Hans Zimmer Live | Pre-visualized with Depence

Hans Zimmer Live | Pre-visualized with Depence

After a planning phase that began in 2019 and countless postponements due to the pandemic, John Featherstone, and his team at Lightswitch were finally able to get started with the realization of the Hans Zimmer Live Tour 2022/2023 after a long period of preparation. To realize the cinematic approach of the show, scenic designer Derek McLane and projection designer Peter Nigrini were also brought on board.

The aspiration to create a visual journey for the audience shaped the production, as did the distinctive artistic aesthetic of Hans Zimmer himself, who is able to send the listener on a unique musical journey. As Hans Zimmer's music spans several internationally acclaimed films and numerous different genres, the lighting design also had to be conceived in such a way that it could reflect all these facets in different ways. The range extends from the Asian sounds of a movie like The Last Samurai to the menacing music of The Dark Knight and beyond.

In order to reflect the flow of the themes in the music, Featherstone relies primarily on cues in the design of the show that are fluid and musical, and not too mechanical. Nevertheless, there are moving trusses and architectural elements on the stage. His preferred fixture to realize most of the looks was the Robe MegaPointe, which can also cover the beams typical for rock shows between strongly fanned light. The architecture of the rig was designed so that Zimmer is located in the downstage center while the band and orchestra are placed on risers behind him. The architecture of the rig was designed so that Zimmer is located in the downstage center while the band and orchestra are placed on risers behind him. The stage is also illuminated with plenty of sidelights on both sides with the help of the MegaPointes. The color scheme of the shows reflects the flexibility of the lighting design itself, with everything from pastel looks to razor-sharp saturated hues.

The show itself starts with the title track to the movie Dune, which is also reflected in the light show. The band is cloaked in striking desert tones while the Oscar-winning soundtrack is played. The second score that can be heard is the one from Gladiator. Here Zimmer pays attention to the fact that there are no strong female leads in the film, which is why the idea was to let the music take on this role. The lighting design here also takes the approach of elevating the mood from soft to extremely bombastic. The music from The Dark Knight, on the other hand, is more like a study of order and chaos and everything in between, almost comparable to the eternal battle of good and evil. This plunge from order into (mental) chaos is largely supported by the lighting design, which virtually attacks the audience with wild beams and red blasts from Robe Tetras. As far as the overall color scheme of the tour is concerned, great attention was ultimately paid to the respective storylines of the films for which the music was written.

Along a super great team, Featherstone was especially proud to work together with his daughter Hailey, who acted as tour lighting director. Chris Herman served as programmer on grandMA3, while the pre-programming in Berlin was done by using the Depence multimedia show design & visualization software system. However, Featherstone also points out that the entire project has been highly collaborative. Influences in the design are blurred and the lines in the production overlapped. This can also be seen in the arrangement of light and video content, as the two design elements merge seamlessly. The team's way of working, as well as that of Hans Zimmer himself, is reflected in the entire project process and in the design.



  • Technical Direction: Tobias Busskamp, Thomas Schmitt
  • Lighting Design: John Featherstone
  • Lighting Director: Hailey Featherstone
  • Lighting Programmer: Chris Herman
  • Scenic Design: Derek McLane
  • Media Design: Peter Nigrini

Lighting Crew

Jens Modigell- crew chief

Sascha Laue- systems and networ

Marvin Jürgens- robo spots and systems

Kevin Schulze-Borgmühl- dimmers

Ludwig Sigel- kabel 1

Christoph Konermann- kabel 2

Mona Rapp- kabel 3

Peter Hermanns- kabel 4

CyberHoists: Tobias Frey, Boris HölscherIngo, Ingo Koenzen, Florian Renisch


Pictures by Lindsay Cave