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"Alpha" Clay Paky on tour with Garou
Lighting Designer
Nicolas Labbé
Photo Credits
Sono Magazine
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Clay Paky’s Alphas are the protagonists of Garou’s winter tour of 31 concerts in eight countries, which will be filmed on TV and recorded on a DVD.
The show’s LD, Nicolas Labbé, fresh from the nomination as “Lighting designer of the year” at the 26th ADISQ Gala, explains the reason for his choice: “I was lucky to see these new projectors in action in Montreal early this year, thanks to Clay Paky’s dealer for Canada, DCD, led by Sylvain Pelletier. I was most impressed and decided to use only Clay Paky material for Garou’s winter tour. I chose the Alphas because they are incredibly innovative, reliable and complete with an extraordinary luminous output. Alpha Spot HPE has many different gobos, plus an animation wheel, a wide zoom and the CMY. Not to mention the Alpha Wash, with its extraordinary linear zoom ranging from 4° to 80°… Both projectors feature a very soft dimmer and innovative electronics with many useful functions. There’s no other product like it on the market”.

The tour’s lighting design consists entirely of Clay Paky intelligent lights: 18 Alpha Spot HPE, 22 Alpha Wash, 13 Stage Profile SV 1200 SV, 15 Stage Zoom 1200 and 5 CP Color.
In particular, the Alpha Spots HPE were installed on the 6 motorized towers and side battens to create a balance of effects on both the stage and the audience; the Alpha Wash lights envelop the stage around the front and the sides, while lighting the backdrop with color; the beam shapers Stage Profile Plus SV and Stage Zoom 1200 complete the graphic part, enriching it with new important elements: in particular, the Stage Profile Plus, installed together with the Alpha Spot HPE on the towers, create the typical and exclusive “shaped effect” – a new feature which only a few shows can enjoy. The CP Color fixed color changers are positioned on the stage and color the curtains at the foot of the stage.

Garou’s show features 10 musicians on a slightly raised platform. The stage set is rather plain, so the focus is on the lights and their structures: they all move together, creating a kind of “technological dance” behind the performer. “This is why” – continues Nicolas Labbé – “we can say it is a mix between rock and theatre, considering that a lot of the material will be filmed. Every concert, however, has been personalized, so the LD has to be able to interpret it with the right colors and lights. With Garou, I use a lot of blue, orange and magenta, as they seem to interpret this show better then others”.
And the artist? “Garou’s ideas were very clear and effective, and we got on brilliantly right from the start. He is the kind of person who throws himself into the show and demonstrates utmost respect to all the members of his team, so I wanted to repay him by using the best technology I had”.

40 technicians, 3 pre-production weeks and 18 tonnes of material: Garou’s tour certainly didn’t save on technology and equipment! In addition to the lighting system, the most striking pieces of scenery were the three large changeable ledwalls, the two side megascreens and the six suspended towers that surround the stage. As Nicolas points out, “if you have technologically advanced material, you need to be able to exploit its potential to the full, but also know how to coordinate, install and dismantle everything in the shortest possible time. This summer, our production director, Serge Minville, along with Sylvain Pelletier, my assistant Jean-François Malette, and all the invaluable technical support of Blue Squares (run by Jacques Martin Phillippson, and fundamental in the development of this project) had enough time to perfect every single detail. In other words, our team can install everything in less than seven hours and dismantle it in less than three, packing it away in eight semi-trailers”.

The great success of Garou’s tour confirms this artist’s talent and international prestige, as well as the efficiency of a team of specialists and technicians who are capable of organizing such an enormous show using quality technology and equipment, some of which is new on the international scene. The professionalism behind this project was in fact rewarded with 12 nominations at the ADISQ Gala Awards, along with unanimous admiration among specialized media and production workers.
Clay Paky’s Alphas are also touring Europe with artists Patricia Kaas and Isabelle Boulay. Over 200 of these projectors were supplied by Blue Squares in Nivelles (Belgium).

Lighting and stage design: Nicolas Labbé
Art director: Denis Bouchard
Production director: Serge Minville
Lighting and video supplier: Blue-Squares
Audio supplier: Solotech
Audio system: Milo
Lighting system: Clay Paky

Clay Paky Lighting equipment:
18 Alpha Spot HPE
22 Alpha Wash
13 Stage Profile SV 1200
15 Stage Zoom 1200
5 CP Color 250