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David Beebe Reflects Many Sides of The Zombies with Chauvet Professional

Zombies' performance

Last year, David Beebe became one of the first house LDs to add Chauvet Professional's Maverick Force S Spot to his rig when he took shipment of six of the then-new 350W lightweight movers from JRLX at the legendary club The Birchmere, where he's been looking after the lighting since 2004.

At the time, Beebe explained the move by saying he was expecting the new fixtures to add "another dimension" to his lightshows, allowing him to incorporate new looks to reflect the diverse mix of artists that take to The Birchmere's stage. This April, he provided another example of how the fixtures have exceeded his expectations when he created a deeply evocative show that morphed from psychedelic, to old school rock, to jazz looks.

This time, the show has an extra-special personal touch for Beebe, as the band he was lighting were the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, The Zombies. "I listened to them as a kid," he says of the iconic group from St. Albans, UK. "They were always special."

That's an opinion shared by many rock critics. Hailed by Rolling Stone for creating a "suite of songs that are among the best ever in the rock era," The Zombies have left an indelible mark on the genre. Beebe did them justice in their 90-minute set with his seamless lightshow.

"I try to never to repeat looks throughout a show," he says. "It bores me to be repetitive and I don't want to bore the audience either. For the Zombies, I wanted some psychedelic looks which I got mainly using the video wall and some color scrolling. The rest was straight rock and roll or ballad looks. I like to do darker looks with a lot of overhead lighting and many of the bands seem to like that as well. Keeps the light out of their eyes! I used the mirror ball on one song and lot of swirly stuff on the video wall."

Beebe's six Maverick Force S Spots contributed mightily to this flowing stream of looks. He had two of the fixtures on the downstage corners, while spreading the other four evenly across the upstage deck. In addition to framing the stage, these were focused on the mirror ball at times.

"I liked fanning the Forces in a straight out look for slow ballads," he says. "Then for other more aggressive numbers I went for a thin beam laser-type look. Changing up the zoom, gobos, and colors kept the show varied. Also, I often spun my lights slightly for atmosphere. Another thing that was important in this show was the Forces' tight zoom, which was great for highlighting solos."

Joining the Force S Spots in creating these many moods on stage were the rig's six Maverick MK1 Spot fixtures. Flown on midstage truss, they were used for ballyhoo specials, solos, and audience lighting.

"Audience lighting was a big part of this show," says Beebe, adding that the crowd was "really enthusiastic" as soon as the Zombies walked on stage. Like the house LD himself, many of them also had great memories of one of rock's most remarkable and innovative bands.


(18 May 2022)

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