Prljavo Kazalište Bigs it Up with Robe
The final concert was sold out well in advance and 30,000 fans rocked up to be part of his special event for which lighting designer Sven Kučinić from LumiLas LLC specified over 120 Robe moving lights, provided, together with the other lighting production, by Croatian rental company ELDRA.
The band was formed in Zagreb and in 1977 / 78 first stormed onto the raw, bleeding edge of the punk scene there in the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was highly symbolic for them to return to the hub of the city and play in the stadium, entertaining fans original and new, some of whom have followed Prljavo Kazalište all the way through the intense geopolitical and cultural changes of the last 40 years … and the horrendous wars in the region.
The band had one major wish for the finale concert, explained Sven, and that was a video concept with massive columns of LED surrounding the stage and continuing into the roof space and extending around the sides of the stage structure.
Apart from that, the staging and rigging imagineering was left to Sven, who has worked with the band for seven years and toured the world several times over. On average, they play about 50 shows a year.
Sven in collaboration with the band was also the set designer, and he also undertook much of the general production work which was considerable for a gig of this size and profile! They all wanted a strong, solid industrial look on the stage.
One of Sven’s visual objectives was to ensure there was a nice mix of video and lighting, so the 56 x Robe Pointes were all hung on T-shaped trusses which formed the main set elements in front the large LED columns.
The 30 x MMX WashBeams were used as the main front and side lights, and the 36 x LEDWash 600+s were the primary back lights, rigged on six vertical trusses positioned in between the big LED columns.
“The Pointes were the main and in fact the only effects lights in the show and they worked REALLY hard” said Sven, who reckons the Pointe is still “the Gold Standard for medium sized ’hybrid’ fixtures on the market”.
They really needed power and intensity due to the serious amounts of ambient lighting emitted by the LED screens, and sure enough, the Pointes were “a fantastic choice”.
He found the MMX WashBeams – a personal favourite – again to be ideal for front key lighting which was crucial as the show was recorded in 4K for future broadcast and DVD. In fact, MMX WashBeams have long been his go-to choice for front lighting due to the punchy output, “the precise CMY colour mixing system, the consistent zoom range and the unbeatable reliability”.
The LEDWash 600+s were used for striking backlight accents and he maximised some eye-catching strobe macros. They proved so bright that they had to be pulled back to 60% most of the time, and for Sven it spoke volumes that they stood out so blatantly on a rig of around 500 fixtures plus 600 square metres of LED screen!
The biggest technical challenge of putting on this gig was the setup of the massive roof construction which was also completed by ELDRA to Sven’s design specifications.
The stadium was not built to stage concerts, so the load-in also involved the whole southern wall of the football field being demolished! The show was attended by so many people that the plan is to now refurbish the venue … and give it a complete makeover including a fabulous new pitch!
The creative challenge fell to everyone including the artists to see that this highly anticipated show met everyone’s expectations and that of the entire marketing and promotional campaign which promised a show as “never seen before” in Croatia!
The band are consistently playing together and rehearsing, so everything is tight from their side and there were no sudden surprises with changed set lists or other curved balls thrown into the mix at the last moment! Their songs and music are very much embedded in Croatian culture … and they know what their home crowd want to hear!
In fact, Prljavo Kazalište are even on the Croatian schools’ national curriculum … which apart from being very cool … is a fact that can’t be claimed by many bands!
Sven programmes and operates all his own shows and used grandMA2 platform, and he pre-vizzed the show in WYSIWYG.
The band’s sound engineer is Davor Smotalic. VJ Ivan Marusic took care of the payback visuals, and the camera and TV recording director was Davor Levicki. The Zagreb stadium show also featured a spectacular 10-unit laser show produced by LumiLas LLC’s Juraj Stipetic and Robert Kirsa.
The 40 Years world tour played venues all around the globe including Australia, the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia, and this incredible homecoming show brought a hugely memorable and enjoyable live performance campaign to a close with great style and impact.