The music never stops in “The Music City” on the Cumberland. Vivid proof of that could be seen (and heard) late one evening recently as streams of jam band fans made their way across the city’s downtown district following a Phish concert at the Ascend Amphitheater.
Their destination: Nashville’s brand new Brooklyn Bowl, where management was throwing a late night “Phish After Party.” Kicking off at 10:30 pm right around the time Phish was finishing their encore with a cover of the Rolling Stones “Loving Cup,” the afterparty served up second, third and fourth helpings of improvised jam and funk sounds by the award-winning six-piece band Big Something.
Adding to the festive atmosphere was an electrifying Daniel Thibault lightshow that reverberated visually throughout the intimate, 1,200 person venue, filling it with an whirlwind of movement and colors. “I wanted to make this room look its biggest,” said Thibault. “Everything about this band’s sound and stage presence is big.”
Thibault, a partner in Life Is Art Studios, added 20 CHAUVET Professional Rogue fixtures from his company’s own inventory to the house rig, to create the desired immersive atmosphere at the venue. He positioned eight Rogue R2X Beam fixtures in an arch around the band members, and arranged 12 Rogue R2 Wash units around the rig’s beams.
“The R2X Beams gave me a convenient way to create full room looks,” he said. “I was able to immerse even the farthest part of the theatre in light with them. As for the washes, they worked hand-in-hand with the beams to provide a base wash of color and underlying tone for the rig.
“I often started out songs with only the washes behind the band on, zooming them all the way out to make an enveloping wall of light that set the tone for the song from the first notes,” continue Thibault. “After that I would bring in the rest of the rig as the song built up.”
Thibault kept looks varied and captivating throughout the party by deftly changing patterns and color combinations, calling forth dramatic palettes to fire the audience’s collective imagination. At one point, when the band played their popular reggae-like song “Bob and Weave,” he divided the stage in red, green and yellow sections, evocative of the Jamaican flag.
“I use archetypal colors as a base of my color picking onstage,” said Thibault. “Colors stir up certain feelings in all of us. Blue is cool, but can also convey calm feelings of peacefulness. Red is hot but also love. Using this as a base, I listen to the mood of the song and try to pick a color that will convey that mood. Once I’ve done this I will select a complimentary color to go with it to use as an accent for parts of the rig.”
Associations with colors are “baked into our brains as children” said Thibault. And if parties are supposed to bring out the joyful, curious and wide open child that resides in all us, this afterparty was a resounding success.
Photo: © Austin Friedline