British “virtual band’ Gorillaz have headed out on their much anticipated worldwide Humanz tour with a bigger than ever light and video experience. Delivering the tour’s sophisticated light show is lighting designer Matt Pitman who this year has expanded his rig to include the Claypaky Mythos2.

Having worked with Gorillaz for a year, Pitman is experienced in delivering shows sensitive to the band’s large projection element. This year the designer wanted a workhorse lighting fixture that not only delivered on power output but also provided sophisticated colour palettes to complement the on-screen animation, developed by award-winning comic artist Jamie Hewlett.

“The Mythos2 was one of the first fixtures to be drawn on the lighting plan,’ says Pitman. “I have always been a fan of its colour temperature; it has a lovely illuminance and sparkle to it. We use an extremely wide colour gamut for the Humanz show, and the Mythos2s keep up brilliantly.’

Pitman, who is a self-proclaimed “huge Gorillaz fan’ worked closely with lead singer Damon Albarn, Hewlett and London-based set and environment designers, Block 9. “For the Humanz tour I was tasked with designing a light show that felt relevant to the landscape and style of the new Gorillaz artwork,’ says Pitman. “The graphics are heavily influenced with grids, tiles and heptagrams, so I allowed this to be the basis for the lighting design.’

Designing lighting to keep up with the dynamic stories and messages of the on-stage animation was a key focus for Pitman, “I had to ensure that the entire rig contained fixtures that gave me as much flexibility and colour range as possible,’ he says. “As well as colour, the Mythos2 has a powerful output that provides me with not only strong beam looks against the projection, but also wide gobo looks. We needed this versatility as the show lighting is quite unconventional at times and extremely theatrical at others.’

Pitman specified 36 of the fixtures overall rigged on the onstage trusses. “When specifying a fixture I always look at the more difficult colours first,’ he explains. “Even in orange, out of focus or dimmed with a gobo, the Mythos2 still has a uniform colour output. The fixture’s mixing bulkhead is also fast enough to keep up with the colour snaps in the show!’

The global availability of the fixtures was also an important factor in Pitman’s specification. “When designing for a world tour, it’s important to be realistic about what fixtures you’re going to be able to source. Claypaky is available nearly everywhere, and the global network of available Mythos2 rental houses makes it the only fixture of this type that is easy to find across the world.’

“It was only ever going to be a Mythos2, no substitutes,’ he says.

The Gorillaz Humanz tour played its last UK date at the 02 Arena in London on 5 December before heading across the Atlantic to Uruguay for its South American run until 30 March. The tour then returns for the festival season, kicking off with Sonar on 14 June in Spain.