USA – Fans of classic rock ’n roll are “Raiding the Rock Vault” at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas where iconic anthems from two decades are brought to life by artists from the biggest bands of the era. The unique show is enhanced with lighting effects created by production designer Paul Dexter using Claypaky SharBars.
Dexter, principal of Masterworks Design, Inc., in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, helped create the show, which debuted in fall 2012 at the Mayan Theater in LA. “Raiding the Rock Vault” subsequently played two other venues in Las Vegas before commencing its residency at the Hard Rock’s intimate Vinyl venue in March.
The show tells the story of classic rock from the 1960s to the 1980s and is performed by a rotating all-star lineup from some of the greatest rock bands in history. An audience favorite, “Raiding the Rock Vault” was voted best musical two years in a row by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and has a five-star rating from TripAdvisor.
Dexter created the show’s set, designed the lighting and special effects, crafted the video content for the songs, and wrote the musical histories displayed on the big screens with photos of rock icons taken by famed rock photographers. He has reimagined “Raiding the Rock Vault” for Vinyl, a 350-seat venue where the audience gets up-close-and-personal with the performers and the music.
The 24-foot wide stage features a set piece comprising “vault” doors, which bookend a widescreen LED display. Two 75-inch monitors are angled toward the audience at stage left and stage right. All of the screens show Dexter’s pre-produced video content and text-and-graphics rock histories. The stage is extended with three thrusts for even more intimate contact with the audience.
“The venue has a low ceiling so we had to get creative with the set and lighting,” notes Dexter. “There were not a lot of positions for hanging lights. But since SharBars are long and thin we could augment the house lights by adding five to the upstage truss on a special rig. The five fixtures look like 30 or more in a space the size of Vinyl.”
Dexter was introduced to Claypaky SharBars at LDI 2016 then went to see a demo at A.C.T Lighting, Inc.’s Burbank office. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of Claypaky fixtures in North America.
The SharBar is an advanced moving LED bar with features that transform it into a brand new multi-beam effects light. It features six brand new, powerful OSRAM Ostar RGBW LEDs with a power rating of 30W, but takes up the same amount of space as an old 10W LED. The compact and durable SharBar produces truly innovative lighting effects and stands out for its high light output and extremely concentrated or diffuse beam.
“When I saw SharBars at the demo I thought they’d be perfect for this show,” Dexter recalls. Toucan Lighting in Oklahoma City, Dexter’s equipment vendor for “Raiding the Rock Vault,” acquired five of the units for the show’s use.
“The SharBars are very punchy. They create a light curtain and effects that complement the music,” Dexter explains. “Initially, we use SharBars for their color, but the effects increase as the show advances through the years; their usage grows with the passage of time.”
Dexter programmed the SharBars at A.C.T Lighting, Burbank. “Using the visualizer on my console I could see the lights and program the show before arriving on site at Vinyl,” says Dexter.
“I love SharBars!” he declares. “They’re just perfect for this show, and I look forward to using them again in other productions.”
Francesco Romagnoli, Claypaky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “This is a very cool show and a very cool story and I think the perfect use of our SharBar fixtures. Congratulations to Mr. Dexter on such an innovative project.“