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Clay Paky on Nek's Tour, “Prima di Parlare”
Lighting Designer
Francesco De Cave
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ITALY – Clay Paky lights are co-stars on the stage of Nek’s show Prima di Parlare Live 2015. Radio Italia is the official radio station of the tour, four years after the last one. The italian songwriter toured the Italian peninsula far and wide with his live performances in the most important Italian theatres.

The set, designed by Giò Forma’s Claudio Santucci, expresses simplicity and power: a large LED wall, made up of lots of little tiles of different proportions with different pitches, is ready to explode with graphic effects.

“Nek’s requests and ideas were simple and clear. He asked for a show with a true rock character and we believe we have delivered: the result is interesting and beautiful to photograph, and the artist is happy with it,” said lighting designer Francesco De Cave. He saw to realizing the artist’s ideas through different levels of brightness, and repeated, accentuated light and colour sequences, synchronized with the songs, time of the music, and rhythmic changes.

Francesco De Cave has worked side by side with the artist since 2001. He was asked – first of all – to design the lighting according to Nek’s suggestions, then to program the scenes and follow the tour in Italy and Europe.

“It is the sound and the musical line-up that suggest the solution to adopt, the gobos or graphic combinations to propose, and the colour to select. The use of colours – saturated, bright or otherwise – is an important variable that can be applied to give greater or lesser strength to the scene according to the intensity of the songs and the moment.”

The lighting designer asked to rely on the purity of the Sharpys and Alpha Spot HPE 700s, and the colour wheels they come with. These powerful, compact, lightweight and quick moving Clay Paky lights were provided by Agora, which dealt with the equipment rental and organized the transport that accompanies the tour.  

The show is very dynamic and the intensity of the atmospheres changes very quickly, decreasing and then growing stronger again. It also includes a very touching acoustic moment with great emotional impact, where Nek expresses his deep, rediscovered humanity with his guitar and his fans. He shares the reasons for his recent spiritual choices with great intimacy, and sings the lyrics of his song Hey Dio (Hey God).

While the crisp, uniform, bright, concentrated, conical beam of a Sharpy illuminates and envelops the songwriter, he sings and looks toward the light, which comes from the backdrop with great intensity. The idea or intention of looking towards a divine father and talking to him is quite clear. 

During this moment of intimacy, the stage is bare apart from some Cromlech Elidy units, and this is highlighted by the white beam of a Sharpy fitted with a prism. As we await the grand finale, there is a veritable explosion of light.