Dimitri Vassiliu, lighting designer (LD) for French rock superstar Johnny Hallyday, invited us backstage at the AccorHotels Arena during the on-going “Rester Vivant” marathon tour to talk lighting, video, and rock & roll.
A magnificent tableau, lean and very graphic. The risers are marked with Arcaline 2 LED battens. BFML spots define the space to the side and behind, and the screens provide a red light source in harmony with the B-Eye K20s.
This was a new experience for the talented LD, who had already worked on some of the biggest music tours in France. Now, to helm not only the lighting but also the scenic and video design for over a hundred concerts by France’s rock icon was an exciting new challenge.
The fantastic skull opens, lit by MAC Auras...
Johnny Hallyday was back on the French concert stage, prepared to go all out in the true spirit of rock & roll.
Lead guitarist, Yarol Poupaud, has forsaken his six-string for this tour to act as the band’s musical director, joining the LD, the promoter, and Johnny himself in this rock revival production. The team opted for a lean and uncluttered vintage stage that nevertheless boasts cutting-edge technology in both projectors and screens: B-Eye, BMFL, Mythos, and Sharpy profiles and wash lights.
... revealing France’s national rock star under the Sharpy beams, in front of the MagicPanel™ array that artfully evokes stars in the night sky.
The set consists of 834 video modules that pepper the Arena stage along with an impressive array of 192 Ayrton MagicPanel™602 luminaires suspended upstage – no doubt, the biggest rig of this type ever used in France.
As expected, it’s a big rig, and Johnny makes his spectacular, surprise entrance from out of a fantastic giant skull that cracks open in a nebula of smoke, under a wash of blinding white light. Johnny wouldn’t have it any other way.
Vassiliu takes some bold risks with his decisions on a new lighting scheme that blends old-school lamps with ultra modern video. The point was not just to break all the rules but also to give the rock star a new lighting and graphic concept. We met with the LD himself, who also mans the console on this tour, assisted by Philippe Marty and Stéphane Chiron in the booth.
Team photo of the marvellous lighting crew. From left to right, kneeling: Stéphane Chiron, Martial Blond, Dimitri Vassiliu, Christian “Lou” Carlichi and Aurelien. Standing: Pierre Yves Orieux, David Bergue, Jean Philippe Willocq, Philippe Marty, Thomas, Sylvain and Enrique Elixander.
We also spoke with Peggy M., Vassiliu’s video content producer, who adds her own personal touch to Johnny’s show with some remarkable playback material.
Custom design: a mix of vintage rock and modernity