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And There's a Light on Heavy Glow

Listening to a band's tracks on your device, or watching a recorded performance can not come close to the experience of being present at a concert. When you are at a show, you are immersed in the experience. The music is inspiring, just as it is when you are listening to the tracks, but the energy, ambient noise and cheers from the crowd around you lead to even more excitement with each song the band plays.

For me, the combination of uniquely written lyrics, engaging audio and quality visuals lead to an extremely immersed creative experience. As a visual artist, I love the visual effects, and each year it seems that concert visual technology improves. Some bands you expect an incredible stage show from. Rush is the first band that comes to mind with incredible visual effects with each show. The "Holy Triumvirate's" nod to their trio status with onstage props along with their video displays that include an actual fire breathing dragon, really round out the creativity of the Canadian trio.

I recently attended the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Cleveland show, and was in awe with their lighting effects. This was my second time seeing RHCP live, and the energy and musical talent the band puts into their shows never disappoints. But, this time around I was engrossed with their light show.

At the start of their show we noticed a grid of white tubes lined across the ceiling of the arena. This grid covered about half of the floor seat section. When the music started those tubes began to light up and moved up and down, creating patterns. The simple combination of the lights to the rhythm of the music would have enhanced the show, but the light patterns had subtle meanings connected to the songs. The most obvious combination was when the lights turned red and blue to the song "Californication," matching the colors of the album cover.

Nothing beats seeing a live concert, and I would highly recommend seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their music alone. But I can't say enough about their current tour's amazing light show. As an artist, I can only imagine the planning and programing that went into creating the patterns for these lights that were timed to the music. Kudos to the band, their stage crew and especially the visual effects crew.

*Title uses lyrics from "By the Way" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Photographs: Red Hot Chili Peppers' Cleveland Show Lighting by Janet Pahlau


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