London, UK – Gary Numan’s recent UK tour, which completed at the end of October, marked his 40th anniversary as a solo musical artist. From his first massively influential solo album, The Pleasure Principle, in 1979 to the modern day, Numan has always applied extremely high standards to his music production and, of course, his live performances.
To meet Numan’s requirements for this landmark tour, lighting designer Luke Edwards looked for the latest lighting tools offering high-power output and consistency, from a compact source. “Although this tour was to celebrate the fact that Gary has been touring for 40 years, he is still very much an artist in the present,” Edwards explains. “So we’re using the newest technology, with a large video wall and stage set design for the size of venues we are playing.”
Edwards’ main lighting challenge was in balancing the light levels and color temperatures of the show’s lighting and video elements, including the LED wall - and the lighting backdrop. Here, he positioned 14 VL2600 Profile fixtures on tiered risers, creating strong gobo looks through the band, as well as beam and mid-air looks.
“I was looking primarily for brightness and clarity, which the VL2600 Profile handles particularly well,” says Edwards, adding, “I would have thought they were a discharge lamp source, instead of the LED that the actually are. With a relatively small footprint and incredible brightness and gobo clarity, it was still powerful enough to cut through the air, even while there was video content playing, and even with a gobo and color in.”
The compact form and punchy output of the VL2600 Profile was a real benefit on this tour, says Edwards. “The compact size is a big advantage. We were playing relatively small stages, and as Gary is always ambitious when it comes to stage design, space is usually at a premium!”
He adds, “I was really impressed by the output, the color and the gobo and prism effects. It’s a very decent spot and is a real workhorse during the show. Being LED and new fixtures, they were all completely homogenous.”
Overall, Edwards was pleased by the VL2600 Profile’s quality of light output and color, its excellent gobo clarity and high color temperature. He says, “I don’t need a bunch of gimmicks - I just want a good quality fixture that has a really nice output. The Vari-Lites absolutely delivered, and I will use them again, without a doubt. In fact, they have already been drawn into next year’s tour designs. And Vari-Lite’s support with help and answers to questions about the fixtures has, as per usual, been fantastic.”