The 2022 Symphonica in Rosso concert staged at Amsterdam Ziggo Dome was headlined by legendary Netherlands girlband Dolly Dots, who originally enchanted the poposphere with their foot-tappingly infectious songs in the 1980s. They ended their 2021/22 Reunion Tour with this special high impact show – rumoured to be their last ever live performance – accompanied by The European Pop Orchestra conducted by Guido Dieteren.
Lighting and set for the Dolly Dots tour was designed by associate lighting designer Thomas de Vries from renowned creative studio Live Legends, who specified 124 x Robe Spiiders, 45 x LEDBeam 150s and 31 x BMFL Blades for this Symphonica in Rosso show that closed out 2022.
The set and lighting for their Symphonica in Rosso appearance featured a re-imagined and upwardly-engineered version of their touring system which, combined with a general production design for the full series of shows, provided an eye-catching backdrop for a series of unique orchestral-style Dolly Dots hits.
The Symphonica in Rosso concerts were organised and promoted by Mojo, with lighting equipment supplied by RentAll. The technical production was delivered by Unlimited Productions, and Bart Roelen was the technical production manager.
The set design was created by Niels Peeters for the Mojo team and involved slick multi-level risers for the orchestra and five large moving LED screens, with over 300 x pixel-controllable LED strips outlining and highlighting various architectural features of the staging concept.
Thomas worked closely with Niels on the types of lighting fixtures needed and their placement, building on this already established design for the Symphonica on Rosso event.
To fill the larger stage space with high quality versatile light sources, Thomas decided to add the Robe fixtures.
The Spiiders were rigged on the overhead trusses at regular intervals together with strategically positioned spot fixtures. They proved perfect for flooding the stage with colour and vibrance. Some were attached to the venue’s balcony rails specifically for illuminating the audience both for the cameras and to encourage the enthusiastic interaction between fans and artists.
Thomas chose Spiiders for their “power and brightness” and because they can produce beam and wash effects equally with rich and textured colours. He wanted the whole show to have a sumptuous and spectacular feel that would hang in people’s memories, and be a great historical footnote to one of the Netherlands’ best loved pop phenomena.
He also made the most of the Spiider’s ‘flower’ effect to create prolific cool effects, and dovetailed kinetic looks and movement from the Spiiders with pixel chases along the LED strips “I specifically needed a fixture that would work alongside the strips, and Spiider is an LED wash light with so much more to offer,” he commented.
The LEDBeam 150s were used around the outline of the main stage and a catwalk leading to a circular B stage in the middle of the audience. They were also deployed around the edges of this second performance area.
Thomas noted that their small size was “ideal” for this scenario, unobtrusive for sightlines yet packing a nice potent punch as side and foot lights with very fast movement adding some great visuality to the bigger picture.
The BMFL Blades were used for front lighting and specials on the five Dolly Dots with 10 on the upstage truss running on a remote controlled follow spot system, providing elegant and strong back spots.
Well established and popular for their brightness, quality of light and multiple features, the BMFL Blade is a familiar fixture that Thomas loves to use for lighting people and faces.
An additional nine Robe ESPRITES were specified by the broadcast lighting team led by TV lighting director Henk Jan van Beek of Light H’Art, as the show was recorded for airing on the Netherlands NPO1 TV channel 5 days later. These were used to reinforce front lighting, orchestra keys and to highlight soloists.
Thomas’s main objective was to capture all the different moods and atmospherics required by the music by combining lighting, video and the pixel elements on a single visual canvas, ensuring that all three different but related media worked together harmoniously. Each song and section of the show looked distinctive and brought clarity and nuance to the action onstage.
“It was a brilliant way to end the Dolly Dots tour with a massive bang, providing a positive and uplifting exit for the artists,” concluded Thomas, adding that he “really enjoyed” working collaboratively with all the different disciplines and companies involved to present this fabulous show to the public.”
Photo credit: Nathan Reinds