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.