Lighting designer Nicholas Beachen is a sought-after man flitting between Matt Corby, Golden Features and Dope Lemon, to name a few. The Golden Features tour has just wrapped, with Nick and Ben Kocsis Design working together on the show delivery.
“Golden Features, his manager, and I spoke a lot over probably two years about ideas and thoughts and what his intentions were for this tour,” commented Nick. “The music is a little different these days, but Golden’s progression over the years has been brilliant to see and be a part of.”
Nick admits that the initial design he drew was, well, way too much stuff. Previously, they’d had some pretty decent rigs and travelled with one supplier for the Golden Features Australia shows. However, after COVID, Golden has been focusing on the new record, Sisyphus, and there haven’t been any shows for quite some time.
“But we’re back, baby!” Nick laughed. “We had a fair idea we would have to cut it back from the get-go, so we didn’t go big and made it work pretty well in the end. I’m really happy with it. We seem to have walked away from the tour with a pretty decent show; the quality of the music being delivered helps make big lighting look and feel easy.”
ei Productions provided the gear for Sydney’s Hordern show and this gave Nick a chance to use their new Martin Aura PXL fixtures. Twenty Aura PXLs were used, five hanging on four ladders to fill the sides of the wide stage at Hordern.
“They worked well in that location,” commented Nick. “The MAC Aura XB has been a favourite of mine for years. The Aura PXL is a newer, better version of the older Aura. Although lacking in fancy features, it’s a really good fixture to use for live music. They move quickly, and they’re still quite small, which helps direct them in a more precise manner than some of the other bigger wash units will allow in such a low-ceiling room.”
Nick adds that the backlight is cool, saying that when he and Ben turned it on, they were both like, “Ok, that’s cool. Maybe we should clone that too”.
“We didn’t in the end, but it’s a bit brighter on the backlight part now,” said Nick. “I didn’t look up the specs, but it looks good and is usable. If anything, I’d say that, like everything nice and new, they’re maybe too bright. I use group masters a lot to try and smooth this out, but these were punching it hard!”
At the Hordern gig, Nick also got to use ei Entertainments new Prolights Astra Wash37Pix with eleven units spread over two trusses which was more than enough for this rig.
“The Prolights’ Astras were good with a nice, fat beam,” remarked Ben Kocsis. “The colours seemed great and they were certainly bright enough!
“On this tour, we took what we had and ran with it. I’ve not used these before, but I’m happy to give whatever I’m given a try.”
For control Nick used MA Lighting MA2, running on MA3 hardware whenever he can, with video controlled via the PRG Mbox Mini v4 fly machine.
“Programming is usually done from my home studio for me, but for this, because Ben was involved, we got set up at Phaseshift Productions in their office and got the job done well there,” explained Nick. “However, it’s hard not to get distracted having mad giggles with the Phaseshift team!
“MA3 is looking pretty promising, though. I’m working hard now to build a new workflow for this kind of full delivery on MA3. It’s very close now, and it’s exciting to have fresh software and ideas after so long on the same platform.”
Nick is keen to thank Ben Kocsis, Phaseshift (Melbourne), and ei Productions (Sydney), saying they did a great job rigging these shows.
“It was really clean and precise and I appreciate the work when it’s all flowing like that,” he said. “Woohah was great on video too, very quick and smooth load-in.
“And a really big mention to Stefan Johnson, Nathan Lasersloth.vwx, and the Gig Control team, who came on to fill the Production Management roles and worked everything technically out with the promoters and manager. Dane Boulton, who provided some of the stage CAD for me in this concept drawing, was great on the ground in Sydney too. Thanks brother.”
Photos: Jordan Munns