Show designer Alain Corthout created a dynamic, high-impact lighting design for Grammy Award-winning star Bad Bunny’s 36-date sell out El Último Tour Del Mundo, which kicked off at Denver’s Ball Arena in February 2022.
“Bad Bunny takes an alternative approach to his live performance, so the show design had to be as outspoken as he is,” explains Corthout. “I was looking for a lighting workhorse that would offer the ultimate in creative versatility, while delivering consistent, high output light, even at the more saturated end of the spectrum. I also needed a versatile palette of effects. The VL10 BEAMWASH fixtures gave me all of this and more.”
Challenging the conventions of traditional show design, Corthout had to accommodate the fact that the solo artist was playing to huge audiences yet was often on stage alone. The only design guidance Corthout was given from Bad Bunny’s management was that the design was going to include a large truck. The result is a diverse show, staged in-the-round and centered on the massive truck which morphs, transformer-style, into a three-runway, LED video screen stage floor.
“With a large amount of high energy songs and very few ballads, we had to create enough variety in scale, mood, texture and looks to keep the audience focused and emotionally in touch with Bad Bunny,” says Corthout. “Above the stage - running parallel with the truck length - are eight framed, portrait format, video screens - four per side. Each screen can track, rotate, and vary in height. We framed the screens with VL10 BEAMWASH fixtures, which we focused on the stage and audience. I wanted to convey a sense of depth and architecture to the whole look but also to the images broadcast from the IMAG screens above the stage and in the social media photos that would be shared by the audiences.”
The overhead set up is further augmented by a floor package that comprises two parallel lines of sixty VL10 BEAMWASH luminaires, adding an additional animated layer to the strong architectural look. Latticed structure, vibrant color, and chunky, super bright aerial beam effects are emphasized by plumes of pyro smoke, bringing a wealth of atmospheric looks to the arena.
“We wanted to create a party in the room, a celebration of Bad Bunny’s global success, his music and life itself,” adds Corthout. “The VL10 BEAMWASH has such a powerful output, which makes them ideal workhorse fixtures. I also use the VL10s as followspots on most of my shows these days. They are brighter than anything else on the market, especially when it comes to the richer, deeper colors. The animation wheel is also a big winner and again we lose very little light. The beam is a big statement in this show design, it is almost physical in its impact. There is nothing else that comes even close to the VL10.”
In addition to their obvious benefits as a creative tool, Corthout has been delighted by the reliability of the VL10 BEAMWASH. “The way these fixtures are rigged could have been challenging over time as many are hanging horizontally and vertically on pieces of truss, which are themselves often in motion. The VL10s handle it perfectly, and despite the fixtures experiencing an element of shock from the motion they always precisely return to their pre-programmed position. We never have to reset them during the show.”
Corthout’s design is architectural, yet penetrable. It fills the arena while keeping the focus firmly on the artist. Lighting echoes the color and pattern of the video content, while also reaching out and bathing the audience in warm hues and patterns, creating a compelling connection between them and their idol.
Although Corthout says he largely specifies Vari-Lite fixtures for their creative versatility, but the build quality of the fixture is a big consideration. “The team at Vari-Lite really listen to feedback from designers like me. Superior quality and innovation are things I value. We should not be accepting cheap, one-trick lights in this industry; we should be working with tools that are the very best they can be. It’s great to see Vari-Lite doing what they have always done - manufacturing high quality, reliable, long living, richly creative fixtures.”
Discover more about Alain Corthout at www.showplus.live.