Globetrotting Sydney Trio’s Triumphant Tour
The global success story that is ‘alternative electronica’ trio Rüfüs Du Sol returned to Australia and New Zealand on a glorious post-COVID victory lap through November and December 2022. Vocalist and guitarist Tyrone Lindqvist, keyboard player Jon George and drummer James Hunt packed major outdoor venues in Australia, pulling crowds the equal of major festivals.
Such was the appetite to hear the band live for the first time since the release of their album ‘Surrender’ in 2021, 28,000 came to the Brisbane show, 50,000 to Sydney, and 50,000 in Melbourne. Even Adelaide managed 10,000, while Perth packed in 20,000.
With huge hits like show opener ‘Make it Happen’, dance floor anthem ‘You Were Right’, and the Grammy nominated ‘On My Knees’, the production needed to be as big as the soundscape and the crowds. Adelaide’s Novatech Creative Event Technology took care of the full lighting and video package for all five Australian cities and provided an L-Acoustics PA system in Adelaide and Perth. Eighth Day Sound provided d&b audiotechnik GSL and KSL for the eastern states. Rüfüs Du Sol’s sound team deployed AVID S6L desks on both FoH and monitors.
Matt Smith, creative director of lighting design studio Colourblind, has been LD for Rüfüs Du Sol for many years. He specified a Robe and GLP-heavy rig, with additional fixtures from Claypaky and Martin. Control was via two grandMA3 full size, with all lighting gear supplied by Novatech in touring A and B rigs due to logistics. Apart from some minor fixture substitutions in Perth due to the closeness in timing of the gigs, every crowd got the same experience.
The video design was as epic as the tour. A solid 338 panels of ROE Visual’s CB5 5.77mm pitch were deployed across screens upstage, stage left and right, and on the riser. ROE’s new Vanish V8T panels handled the show in Perth. Two 20 metre roofs and sets staging from Sydney’s Stageset travelled around the country with the lighting and video rigs.
Before kicking off in Brisbane on 26 November, the band and production crew set-up the whole show at The Adelaide Entertainment Centre for rehearsals. “There was a lot of pre-production, programming and checking,” explains Novatech’s Managing Director, Leko Novakovic. “We had eight crew each travelling with both the A and B rigs of lighting and video, and three travelling with audio for Adelaide and Perth.”
The design and pre-production effort were noticed, with one reviewer in Adelaide commenting “The lighting and screens deserve a special acknowledgment. It was a truly amazing spectacle and kudos to the way the light and sound meshed to create the ultimate experience.” They also noticed that “The high-powered sound system with additional speaker stacks in the crowd gave a pure, crisp and rich sound.”
One of the big challenges with running so much LED alongside lighting and audio on this scale is power. While it goes unsung, power management is critical. A tech highlight for the Novatech crew was their new StageSmarts C72tv power management systems. The Swedish firm’s C72tv runs 72 x 16A channels and deals with all the hidden power issues like inrush currents, earth leakage, and tripping that can really stop a show.
“We’ve had a long relationship with both Rüfüs Du Sol and Colourblind’s Matt Smith, and it was great to bring such an epic production to crowds this large and appreciative after the long COVID hiatus,” concludes Leko.
The A Rig – Lighting
40 x Robe MegaPointe
51 x GLP JDC-1
6 x Clay Paky Scenius Unico
42 x Robe BMFL
30 x Martin Quantum Wash
38 x GLP Impression X4 Bar 20
11 x ER 30 AT Lasers
4 x MDG The One haze machines
4 x Base Touring High Volume DMX smoke machines
4 x Briteq BT-Hurricane DMX fans
2 x grandMA3 full size
2 x grandMA3 processing unit M
The A Rig – Video
Upstage LED Video
3 x 4.8m x 9.6m
192 x ROE Visual CB 5.77mm LED panels
Stage Left LED Video
1 x 4.8 x 9.6m
64 x ROE Visual CB 5.77mm LED panels
Stage Right LED Video
1 x 4.8m x 9.6m
64 x ROE Visual CB 5.77mm LED panels
Riser LED Video
3 x 3.6m x 1.2m
18 x ROE Visual CB 5.77mm LED panels
3 x Brompton SX40 racks
12 x Brompton Tessera XD
Touring: disguise GX2c media servers
1 x Novatech OneSystem Constellation Rack
1 x CCU Rack
3 x Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 camera package
Touring: Canon UHD 90 4k
Audio – Adelaide and Perth
Main Left/Right Hangs
8 x L-Acoustics K1 subwoofers
30 x L-Acoustics K2 line array speakers
24 x L-Acoustics SB28 Dual 18″ subwoofers
12 x L-Acoustics KARA line array speakers
Left and Right Side Hangs
18 x L-Acoustics K2 line array speakers
1 x Riedel Artist 64 Rack
10 x Riedel Bolero wireless coms beltpacks
12 x Riedel SmartPanels
12x Hytera 2-way radios
First published in CX Magazine, February 2023, www.cxnetwork.com.au
Photo credit | David Solm