Attracting over a thousand visitors from across the USA and around the world, the annual Mobile Beat trade show in Las Vegas, MBLV22, is the premier learning and networking event for mobile DJs in North America. Featuring a non-stop four-day line-up of inspirational presentations and evening parties, one of the highlights of this year’s event was an awe-inspiring main room lighting system supplied by ADJ. This provided a flexible backdrop for the event’s educational sessions as well as its Signature Party that featured a headline performance by ‘90s legend Vanilla Ice and hype man Fatman Scoop.
Taking place at the Tropicana on Las Vegas’ infamous Strip, the 22nd annual Mobile Beat convention – known as MBLV22 – was centered around one of the hotel’s large ballrooms. This was the venue for all of the keynote presentations as well as the Tuesday Night signature party. Responsible for lighting production in this area was ADJ’s Edgar Gonzalez, who designed a lighting rig that filled the large space while also showcasing some of ADJ’s current flagship fixtures.
Not only did Edgar have to take into account the varied needs of MBLV22 – designing a rig that could be used to illuminate seminar presentations throughout the day as well as create a party atmosphere in the evening – he also had to factor in the limited one day of setup time that was available. Despite these limitations, Edgar designed a rig that completely immersed the large ballroom with color, movement and GOBO projections.
The main truss filled most of the length of the room and was split into three sections: a central piece that was rigged parallel to the back wall and two wings that came out from it at shallow angles on either side. This created a focal point in the middle, which was the location for the stage, and provided the rigging points for most of the lightshow’s moving heads. Edgar and his team filled the back truss with moving heads, alternating between ADJ Vizi CMY300 and Vizi Hybrid 16RX fixtures, each interspersed by a Vizi Q Wash7. In addition, 16 ADJ Vizi Beam RXONE fixtures were also arranged across the back of the stage, to create beam effects pointing up from behind the performers and presenters.
“My initial concept was to create a tour-style rig, using multiples of three or four fixture types on a grid to create a ‘wall of light’, complimented by beams positioned on the ground to add another dimension to the show”, comments Edgar. “I chose the RXONEs for my beams, because they are compact but also incredibly punchy. For the main rig I used hybrid fixtures so that I could create both beam effects and GOBO projections, with a mixture of Vizi 16RX units for sheer power and Vizi CMY300s for the flexibility of CMY color mixing so that I would have an unlimited palette. Finally, I chose the Vizi Q Wash7 as my wash fixture because they are incredibly bright and also flexible. Their large zoom range meant that I could use them for additional beam effects as well as for powerful washes that could fill the whole space.”
A second truss was rigged in the center of the room, positioned approximately 50’ from the stage, to provide a rigging point for key lighting. This took the form of four ADJ Encore Profile 1000 WW LED-powered Ellipsoidal fixtures, back up by additional Vizi Q Wash7 units.
“For the seminars I was only asked to provide key lighting for the speakers, which is what I did at first,” explains Edgar. “But whenever I’m running the lights for an event I always try to move around the room to check what it looks like from different angles and use my phone to see what pictures will look like. When I did that I felt the stage looked a little too dull and so I decided to add some ambience. I had a fantastic rig at my disposal, so I thought that it could be used during the presentations to create static looks that would provide a nice backdrop for the speakers. My goal was to create excitement, but not to the point where it would be overwhelming or take away focus from the presenters. To maintain interest across the four days, I changed the look for each speaker. During each presentation, I’d walk around the room to get a feel for how it looked from different angles and then come up with new ideas to add in to the mix for the next presenter.”
While Edgar managed to make great use of the lighting setup during the day, creating impressive backdrops for the featured speakers, his real opportunity to put the rig through its paces was for the Tuesday night Signature party. This brought all of the convention’s attendees back to the main ballroom for musical performances from Cupid, Fatman Scoop and headliner Vanilla Ice.
Unfortunately, the packed schedule of the event mean that Edgar only had minimal time to program the lightshow and had to busk his way through the two hour concert-style party. “I managed to squeeze in about an hour for programming,” shares Edgar, “I didn’t have a setlist, but I played some Vanilla Ice music for inspiration and created as many cues and programs as I could that I thought would work with the songs he was likely to play.”
