The first ever Power Trip music festival was considered epic before it even took place! Why? Because six of the world’s most legendary heavy metal and hard rock bands in history gathered to play on one stage, and 4Wall, Paradox and Elation had the honor of lighting the event.
Metallica, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Tool (subbing for Ozzy Osbourne) all played at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California, October 6-8, where up to 80,000 fans gathered each day to revel in musical history. Power Trip marked the first concert in seven years from AC/DC.
Some 80 Proteus Maximus™, 18 Proteus Excalibur™, 84 DTW Blinder 700 IP™ and 80 DTW Blinder 350 IP™ luminaires from Elation, were all used by the lighting design team at Paradox Production and Design and 4Wall Entertainment, led by 4Wall account executive and production manager Dallas Gaspar. 4Wall also supplied additional lighting packages for the Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Metallica performances.
Just witnessing these giants of metal and rock all playing the same stage felt historical, and each day of the gargantuan rock show had a slightly different vibe. Common to all was hard-rocking classics and stage shows filled with unforgettable moments. Dallas commented on the opportunity to be involved in such a monumental event: “It was amazing! I grew up listening to AC/DC and Metallica so it was a great full circle moment for me to help design the stage that those bands signed off on and played on.” In fact, it was a Metallica show that Dallas attended in college that served as the springboard for his journey into lighting design. “I was awestruck by the production and when I discovered that the college I was attending, Cal State Fullerton, offered a lighting design program, I quickly changed majors,” he shares.
Power to match
At Power Trip, just two bands played extended sets each day on a single, massive stage backed by a huge video wall. Potent lighting was needed to cut through, and as the festival was outdoors for several days it also needed to be IP65 reliable (Temperatures over the weekend turned out to exceed 100°F, which proved no problem for the fixtures’ innovative cooling system). “It was a huge show with intense rock bands so the power had to match the atmosphere and the hard-driving energy of the music,” Dallas states. “We needed something that would work outside of just a defined space but cut through at long distances and both the Maximus and Excaliburs did that.”
Maximus and Excalibur
Paradox placed four staggered rows of truss pods overhead, each pod with 3 x 20 ft sticks of truss along with a single 40 ft truss over stage. Additional were two sets of vertical trusses, each 40 ft tall. The Proteus Maximus, Elation’s popular 50,000-lumen LED Profile, occupied the overhead, downstage and wing trusses as well as lined the large video wall, providing aerial effects and doubling up as key lighting. The Proteus Excaliburs, with its ultra-narrow 0.8-degree beam, worked from the downstage edge as floor lights with an extra 81 fixtures brought in for the Metallica show.
The lighting team said they loved working with both lights and that the Excaliburs especially really cut through and could even be seen clearly from miles away. “It was my first time using them and I was impressed,” Dallas said. The Maximus he had used before but not in such large quantities. “They also cut through and looked great on camera for live IMAG shots of the band and audience,” he said, noting that band LDs often used the Maximus zoomed out wide with a gobo or as wash for audience eye candy.
The large number of DTW Blinders lined the video frame, as well as the vertical and overhead trusses, adding what Dallas says was an old school rock blinder feel to the show. Framing the video with both movers and blinders was one of his favorite looks. “The video was such a big statement that instead of trying to compete with it, I wanted to enhance it. The blinders in a straight line all the way around the video, mixed in with the movers, gave depth to the look and helped to contain the video wall without shrinking it.”
Billed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of rock’s most legendary bands at one event, Power Trip was an unquestionable success. Six electrifying performances with an impactful lighting design to match left an indelible mark on the thousands gathered each day.
Paradox Production and Design - Festival LX Design
Dallas Gaspar - Account Executive
Jonathan Daroca - Production Manager
Enrique "Nemo" Flores - LX Crew Chief
Josh Hale - Master Electrician
Caleb Shiba - LX Technician
Mose Berreyesa - System Technician
JJ Contini - System Technician
Darren Montanez - LX Technician
Steven Calley - LX Technician
Rick Prather - Production Rigger
Canin Campbell - Rigging Lead
Joe Gonzalez - Rigging Assist
Corey Slagle - Rigging Assist