ADJ Jolt Series Fixtures Dazzle On San Holo’s North American Tour
Having completed a successful first leg in the fall, San Holo’s ‘Existential Dance Music Tour’ will hit the road again in early 2024 for a further string of dates. The 33-show run, which included the Dutch EDM artist’s first arena show – at the Kia Forum in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles back in October – features an intense production which heavily utilizes the ADJ Jolt Series of multifunctional LED fixtures. Providing massive strobe hits, vibrant color washes, big ‘eye candy’ looks, and subtle background effects at different points during the show, the rig features Jolt Bar FX, Jolt 300 and Jolt Panel FX fixtures, which are utilized almost continuously throughout each concert.
Supporting San Holo’s third studio album of the same name, the Existential Dance Music Tour’s production is designed to fill large venues with light and energy while maintaining a continuous focus on the artist himself. A musician, producer and performing artist, San Holo plays from a small riser positioned centerstage with a guitar slung around his shoulders, a mic in front, a keyboard plinth to one side and a couple of controllers on a matching plinth to the other. This juxtaposition between complex technology and beautiful simplicity is reflected in both the music of the Existential Dance Music album and the tour’s technical production.
The responsibility for managing this production falls to Jeff Meuzelaar, who has served as San Holo’s Tour & Production Manager since 2018, making him one of the artist’s longest serving team members. Jeff’s company, Pinnacle Productions, Inc, started out in 2014 hosting EDM shows and events, first in South Dakota and then expanding into neighboring states. Having forged relationships with many artists during these early years, Jeff and his team began to be asked to provide production for their North American tours. Since then, the company has evolved into a full-service tour management company, providing planning, production, and staffing services for a wide variety of artists.
For the Existential Dance Music Tour, Kyle Kegan – who Jeff has also known for a long time – was contracted as Show Designer. His lighting plot involved surrounding San Holo’s central performance space with fixtures – positioned below, behind, above and to the sides – to allow for big looks while keeping attention focused on the lone artist. Central to Kyle’s vision was an LED strobe / pixel bar that could be used to frame the performance space, however, to achieve this, he needed the fixture in a significant quantity.
“Kyle was originally looking at another fixture option but, in the quantities he wanted, it simply wouldn’t have worked within the tour’s budget,” explains Jeff. “However, during the conversation I mentioned that we own the ADJ Jolt 300 and have found them to be very reliable, so he jumped straight on Google and found the Jolt Bar FX! We ordered a couple of samples to be sent to Kyle’s studio so that he could try them out and investigate how they fit together. He thought they looked great and did exactly what he wanted them to do, so – based on our positive experience of the 300 – we went ahead and purchased 32 units for our rental stock.”
The Jolt Bar FX is a linear LED fixture that delivers lighting designers huge output as well as the creative potential of brilliant bright white strobe/blinder LEDs combined with multi-colored wash LEDs in one versatile unit. It features a central strip of 112 x 5-Watt cool white SMD LEDs, surrounded on both sides by a total of 448 x 0.3-Watt RGB color mixing SMD LEDs. Both types of LED are grouped into independently controllable zones (16 white and 32 color), which means the unit can also be used to generate strobe chases and other ‘eye candy’ effects. Kyle’s finished lighting design for the tour utilizes 29 of the fixtures. Nine units, positioned end-to-end, run horizontally across the upstage truss, while five more units run vertically up each of four separate floor-standing truss towers, which are located in the four corners of the stage.
“The Jolt Bar FX is a very versatile fixture that allows us to create a lot of different looks,” comments Jeff. “It gives us the dynamic pixel chasing effects we needed and is bright enough for those accent punches of white. We’ve also found it to be a really solid fixture, we haven’t had to tap into our stock of spare fixtures at all on the first run.”
Kyle was so impressed with the Jolt Bars that he also selected the Jolt Panel FX variant to serve a particular need for big strobe punches that would fill the whole stage. These units each feature a central strip of 48 x 5-Watt cool white SMD LEDs, surrounded on both sides by a total of 800 x 0.3W RGB SMD LEDs, grouped into 6 white and 40 color zones. Four fixtures are mounted underneath San Holo’s blow-through riser, angled straight up, while four additional units are rigged at the bottom of each truss tower, angled across the stage and out towards the audience.