Luckily, for a professional Lighting Designer like Edgar, this was enough preparation to allow him to create a world-case lightshow that generated an electric party atmosphere and amplified the energy of the performers. The event was hosted by MBLV22’s resident DJ, Jason Jani, who warmed up the crowd before Cupid took to the stage and led the large and energetic crowd through ‘The Cupid Shuffle’. Fatman Scoop then used his distinctive mic technique to hype up the audience before Vanilla Ice and his crew – including a live drummer, DJ and dancers – stormed through a 45 minute set including an anthemic rendition of ‘Ice Ice Baby’.
Throughout the whole event Edgar worked non-stop to ensure that the lightshow fit perfectly with the tempo and atmosphere of every track. The flexible rig allow him to create a seemingly unending collection of effects and looks including bold beam movements, sharp GOBO projections and room-filling washes of saturated color.
This impressive lightshow was further enhanced by a video system comprised of ADJ’s AV Series LED panels. Two 4 x 2 panel concaved DJ facades, created from AV3 panels, were positioned at either side of the stage and used for displaying the event’s sponsors’ logos (including ADJ!). The main backdrop to the speakers and performers was then created from an arrangement of 9 x 5 AV4IP panels. During the day this was used to display the MBLV22 logo, while for the Signature Party it was used to display a variety of animated video content created and mixed live by ADJ’s Corey Chavira.
“I work with Cory a lot,” states Edgar, “and we have learned to complement each other very well. If he throws on a graphic, I’ll try to match the color of the lighting to complement it. Or if he sees that I have a certain lighting cue, he’ll try to find a video loop that will work alongside it.
In addition to lighting and video equipment, ADJ also supplied fog and faze machines to further enhance the atmosphere in the room and highlight the beam effects from the lighting fixtures. Two Entourage Fazers were deployed and set to 20% output during the day to create a light haze in the room – enough to make the beams stand out without reducing visibility. In the evening this was increased to 50%, which completely filled the large room with atmospheric haze – demonstrating the immense capacity of this high-output unit. To add impact on the stage, four of ADJ’s Fog Fury Jett LED-illuminated vertical foggers were also deployed, adding intense blasts of color-infused fog into the mix.
The combination of lighting, video and atmospheric effects created a truly incredible production that was appreciated by everyone in attendance and shared across the world through social media. “What I tend to do,” explains Edgar, “from show to show, is hop on social media to check out who was there, who recorded what, who uploaded to YouTube, who posted here and who posted there. And there was a lot of good feedback from this party, both about the performers and how the lighting looked – two things which I actually thing often go hand-in-hand.”
“Mobile Beat Las Vegas raised its bar no doubt with the video and lighting direction of ADJ this year,” adds Mobile Beat Publisher, Ryan Burger. “Our Events Director, Jake Feldman, worked directly with ADJ staff to put together our greatest produced seminar/educational and nighttime party stage ever. The lighting, the video wall, the hardware used and the coordination was absolutely amazing! ADJ made us look awesome and surely impressed all in attendance.”
Mobile Beat Las Vegas 2018
Venue: Tropicana, Las Vegas, Nevada
Lighting Designer: Edgar Gonzalez
Video Content Producer: Corey Chavira
Video Editor & Producer: Jose Heredia
Photography: Brian Dowdle
9 x ADJ Vizi CMY300
8 x ADJ Vizi Hybrid 16RX
16 x ADJ Vizi Beam RXONE
20 x ADJ Vizi Q Wash7
2 x ADJ Entourage
4 x ADJ Fog Fury Jett
4 x ADJ Encore Profile 1000 WW
45 x ADJ AV4IP
16 x ADJ AV3
1x Elation Professional Compu Show SDE
1x Elation Professional MIDICON PRO
1x Elation Professional MIDICON-2
1x Elation Professional Enode 4
1x ArKaos Media Master
ADJ Interview with Lighting Designer Edgar Gonzalez about MBLV22 Main Stage: