Liverpool based rental specialist Adlib supplied lighting and audio for the most recent tour by the UK’s hottest vocal harmony group, The Overtones.
The ‘Higher’ tour played a variety of venues in a six week stint around the UK in the run up to Christmas, and resumes in Europe in early 2013.
Adlib’s Alan Harrison was systems tech for all things audio, and ensured that Adlib’s brand new Coda Audio ViRAY system was optimized to perfection daily for FOH engineer Mark Clement.
Ian Tomlinson designed the lighting and set for Adlib, with Neil Holloway taking it out on the road as Lighting Director, bringing a suave and a very cool look and feel to each performance as the band doo-wopped their way into the festive holiday.
This was the second tour outing for Adlib’s new ViRAY system purchased shortly after its official launch in October, it follows the outstandingly good results that have been achieved with Adlib’s other Coda systems.
The ViRAY uses the same revolutionary driver format as Coda’s LA series and is light weight and ideal for an academy / town and city hall venue tour like this. The 25 Kg weight per speaker means they can get reasonable amounts of boxes into the air in most places.
In its largest format on The Overtones, they flew 16 x ViRAY speakers a side together with three SCV-F flown subs at the top of each array, with four Coda SCP-F dual 18 subs a side augmenting the bottom end on the floor.
Coda C10 comparator amps and DN260 crossovers were used to drive all the Coda elements. Working on a sensor feedback system, this significantly helped fine-tune the whole system which, comments Harrison, in the process made the subs exceptionally “Clean and musical”.
He comments that the ViRAY system overall has been “Fantastic” to work with and given all the flexibility needed to fit into the different spaces, sounding excellent everywhere, both flown or ground stacked. “I have really enjoyed working with it,” he concludes.
For infills, they used Adlib’s proprietary cabinets as balcony fills and Coda G-Series for end-of-balcony fills. The Adlib cabinets were powered by Labgruppen PLM10000 amps.
Mark Clement specified an Avid Profile 48 channel desk for FOH and made use of all its on-board effects and features.
The FOH processing / control rack contained Lake LM 26s and 44s - two of each - as per Adlib’s standard set up with tablet remote.
Onstage, everything was also kept extremely clean and tidy - congruous with the band’s slick, entertaining show.
Monitor engineer Christiano Vuolo specified a DiGiCo D5 console, from which he ran ten stereo mixes including a technical feed.
The Overtones all used Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld radio systems with MD-5235 capsules – a combination specified by Vuolo - and Adlib supplied Sennheiser G3 in-ear-monitors for the five of them.
The four piece backing band were all on Shure hard-wireds, and a full selection of mics and stands completed the package, together with a set of Adlib MP4 wedges and an MP4 sub so the drummer could feel some movement … all driven by PLM 10K amps.
Ian Tomlinson was brought on-board early by tour and production manager Paul Allen which was a great advantage, and together they devised the set, with some input from the band, resulting in a stylish fusion of retro and contemporary to suit the band and the tempo of the show.
The set was designed from the outset to optically enlarge the performance area and be flexible enough to fit sensibly into all the venues, giving a good visual consistency.
The lighting was based on three trusses.
The rear truss contained ten Martin Professional MAC 700 Profiles and six MAC Aura LED washes plus the custom illuminated ‘The Overtones’ sign, that was built by LS Live.
Behind this was a full white cyc back-cloth with 11 strings of festoon hanging immediately behind. These worked highly effectively as a diffuse, sparkly effect which also produced a shimmery, soft ambient glow across the cloth.
On the mid truss were another six MAC Auras and five Mac 700 Washes for upstage front light.
Also on the mid-truss were two mirror balls - without which, in true dancehall style, no Overtones visuals would be complete, and in fact these were requested by the band. They were used on a couple of the shower songs to bounce flecks of light around the set and the backdrop.
Also on the mid truss was a kabuki system - the opening artist performed on front of this - and it was used for the band’s intro, which made impact with dramatic pulsing silhouette effects around the five stars.
Rigged on the front truss were six MAC 700 Washes for downstage coverage, with five 4-way Moles for audience illumination - it’s a highly interactive show - and a pair of 1000W fresnels to highlight the backing band, who were neatly ensconced either side of the set’s central steps.
The floor, set and risers were utilized fully for additional lighting positions.
Nine Showtec Active Sunstrips were positioned on the top edges of the set and under the risers behind the band, and nine CK ColorBlaze LED battens on the floor at the back provided a nice even wash all the way up the cyc.
In the downstage corners were two-a-side MAC 700 Washes and they did most of the front lighting which was extremely tidy and worked excellently without the glare and intrusion of follow-spots!
Under the Perspex fronted risers were five JTE PixelLine 1044 battens, with another six lighting up the central steps, cunningly concealed under the upstage section of the set risers, mounted in a meat track for quick and easy deployment!
There was also a single 1000W fresnel backlighting The Overtones themselves just for the intro silhouetting effect.
All the lighting instruments were carefully positioned and worked hard to cover all the dance moves and the whole stage, which was fully utilised throughout the set, which rocked by encompassing a wide variety of genres.
Holloway ran the show from a grandMA2 light, his console of choice.
Joining Holloway on the lighting crew were Neil Smith and Charlie Rushton.
Adlib account handler Phil Kielty commented, “We’ve been fortunate and had a buoyant year at Adlib, finished off perfectly with one of Warner’s top selling artists! The band are unique and put on an amazing live show which is loved by their fans! Behind the scenes, Paul Allen, Mark and Christiano all head up a relaxed and smooth running production”.