Robe explains the new challenges faced on the Rammstein tour…
German heavy rock band Rammstein has been travelling and performing their European Stadium Tour, a performance that combines their music with lighting, video and pyrotechnic effects to create what has been referred to as a ‘visual and sonic extravaganza’.
Woodroffe Basset Design was contracted to produce and coordinate the tour’s production design including lighting, set and video design plus technical integration as part of their first collaboration with the band.
Patrick Woodroffe designed the show, and also worked in collaboration with Roland Griel to design the lighting. Florian Wieder and Cuno von Hahn created the set design, and Jeremy Lloyd from Wonder Works directed the technical aspects of the design and integration. All worked in collaboration with the tour’s production manager, Nicolai Sabottka, and their technical consultant, Jeremy Lloyd.
Other core imagineers involved the making of the show included the full Rammstein creative team, plus video programmer Tim Hornung, camera (IMAG) director Sven Offen and video content creators Haeger De and David Gesellbauer.
The design team worked closely with the band, creating and finalising the key set elements before presenting them to the band for approval.
As most of the lighting and video hardware was integrated into the set design, all design departments had to have a close working relationship with each other. One of the many advantages of doing so was to create the exact lighting positions they wanted from their first creative session as part of the overall ‘environmental’ design.
The 38-metre-high central tower featured a central transparent video screen, which could be moved vertically, and was made from four vertical rails, each loaded with BMFL WashBeams and a lot of strobe lights – all with individual weather protection. These custom-suilt rails were supplied by WIcreations.
All lighting equipment was supplied by Neg Earth Lights, which was no easy feat. The specifics of the lighting design were complex – BMFL WashBeams were picked for their brightness and features and were used as a backlight, for beam effects, and to highlight the set architecture; BMFL Follow Spot LTs positioned on the FOH delay towers were specially developed for long throw applications, and were remotely operated using a Follow Me system; and LEDBeam 150s were selected for their small size, brightness and zoom function, and positioned on the ‘roofette’ immediately above and over the band’s positions and used for key lighting the upstage band positions.
All these, and the 996other fixtures on the rig were selected because they were “the right fixtures for the job, combined with reliability and availability,” Griel stated. Griel worked on the programming with Marc Brunkhardt, operating lighting using four grandMA2 full-size consoles and a GMA2 light.
Griel stated that the biggest overall challenge for lighting has been dealing with “the complexities and scale of the show,”, for which he credits having “a truly great” team onboard to achieve ‘spectacular results’.
“It’s been a pleasure to help create every aspect of this show,” Griel said. “We were given the freedom to produce something unique and epic, and that’s exactly what we have done.” He stated that the collaboration with the band and their management had been “superb” and had enabled them to create something ‘very special’.
The Rammstein tour is scheduled to start again in May 2020.