Clay Paky Fixtures Hit The Road With Matisyahu Tour

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Clay Paky’s Alpha Spot HPE 1200 fixtures gave a headliner look to Matisyahu’s recent road trip where the Hasidic reggae rapper appeared in support of Omaha alternative rocker band 311. Known for blending traditional Jewish themes with reggae and rock sounds, Matisyahu is most recognizable for being a member of Chabad-Lubavitch, a chassidic group of Judaism. As such, Matisyahu stands out for wearing the traditional clothing of Hasidic Jews and not performing on the Sabbath. Since 2004, he has released two studio albums as well as one live album, two remix CDs and one DVD featuring a live concert, and a number of interviews. Through his short career, Matisyahu has teamed up with some of the biggest names in reggae production including Bill Laswell and duo Sly & Robbie. Since his debut, Matisyahu has received positive reviews from both rock and reggae outlets. Most recently, he was named "Top Reggae Artist" of 2006 by Billboard. Recently, Omaha alt-rockers 311 announced an extensive 42-date U.S. tour, tapping Matisyahu to open most dates. The team began touring together in St. Louis on June 28. From there, the tandem weaves throughout the country, logging numerous performances in the Southwestern, Midwestern, and Northeastern regions of the U.S. Finally, the tour will wrap with assorted West Coast dates in cities such as San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Salt Lake City. “A lighting package is generally the last thing a support band is allowed to bring along,� notes lighting director and operator, Marc Janowitz. “But for Matisyahu it was an edict. Still, the support slot posed some interesting challenges: We were trying to bring headline-level production to a stage that belonged to somebody else. And there was very little time to set up; we had to get lighting on fast and off fast.� Janowitz retained some of 311’s overhead rig but supplemented it with a “pretty sizeable package� consisting of 10 strobes on the floor and eight Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 1200s on four rolling side towers which illuminated the band on the floor and on risers upstage. “We needed a fixture that could cut through diminishing daylight – often the challenge of playing outdoor venues in summer,� he notes. “I also needed something diverse. I’ve employed the Alpha Spots before so I knew they could be used for a profile sharp-edge texture then simply by adding the integral frost it would be a wash-like fixture. Its linear zoom, from 10-40 degrees, would also provide a good spread with a short throw.� The Alpha Spot’s “great strobe feature� was a bonus. “I’m a big fan of that,� Janowitz reports. “The Alphas proved to be a really great tool in the toolbox for both subtle and overwhelming effects.� He was also looking for fixtures that would be “durable and roadworthy.� Janowitz had limited staff for the roll on and off, and they once had to deal with a tower, which fell over a cable ramp and hit the ground. “The next day at power up, we had no problems with the lights whatsoever,� he recalls. “I wasn’t worried anyway. knowing how good Clay Paky’s customer service was. I knew it wouldn’t be a problem either way.� The Alpha Spot HPE 1200’s extraordinary luminosity is guaranteed by the combination of a top-performance optical unit and a 1200w discharge lamp. The unit’s large, newly-designed effects section, color mixing CMY, linear zoom 10-40 degrees, and extremely quiet operation delivers maximum results in professional lighting. The Clay Paky fixtures’s were provided by Scharff Weisberg for Matisyahu’s summer tour. Headquartered in Seriate (Bergamo), Italy, Clay Paky SPA has a history of designing and manufacturing innovative professional show lighting. The company was founded in 1976 by entrepreneur Pasquale Quadri who anticipated the enormous impact the evolution of technology would have on the show and entertainment worlds. For more information on Clay Paky products, please contact: Francesco Romagnoli

Davide Barbetta

Eric Mueller

Cell: 512-848-4403.


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