Queen’s deep dive into their live performances continues with episode nine of Queen The Greatest Live taking a look at the importance of lighting in a show.
The episode, “Under the Lights,” looks at the production that has gone into their tours, with Brian May and Roger Taylor sharing their thoughts on why lighting is such an important part of their stage show.
“For that 2 1/2 hours that we’re onstage, we are in complete control of the environment – that means the sound, the lights, the temperature, everything,” May shares. “We’ve always thought the lights are not just objects to illuminate, they’re objects in themselves and they’re part of the environment. And that’s a kind of rock ‘n’ roll thing, I think. I think we imbibed that from seeing stuff that we enjoyed when we were kids.”
Taylor notes they took inspiration from their peers, such as Pink Floyd, when coming up with their lighting, but sought to go even further. “There were so many acts going around that had hundreds of lights, all different colors, and it just made white,” he shares. “So, we had this idea of just having red, green and white. And it was very effective.”
Queen was one of the first bands to use a lighting rig called the “crown,” which could be raised and lowered during the show, as well as what May calls the “pizza oven,” which was a wall of lights above them that got incredibly hot.
But even Roger notes that sometimes all that stuff isn’t necessary. He explains, “Sometimes the most effective light is one single powerful spotlight, to focus the entire arena on that performer.”
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