Known for colossal hit songs like “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Still Loving You,” Scorpions are a German rock band that helped pioneer the first wave of heavy metal. In 2022, Scorpions released Rock Believer, their first full-length album of new music in seven years. To celebrate and support the new release, Scorpions embarked on a world tour that included months of dates across Europe and North America.
Manfred Nikitser—Scorpions’ lighting designer since 2016—was given free reign to completely revamp the legendary band’s stage design. For the North American leg of the tour, Nikitser created an immersive and visually stunning lighting design utilizing new Martin MAC Ultra Series fixtures, provided by Christie Lites.
Instead of relying on traditional concert lighting setups with multiple fixture-types serving different functions, Nikitser elected to build the majority of the show around a single workhouse. For the North American leg of the tour, 87 Martin MAC Ultra Performance fixtures performed the bulk of the lighting workload. Featuring uniform color mixing; a next-generation framing system; two layers of rotating gobos; a full-function animation wheel and iris, frost and prism effects, the new MAC Ultra Performance provided Nikitser with the flexibility and functionality he needed in a single ultra-bright solution. In addition to the overhead rig, Nikitser also utilized the MAC Ultra Performance fixtures to provide the band with front and back light using a remote follow-spot system.
“This was the first opportunity I had to do a major redesign since I first joined the Scorpions team,” said Nikitser. “We changed from a traditional horizontal truss design to a more aggressive and straightforward look, with eight perpendicular trusses. It’s basically a one-fixture show, so I needed a fixture that could serve multiple purposes. The MAC Ultra Performance was impressive, as it provided both narrow beam spots and washed out looks. It has a great zoom feature, and with gobo projection the Ultra is brighter than anything I’ve ever seen before.”
“We will definitely go with the same design on the next tour,” said Nikitser. “Everyone involved was really happy with the lighting overall, and the Christie Lites crew did an amazing job. It’s actually hard to find a review or post about the tour that doesn’t praise the visual and lighting designs. The MAC Ultra Performance was number one on my wish list, and after this tour it has earned its spot as the first choice on my rider.”