“When it comes to the Jolt Panel FX,” opines Jeff, “the first thing to say is that it is really bright. And that’s what we really wanted: bright and reliable! It’s a solid LED strobe at an affordable price point. As with the bar, it’s also very versatile, which was another factor that contributed to our decision to invest in 32 for our rental inventory.”
In addition to the bars and panels, Kyle’s design also made use of ADJ’s original Jolt 300. This compact fixture offers a similar combination of LEDs, with a central strip of 144 x 0.5-Watt cool white diodes surrounded on both sides by a total of 144 x 0.5 RGB color mixing variants. For the Existential Dance Music Tour, 18 of these fixtures are incorporated into the steps at the front of the main riser. These units are fitted with acrylic diffusers and the steps are dressed with transparent white fabric, which caused the entire front of the riser to glow when they are all triggered simultaneously.
When it came to programming the show, Kyle was aided by Blake Addington, who also went out on the road with the tour as the Lighting Operator. The show predominately runs from a timecode, which synchronizes the lighting and video elements to San Holo’s musical performance, however Blake does have some punt control to customize each performance on the fly. The Jolt fixtures are utilized heavily throughout the entire show, both for high energy strobe flashes and more subtle pixel-mapped effects. The Panels in the blow-through risers are used sparingly for key moments when San Holo is specifically highlighted, however the units on the truss towers are used extensively to fill the stage with strobe hits. The bars are used for almost every song, to create a wide variety of accents and build up looks, while the Jolt 300s serve to draw attention to the riser through a variety of different colored chase patterns and white strobe effects.
“As San Holo's programmer and operator for the Existential Dance Music Tour, I was truly impressed by the ADJ Jolt Series fixtures,” comments Blake. “They were very bright and held up very well on the road. Compared to the [more expensive fixture that was originally spec’d], the Jolt Bar FX is a great fixture and is fun to program and work around. Kyle and I built our fixture types for each fixture inside Grand MA3 and, once we figured it out, we were very impressed. I would recommend this fixture to any tour wanting a bunch of pixel/strobe fixtures for any unique design.”
“For EDM tours, we’re always asked for way too many fixtures with not enough crew and not enough budget!” jokes Jeff to conclude. “When we have an ambitious show design, which has over 100 fixtures just on the ground package, my challenge is to find the best solution to give the designer the performance and quantity they want while remaining within a reasonable tour budget. That’s what the ADJ Jolt Series has allowed me to do for this tour. ADJ products are very much at the forefront of the show, they are used for pretty much every snare hit throughout the set and are a vital component of this tour.”
San Holo Presents Existential Dance Music Tour
Jan 12 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
Jan 13 - El Paso, TX - 11:11
Jan 14 - Albuquerque, NM - El Rey Theater
Jan 18 - Wichita, KS - TempleLive
Jan 19 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
Jan 20 - Houston, TX - Stereo Live
Jan 25 - Kansas City, MO - The Truman
Jan 26 - Dallas, TX - The Factory In Deep Ellum
Jan 27 - Austin, TX - Emo's
Jan 31 - Columbia, SC - The Senate Theatre
Feb 1 - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore
Fri 2 - Atlanta, GA - The Eastern
Feb 3 - St Petersburg, FL - Jannus Live
Get tickets here: sanholo.com/shows
Show & Stage Design
Tour / Production Manager & Video Operator
Jeff Meuzelaar, Pinnacle Productions
Show & Stage Designer
Kyle Kegan, Voyage Productions
Lighting Director, Programmer & Operator
Notch & Video Content
Drew Mercadante, SUPERVOID
Creative Director & Video Content
Thorwald van den Akker
Creative Art Director
Laser Programmer & Vendor
Bill Loftus, Laser Monkey
Chris Bullock, Pinnacle Productions
Caleb Gebhard, Pinnacle Productions
JD Vanderwiel, Antic Studios
Photographer & Videographer
ADJ Gear List
29 x Jolt Bar FX
18 x Jolt 300
8 x Jolt Panel FX
2 x ADJ Entourage faze machine
24 x Elation Dartz 360
18 x Elation Chorus Line 16
4 x Obsidian Netron EN12 node