Lighting operator for both acts was Marcus Jessup, a member of the team at Darrius’ design company Lit Creative, who ran a grandMA2 full-size lighting console, provided by Entec along with a light version for back-up. “The full-size MA2 was an important choice for us because so many options for different looks have to be available as we are constantly creating on the fly,” commented Darrius. “It also needed to accommodate a laser system [sourced from specialist ER Productions] that created a variety of effects throughout the set.”
The designer, who also works with Major Lazer and Diplo, was aided at the O2 by Entec’s four-person lighting crew: Simon ‘Boff’ Howarth, Dave Brierley, Vitalijus Kybartas and Ellis Canwell. He added: “It was great to find that all the gear was in perfect working condition and the crew ensured I didn’t want for anything.”
MARRIAGE OF RESOURCES
Supplying video services was Entec’s regular go-to company, Transition, whose 10-person crew – headed by LED crew chief Carl Stage – included camera director Laurence Delany and operators Pru Fowler, Neil Trierweiler and Tim Moses.
Transition’s crew built a 10.2m wide x 6m high upstage LED screen from 70 panels of ROE MC7 and rigged a pair of Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors which fired IMAG to soft screens either side of the stage. Three cameras were deployed – one at FOH and two in the pit – with Laurence cutting the images for the IMAG inside an OB truck on hire from Zest4 TV.
For the Badu set, the IMAG mix was also sent to VJ Gavin Gamboa who treated the images with effects and colourisation with Resolume software on a MacBook Pro, adding it to graphical content before delivering it to the upstage screen. Dominique Weaver controlled Aiko’s video output with the same infrastructure.
Carl Stage was pleased with the results: “In recent years, Transition has done a lot of one-offs and a few tours with Entec, like the Hollywood Vampires and numerous shows at Wembley, Hammersmith Apollo and Shepherds Bush, and it’s proven to be a very successful marriage of skills and resources.”
The full production package also included backline and risers from John Henry’s, a local crew of 24 from Stage Miracles, trucking from R. Jameson and KB Event, and catering provided by Eat To The Beat with a team managed by Michelle Bearsby-Lewis.
After Jhené Aiko thrilled the crowd with cuts from her albums Souled Out and Trip, the fans had a long wait for Erykah Badu, who had discovered that her son had been involved in a car crash. An hour and 20 minutes later than scheduled, Badu hit the stage at 10.10pm and overran the Sunday curfew of 10.30pm. NeoLuv’s spokesperson commented: “We obviously received a lot of comments, but I think her delay was understandable and I respect the fact that she showed up at all. Her performance was certainly worth the wait.”
While NeoLuv praised Stumpy for “pulling a brilliant show out of the bag”, the production manager himself was very forthcoming about the crucial roles played by the teams assembled by Entec. He said: “Going way past curfew obviously impacted on our load-out which was finally completed by 2.15am. Despite this, every crew member played out their part with a cheery disposition and great professionalism. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Photos © Joe Okpako / projoe.photography, Mark Cunningham / entecLIVE.com & Mark Saunders