March 03, 2011

The Yokouchi Pavilion and Elton John

Here at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, the 13 million dollar construction of the Yokouchi Pavilion has been completed and was recently christened by two nights of music by Sir Elton John and his band, thrilling all who came out to see the show.
The huge glass pyramid roof sparkles like a diamond in the sunlight and has literally turned the MACC into the Jewel of the Pacific.

As the chairs were carefully being laid out on the lawn for the upcoming Elton shows, I took a picture from the roof of the Castle Theater's stage house. The open walls of the structure and intimate setting among palm trees make it a perfect venue to see concerts, especially when the sun sets into Iao Valley and a full Maui moon appears above.

Stage platforms were connected and several lighting trusses filled with moving lights were hoisted up into the roof.
There's a catwalk that was constructed up in the roof which I requested for access to the lighting rig. Early on, as the catwalk was being designed, I was asked in a 'by-the-way' manner, how tall I was. A little more than 5'7", I answered. That was passed on to the architect and now when I stroll the catwalk, the I-beams clear my head within an inch. It's a cool bit of trivia that I can brag about... but those I-beams are actually pitched and I've been reminded several times how hard that metal is compared to my fragile noggin when I've strayed from the center of the catwalk to one side.

The view from up there was much better before they suspended some padded acoustic panels from the beams of the roof but it still provides adequate access to my lights and circuits.

There is a secret room that was built below the concrete floor which we call the "vault" which contains dimmer racks, amplifiers, wiring, breaker panels and 2 large conduit tubes that travel underground and connect to the (FOH) front-of-house mix position. Sound, lighting and power cables are pulled from the vault through the tubes and out to a trap door in the ground at the tented mix position on the lawn where the lighting and sound consoles are placed. Backstage, these cables get connected to dimmers and speakers.

In the photo to the left you can see the hatch doors open to the air-conditioned vault below the concrete floor located behind the stage. This is pretty cool to have quick access to equipment should a problem arise.

When dimmers and power distros are brought in for a show, the area designated for the dimmer racks are sometimes called "dimmer beach" and coils of cables will often pile up there in a very orderly way but because there are so many, they may look like a mass of spaghetti. Here's a close-up of the pasta pile for the Elton shows.
Empty road cases are stored upstage behind the backdrop.

The line array sound system is hung from the downstage corners of the pavilion and the band gear will be placed onstage tomorrow. Video screens are setup on the lawn left and right of the stage that will show close-ups of Elton during the show.

The view from the sound console shows how everything is shaping up as the sun goes down on me. Hey, that's an Elton song, isn't it?

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