Glassjaw at Brixton Academy

Glassjaw Plays London’s O2 Academy Brixton beneath Elation Rig

LD Hayden Borgars uses Platinum range luminaires for intense to slow-paced looks on legendary hardcore band’s one-off show in London

Highly influential New York post-hardcore band, Glassjaw, rocketed to success in 2000 and has had a strong European following ever since, especially in the UK. Following the release last December of their first full length album since 2002, “Material Control,” the band returned to the UK this summer, playing a much-anticipated show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton on August 18th.

Lighting designer for a short run of European dates was Hayden Borgars (Night Flight Orchestra, The Pineapple Thief, et al.), who had an Elation lighting rig of 12 Platinum Beam Extreme™ beam lights and 12 Platinum Wash ZFX Pro™ LED moving head washes at his disposal for Glassjaw’s Academy Brixton show.


Rooted in the intensity of the New York hardcore scene, Glassjaw is notorious for their exciting live shows and aggressive performance style. Their music is experimental and multi-stylistic, powerful and aggressive, but with a melodic touch that creates a unique dynamic. The December album release was somewhat of a surprise for Glassjaw fans, who hadn’t anticipated a reemergence of the band but greatly appreciated the new music and flocked to see the band live.

Borgars took both the new music and the band’s more classic tracks into account when designing the show. “With ‘Material Control’ being their first album in 15 years I wanted my design to be fairly versatile to be able to create some classic looks for the older tracks and then some more modern and fast-paced looks for the newer material,” he commented. “Having the Platinum Wash ZFX’s in the overhead rig worked well in being able to produce some zone-based effects and more saturated colors for the tracks from ‘Material Control’ as well as some vibrant and brighter colors for the older tracks.” The designer also used the multi-purpose RGBW wash lights for front color wash.

Borgars placed the Platinum Beam 5R Extremes, Elation’s seasoned industry-standard beam light, in both the overhead rig and as part of the floor package to create bright and punchy looks. “They were able to create a very tight beam which is exactly what I was looking for, especially for the fast-paced songs,” he says. “The 6 Platinum Beams in the floor package were also used for the slow-paced songs with gobos and slow movements to create some depth and interesting looks.”

The lighting rig for Glassjaw’s O2 Academy Brixton show was supplied by Ian Livie Lighting. The performance was an intense affair befitting one of the most influential hardcore bands around and a satisfying return for the band’s loyal UK followers.