The Canadian rapper's show blurs the boundaries between lighting design and choreography
While Drake starts rapping to Look Alive, forty illuminated Lucie® microdrones appear suspended over the stage and move like a wave, gradually changing colour. During Elevate, the drones move in a cloud, like a swarm of bees, each following an independent trajectory, but without ever colliding. The scene was repeated on more than 50 dates in the Canadian rapper's tour, some of them in front of an audience of more than fifty thousand people. The flight of the drones was one of the most shared movements on social networks, and music magazines like “Rolling Stone” and technology magazines like “The Verge” and “Gizmodo” have articles dedicated to it.
Verity Studios technicians and Willo Perron, creative director of Drake's Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour created a show that transcends the boundaries between lighting design and choreography: the fleet of drones acts like a dance troupe, with the difference that they are not trained by a choreographer, but by a programmer. Instead of being piloted from the ground, these lightweight drones (each weighing about 50 grams) are able to coordinate themselves through an algorithm: they hold formation even while following Drake's movements, and avoid hitting each other or any other obstacles that there may be in the various concert locations. Moreover, the lighting effects of the drones are coordinated with the screens and lighting systems, making the Canadian rapper's show a memorable event.
...a show that transcends the boundaries between lighting design and choreography.
Verity Studios was founded in Switzerland in 2014 by Raffaello D'Andrea, an Italian-born engineer and professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH University in Zurich. In recent years it has also provided drones and programming for Metallica and the Cirque du Soleil. “Rolling Stone” emphasized how great live shows increasingly resort to solutions that not only thrill and amaze spectators at the time, but are also iconic moments destined to be photographed or filmed and then “instagrammed”. A strategy that inevitably depends on innovative lighting management.
The role of social networks affects not only the live shows of the most popular artists: just a few months ago, in this article
we talked about the importance of designing “shareable” experiences also for the institutions that have to make the most of a centuries-old artistic heritage, like the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, with paintings by Tintoretto.
Drake in concert with fleet of drones behind him.
The drone version used by Verity Studios for Drake concerts.