I may not yet have been alive to experience the magic of a Fillmore performance back when Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, and my musical idols, Led Zeppelin, were still performing, blessing stages and many an ear in the 70s. Still, that doesn’t mean that I missed out for good on the magic that once lit up the stage and made a performance much more than a feast for the ears–because there was also the visual spectacle behind the band.
It’s hard to describe the spectacle that goes on when Joshua White puts on a light show, but thanks to attending the 50th Anniversary show at NYU Skirball Center on September 9, I was able to see for myself what all the fuss was about. When my partner and musician Amy Klein invited me to attend, I did not know what to expect but she insisted that I would love the experience, a projection but not a movie? I brought my camera ready to participate in the only way I know how.
Set up behind a band was the light shows which projected onto a large screen from the rear all kinds of Physcadelic visuals created via slides, film loops and most interesting is the chemistry that went along with the oils mixed with water. ***** describe whats interesting****The trippy visual experience was well known then and today has been entwined with the psychedelic rock bands of the day. The man responsible for the best known in the business, Joshua White, is still active and performing today!
Before the show, there was a chat with Joshua and I managed to film a couple of questions but not the entirety of the interview. None the less I felt it was worth sharing before we move on to the actual show.
The first act was ready to come on and the lights had just dimmed, I imagined for a moment that I was going to see a rock band like back in the heyday of these performances. Turns out the light show is as much a performance as is the musicians on stage and It takes a team of many artists to create the visuals and they work in unison creating a unique never to be seen again visual performance. I wondered how it synced up to the music and what kind of music typically works best for this sort of thing if not the classic rock and roll of the 70s.
The opening act*****
At times the Light Show is a projection of pure color and appears abstract but at times can also feature concrete imagery easily recognizable faces and so on but the visual continues to change and breath, as it goes through a variety of color effects and shaping of the light as the artists creating the visuals continually react to the music. It can be difficult to describe with mere words but luckily I was able to capture much of the show. **** what did i observe******what did it look like***
After the show, I caught a backstage tour by *lisa. Taking a question or two from her guests, she described some of her techniques and what it takes to get through a performance.
Written by Orlando S. Gondar
Edited by Amy Klein