’s SECC, and finishing their European leg with a pair of dates at Dublin’s Vicar Street before returning to America where they continue to tour throughout June and July.

Photography by Mark Cunningham & Adam Stevenson