impressions used for Thom Yorke debut performance

When Radiohead frontman, Thom Yorke, decided to perform Eraser, his solo album, live for the very first time, he turned to his long time Radiohead collaborator, lighting designer Andi Watson to create the visual look for the shows.

Andi soon discovered that this was to be a one of a kind project with only two performances taking place, along with a small warm up show a couple of days in advance. The shows were to be kept secret up until a week beforehand and it was all going to take place in Los Angeles. Not being a major tour, this also meant that it was to be produced on a small budget.

Seeing this as an opportunity to try out some new equipment, Watson chose to use the GLP Impression fixture range as one of his main lighting instruments, “I had some of the smaller RGB units, some of the white LED units and some of the big XL units too, which together allowed me wonderful flexibility within the design,” Watson stated.
A fundamental driver behind the creative design of Thom and Andi’s recent work together has been to keep the energy consumption of the shows as low as possible, and this event was no exception, so it was natural that Andi looked to LED as being a primary lighting source.

“The impressions did a great job. They gave me a full colour range from the RGB units which I could then blast through with the white units. The beams were lovely and the color palette allowed me to get exactly the colours I wanted for each song.”

The two main shows took place at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles’ downtown area, whilst the warm-up show took place at Echoplex, a smaller and more intimate venue with less hanging space. Watson chose to take some Impression fixtures from the main system to Echoplex, “They are small enough and light enough by not having a base that we could place them exactly where needed in the small venue. We used a dozen of them and I was really impressed. The end result was fantastic”, he said.

The shows themselves were a major success for those lucky enough to see them and Watson walked away very pleased, “The whole project has been a great success, all of the suppliers I have worked with have been very supportive and my crew of Mark Powell and Ed Jackson kept everything running on schedule.”

Supply of the Impression fixtures, along with all other lighting equipment was by VER of Glendale, California, with support from Elation Professional, the exclusive distributor of the Impression in North America.

photos copyright �� Mark Powell / Ed Jackson