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Sharpy fixtures join Jay-Z and Kanye West
Lighting Designer
Nick Whitehouse
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Hip hop kings Jay-Z and Kanye West have teamed on a second, eight-week leg of their Watch The Throne North American tour where Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures are playing a key role.  The tour, which ends in Vancouver just before Christmas, supports the rappers’ joint LP released in August and features solo cuts from their own catalogs. 

Solotech, which is providing all the tour’s lighting, rigging and specialty lighting fixtures, supplied 130 Clay Paky Sharpys from its inventory to lighting designer Nick Whitehouse.  “The design of the tour is very modern and eclectic,” says Richard Lachance, at Solotech, which is headquartered in Montreal.  “The lighting, lasers and staging are very different – there’s a center module that’s a B stage which is very prominent, and the show is laden with LED products.” 

Karl Gaudreau at Solotech, recalls that “the first time Nick used Sharpys was for Beyonce when they blew away all the other lights on the rig.  Now Nick is using mostly Sharpys for the main rig for Jay-Z and Kanye.  He’s positioned 24 on the floor and 48 on the main truss.  Three other trusses combine Sharpys with strobes, and Sharpys are integrated with other lights on the back wall as well.” 

Sharpy is a 189W moving head with an unprecedented brightness usually achievable only with far greater wattages.  Tipping the scales at just 16 kg, Sharpy produces a perfectly parallel, laser-like beam with an incredible output of 5,100 footcandles at 65 feet.  According to Lachance, Solotech’s Sharpy fixtures are in high demand.  “We never see them in the shop – they’re always out.  Sharpy is a very robust special effects unit, and we’ve loved them since we bought them.”

 Solotech has been a fan of Clay Paky products for many years, Lachance says, and he’s been pleased with the company’s support.  “We like that Clay Paky keeps coming up with new lights that are winners.  We’re impressed with the direction the company is taking – that’s going to direct us in our future purchases.” 

A.C.T Lighting is the North American disbtributor for Clay Paky.

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