In 1994, the city of Madrid built a new stadium in its bid to be named the site of the World Athletic Championships. Although the city eventually lost out to Athens for the honour of hosting the games, its effort ultimately led to the creation of one of Europe’s most critically acclaimed stadiums: Wanda Metropolitano.
The 68,000-seat stadium serves as the home to Atlético Madrid, but on Saturday June 29, it played host to another of Spain’s national treasures when it welcomed singer Manuel Carrasco who appeared there as part of his 35-date “The Cross of the Map” tour. Fans who packed the stadium were immersed not only in the emotional power of the star’s vocals, but also by the sweeping visuals that Jvan Morandi ran from a control centre powered by no fewer than six ChamSys desks including two MagicQ MQ 500 Stadiums, two MagicQ MQ100s, and two MagicQ MQ80s
With it’s massive 350 square meters LED video wall spanning beyond the width of the bi-level stage, and its 400 lighting fixtures creating colourful matrixes of richly saturated colours, the 36-universe show enveloped the big stadium in a transcendent panorama. Evoking a sense of intimacy between fans and the chart-topping star, Morandi’s design along with the video content created by Jonathan Klahr, Andrew Morgan, Tom Hadley, Roof Studios, Stylorouge Studios and Karlos Sans, supported his client’s well-known pop ballads with softly sweet visuals. At the same time, the show also veered off into harder rock directions that were never seen before in Carrasco’s tours for his seven previous albums.
Helping Morandi weave this intricate light and video tapestry together were his ChamSys consoles. He used his two MagicQ MQ500 Stadiums to run most of the lighting, video, camera switching and lasers; and two MQ100 Consoles to control audience lighting while having his two MQ80 Consoles take care of the DMX automatic track that moved the LED screens on the horizontal axis.
With the exception of some audience lighting, the entire show at Madrid was cue stacked. Morandi wrote 38 pages of cues, working with Reaper Software, Capture visualisations and some WYSIWYG with “great help” from Joeri Diddens, who also provided FOH support. All systems were run in ArtNet and Acn.
“ChamSys saved a great deal of time in creating this show by simplifying things,” said Morandi. “We timecoded a very large number of cues, around 1600. So, the timecode read via import CSV files feature in ChamSys was a godsend! The consoles’ timecode functionalities, network capabilities, and the ability to handle a large number of ArtNet universes have all been very important to me on this tour.”
Another feature of the ChamSys consoles that Morandi has been placing a premium on is their versatility. Carrasco’s “The Cross of the Map” tour is very aptly named, as the show has been crisscrossing the Iberian Peninsula with a passion.
All of Spain, it seems, wants to see Carrasco, who has had five Number One hits since he burst on the scene after participating in a reality singing competition. (His show at the 45, 000 Benito Villamarin Stadium so out in four hours.)
Reaching Carrasco’s large Spanish audience calls for the tour stopping at rural and remote areas with smaller venues. In contrast to Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano, some sites on tour have capacities as low as 7,000.
“The tour moves between a number of extremely different types of venues,” said Morandi. “We have passed through car parks, to plaza de toros, to big stadiums and back. ChamSys is giving me the flexibility to adjust a very intricate show and scale it up or down so it fits into different venues. Also, most of the shows are outdoors, and in Spain the conditions have often been very hot and dusty. Yet, ChamSys has performed impeccably. As a designer, this among the most important things you can ask of a controller.”