Robe Celebrates 20 Years of Disco with Alcazar
Everything goes pop-tastic for the final tour by Swedish disco sensation Alcazar, who are exiting from a massively successful and glittering 20-year career strewn with multiple international hits and a stunning array of ostentatious costumes - with a huge disco bang – maybe that should be ‘banger’ – at Stockholm’s Cirkus venue on 31st December 2018!
Leading up to that, the aficionados of the infectious, foot-tapping, bubble-gum pop style that they have made their own … called on the creative talents of lighting designer Palle Palme, who applied his golden magic dust to the mix and created a stunning lighting show with 58 x Robe MegaPointes proudly dancing to the disco-disco beat!
Palle, who works worldwide on theatre, ballet and musical shows, was asked to imagine something super-special for this landmark occasion. It was the first time he’s worked on an Alcazar tour, although he has bumped into the trio on numerous occasions throughout his career, both as solo artists and for one off shows as Alcazar!
It was also the first time he’s specified and used MegaPointes in a design, although he’s no stranger to Robe, having used BMFLs, Spiiders and LEDWashes and other products in his work for some time.
Lighting the band’s final tour actually ticked one of Palle’s bucket list items!
At the start of his career as a lighting professional, he wanted to work at the Swedish National Theatre and also to light legendary singer Ulf Lundell … both of which he had achieved by 2002! After that, one of the bands he most wanted to light was Alcazar - because they took ‘disco’ to a different level and he thought they would be huge fun, as well as their shows having a reputation for high production values.
The reality is not letting him down! The 90-minute full speed ram-raiding set is colourful and crazy collage that careers through a funky mash of greatest Alcazar hits plus medleys of some of the most iconic disco sounds of the last half-century. It also includes a moving tribute to the late Avicii, “We Love You DJ”.
Palle reveals that he’d been wanting to use the MegaPointe ever since he’d first seen a demo at the end of 2017. He was just waiting for the appropriate show, and Alcazar was an ideal opportunity.
“It’s a powerful compact fixture with fantastic gobos and zoom, and out of all the ‘hybrid’ fixtures that have come to market to date … it’s easily the best!” he declared.
Delighted to be asked onboard for this seminal “Farewell” tour by Göran Appelquist from production company Blixten, his starting point for the lighting design was the slick contemporary set design created by Tino Rivero which includes risers, a central staircase and a large upstage LED screen.
He decided that a “massive lighting rig” was needed, not just to compliment the LED screen, but to ensure the band had a great send off. “In the true spirit of disco, it is all about music and lights, so I wanted a big focus on lighting and how it could shape and treat the presentation of a pumping disco set”.
With MegaPointes being equally efficient and effective in beam, spot or wash mode, his 50 luminaires were effectively tripled to 150 lights! “It is a powerful and punchy light that does everything … and it really excels in every way!” he comments.
The MegaPointes are positioned all over the overhead trusses with 18 on the floor, including a row in front of the set risers and two lines either side of stage to provide cross lighting for the three members of Alcazar and seven dancers.
There are several epic dance routines in the show – brilliantly staged by rising star chorographer Zain Odelstål - and the side ‘shin-buster’ positioned MegaPointes provide perfect coverage.
It is an up-tempo set, so he started with a different base look for each number. With the MegaPointes positioned around the performance space, he was also able to change the shape and architecture with beam technology and lighting looks.
Everything is vibrant, fun and in-the-face. Even Palle was surprised at the abundance of options whilst programming the pacey effervescent show during production rehearsals at Subtopia in Stockholm.
In addition to the MegaPointes, there are eight profile moving lights, four Minuit Une laser effects, a load of LED battens which are back-lighting the set facias and central staircase and two old-skool 9-lites are located behind the video wall which opens in the middle for the stage entrances and exits. The lighting equipment is being supplied by the Live Production Group (LPG).
The show is run on a greandMA2 light, operated on the road by Marcus Nordenberg, who also programmed with Palle. The two have worked together on various productions for 10 years.
He’s extremely happy with the results and intends to use MegaPointes on future musicals and theatre shows including a project in January for Swedish singer Sanna Nielsen.
The tour kicked off in Halmstad on Sweden’s west coast which is also where Palle was born. The port and university city has spawned several famous sportspeople and creatives in recent decades including Palle’s father, a famous Swedish comedian - also called Palle Palme.
The younger Palle was a real ‘industry baby’ who grew up in a house there filled with laughter and excellent vibes and went on to cut his ‘technical teeth’ at the Halmstad Theatre.
Photo Credit: Louise Stickland