Clay Paky illuminates R&B superstar Akon
Billed with the tagline, PARTY LIKE NEVER BEFORE, famed R&B singer-songwriter Akon performed live in concert recently, luring thousands of fans to Amman Exhibitions Park in Amman, Jordan for a night of high-energy music and a stunning light display, courtesy of TriTec AV and Clay Paky. The August 13 show was hosted by The Arabian Journal, organized by Young Modes and powered by Creative Plus. Honorary guest Melissa opened the concert.
Akon (full name Aliaune Badara Akon Thiam) is known as one of the most successful and versatile R&B singers of the 21st century, grossing over 30 million dollars a year according to Forbes magazine. He is well known for the smash hit single "Smack That" and has earned six Grammy Award nominations. He is also the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice.
TriTec AV of Amman catered the lighting and sound setup for the event. After a long anticipated wait by a very patient crowd, DJ Sotusura handed the live performance to Melissa who delivered a steamy performance, raising the crowd’s pulse and increasing the vibe. Akon then took over and gave a spectacular interactive show for the fanatic crowd.
Among the arsenal of gear used for the pulsating show were 34 Clay Paky Alpha Wash 575, 24 Clay Paky Alpha Spot 1200 HPE, and 16 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500 fixtures, all controlled with a grandMA Full Size console.
TriTec Senior Production Manager Rajai Khalil explained, “For the Akon show we used almost the same amount of Clay Paky fixtures as in Distant Heat (the summer dance party held in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan). We didn’t have many technical details or even a lighting plot from Akon’s lighting designer. We just used our creativity, knowing that the Clay Paky fixtures would deliver the expected results.”
Khalil described the difficult venue – a marquee with the high side being only 10 metres, and the low side at 3.8 metres. The team decided to use a six-legged square truss with two centre crossbeams and two PA wings. Four equally distributed crossbeams on top of the stage would deliver uniform lighting coverage for any situation that the lighting designer needed. The front truss held mainly conventionals for face lighting plus Clay Paky Alpha Wash for colour changing. The centre trusses were fit with Clay Paky Alpha Wash & Spot 1200 HPE fixtures for effects and colour changing, and the back truss was rigged with Alpha Wash, Spot & Alpha Beam 1500s. The remaining Alpha Beams were ground stacked on both sides of the stage for a wider continuation of the beam effect. A number of Clay Paky Washes were put on a separate truss on top of the FOH control area for further wash distribution for the long marquee, which measured 40 metres by 110 metres.
Khalil added, “In this show, the LD for Akon was expecting Showguns, as he thought they would deliver the effect he needed. He was quite amazed with the Clay Paky fixtures’ equal, if not better punch and the overall setup.” Referring to the Alpha Beam 1500, he was happy to have an “extra toy”. It is very strong. The power is incredibile, if we think that other foixtures have many more watts!
The exiting crowd was covered in sweat and smiles, with one guest commenting, “The pulse, the lights, the music….that’s what we came for and we were not disappointed!”