|The album is yet another artistic and commercial success of
this unfailing quartet, which has been proposing a musical repertoire for
a vast public for over 30 years, producing chart-topping albums. The figures
speak for themselves: during their career, Pooh have made a total of 41
albums (included 25 inedited ones) and sold over 20 million LPs, besides
over 2,100 concerts, almost 600 weeks in the charts, 20 platinum disks,
14 gold disks and 14 Telegatti Awards. "Cento di queste vite" is proving
to have a most auspicious start, as they have already sold 300,000 copies
in a few months, winning three platinum disks.
Each concert of this tour includes a program of 40 new, recent and celebrated songs, starring Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel as guest. As always, the tour promotes important collateral initiatives: "Cento di questi incontri" is a series of occasions where Pooh meet up with personalities from the world of culture to exchange and bear witness to their social commitment, which this year has been realised in WWF Federtrasporti and Rock No War-Pigna initiatives.
Pooh are known to be among only a few artists who manage to stay on stage for three whole hours: in fact, they don't just play music but also dialogue with the public, joke, underline their social commitment, revive the emotions of their celebrated numbers and propose new pieces. Many insiders come to the group's concerts curious to see what kind of new show they come up with again.
This is why Pooh are not just a band of excellent musicians, but also a proper organisational machine that prepares the tours with meticulous care on both a technical and promotional level. During their stopover in Verona Renato Neri, owner of Xeron, the service which deals with the stage organisation and setting and supplies the sound and lighting system that revealed some distinctive features of this tour, found the time for an interview.
How do you choose the locations for the concerts and what are the characteristics of this Sports Arena?:
The locations are chosen depending on the availability of the premises. Depending on whether it's a sports arena, a theatre or an open-air stage, they have certain qualities that make us choose them for some technical reasons rather than others. For example, the sports arena can provide a wider array of lights than in a theatre, so the show is even more captivating from this point of view.
As for the lights, let's talk about Astroscan, the new Clay Paky projector:
Astroscan is a spectacular effect that can create soft and relaxing
atmospheres or powerful flashes of light. It can be positioned on the stage
or up on the trusses, and covers the entire intermediate area thanks to
a pyramid head which oscillates at the speed and angle desired and
creates a diffusion of the light beam on several axes at 360°.
This seems to be something more than just a concert?:
Pooh have been around for thirty years because they?ve always been able to renew their image, yet keep their own style. We always need to propose something new in terms of music and show production. For this occasion, we wanted to give the concert a theatrical element that creates a certain intimacy with the public. Tricks like the huge curtain-screen as well as the brand-new and inspiring effects of Astroscan have been specifically designed for captivating the audience.
Now let's hear from Giancarlo
Tosani, Lighting Designer of the concert,
Could we turn to the lighting design? What was the idea behind it? How was it done?:
A lighting design is created by first assessing the material that the service gives you. I must say that Xenon provided me with everything I wanted and also Renato Neri and I are absolutely convinced that Clay Paky projectors outshine all their competitors. I installed the Super Scan Zooms on the central truss above the stage together with the Stage Color 1200 for basic lighting. A lot of Stage Zooms 1200 were placed on the upper truss, on those perpendicular to the stage and on the floor, while the Astroscans, the brand-new Clay Paky projectors, were arranged on the stage and ceiling.
What do Pooh ask for?:
Pooh trust me a lot and give me free rein to choose the effects that I prefer, even if we all then judge the final result of the show that I have produced. They are all very skilled and professional on this matter and often make very useful suggestions. The album "Cento di queste vite" is very varied so I could make the most of the colours.
Do you have different phases and methods in the lighting design of this show?:
Yes. The first part of the concert consists of pieces from the new album. Often the public can?t relate to them, so the Lighting Designer tries to give a colour and an identity to these pieces. Yet things are different when they start singing the "celebrated" numbers: the public already knows them all and sings along with the artists, so the lights dim and become less intrusive to enhance this intimate atmosphere.
As in all jobs, at certain levels, the professional proposes his own style and character. What is your most important trait?:
I always try to give the stage a sense of grandeur, combining all the projectors I?ve got at hand. My lighting designs always have a form of their own if observed all together, but can take on different forms if observed separately, breaking up the various parts. I don?t like mixing more than two colours on stage, to avoid losing the colour?s intensity. I use bright colours and generally avoid "dark" atmospheres. For this tour, the Clay Paky projectors helped me realise a lighting design exactly as I had in mind.
How important is the availability of lights for the success of a light show?:
It?s fundamental: a Lighting Designer can provide all his professionalism and talent, but must always need to have the adequate means available to realise this. It?s essential that he can use instruments which make him feel completely at ease, fulfil his ideas and adapt to the musicality of the artists.
How do you combine the Clay Paky Astroscan beams in the economy of the concert?:
Astroscan is an innovative lighting effect, as it can produce 10 light
beams using numerous effects - rotating gobos, colours, iris, stop, strobe,
dimmer - and project them in any direction and at any speed. I used them
to captivate the audience and interact with the Stage Zoom 1200 and Super
Scan Zoom beams. It's definitely a fascinating product, and not only for
concerts, which depends on the reliability and power of Golden Scan, the
origin of this projector.
Sound and lighting service: Xenon of Renato Neri