Pieter Laleman talks working with Genesis and passion for LED artistry
Growing up in Belgium, Pieter Laleman was always interested in electronics and the way things worked. He knew that he wanted to explore this interest in the future, making things with the newest technology. What he didn’t know, however, is that he would one day do just that, but in the entertainment industry.
Laleman is now living that childhood dream as an internationally in-demand LED Artist, using technology and artistry to create spectacles for concerts, sporting events, award shows, and many more. He has impressed millions around the world with his work, whether in Korea watching the League of Legends World Championship, Europe for Robbie Williams’ “Take the Crown Tour” or in Miami attending the Miss Universe pageant. He is both incredibly versatile and wildly talented, with an unparalleled passion for his craft
“Being involved in LED opened up a whole new world for me. When I began in the 90s, LED was so new that only high-end clients were able to afford the new technology. As an LED artist, I was travelling to a lot of those high-profile jobs all over the world. To see the satisfaction from thousands of people enjoying the rock shows I set up with LED screens still gives me goosebumps. Being part of the success of corporate sales force meetings, showing off the newest cars at shows or doing award shows, it’s amazing. The mixture of projects keeps you on your toes to keep up with the newest technologies and make shows bigger and better, that’s a big personal drive for me. Plus, the opportunity to visit different cultures and meet new people all around the world makes it even more exciting,” said Laleman.
Laleman’s resume is decorated with tremendous success, but the highlight for the LED Artist was working with the celebrated rock band Genesis on the “Turn it on Again” world tour back in 2007. The tour was notable for the return of drummer and vocalist Phil Collins, who had fronted the band during their most commercially successful period before leaving in 1996, rejoining founding members Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, with their traditional on-stage musicians, Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer.
“Being part of the team to set up the shows for an iconic band like Genesis was amazing. During the rehearsals I noticed they wanted the tour to be a success and they were involved in every aspect of the show. Every musical note had to be perfect, every light had to flash at the right beat, the video had to be perfectly in sync with the songs and camera images had to look perfect on the screens. That level of perfection makes you push your limits even further to give it your best,” said Laleman.
The “Turn it on Again” tour pushed all the limits in video at the time, and that thrilled Laleman. His team came up with a back LED wall that was slightly curved over the entire width of the stadium and an elliptical high-resolution screen. The big challenge for Laleman was to make this setup fit in all the different stadiums and also able to move it in a safe and time efficient manner.
“The project was very prestigious and pushed all boundaries of using LED screens. No one had ever toured with an LED screen that wide and with such a high resolution. Pushing the limits of every piece of gear to get to that result is reason enough to be part of it. The last show was a free concert in Rome in the park next to the colosseum for 500,000 people. It was a very unique experience,” said Laleman.
Being the leading LED Artist, Laleman had tremendous responsibility. He had to oversee seven semi-trucks of LED gear being packed up overnight after the show and being rebuilt in the next city for another show that same night over and over again. He had to ensure all the electronics were hooked up and working, fixing the broken parts each time due to weather and transportation. The electronics were a fundamental part of the show, and Laleman made sure they were extremely memorable.
“Being part of a tour that size knowing it was the biggest resolution screen ever on the road till this day is just a great feeling. Knowing hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed the show and have memories for life because of my work, that’s something amazing,” he concluded.
By Joyce Cameron
June 20th, 2019