— New Las Vegas dance club acquires brilliant yet cost-effective lighting through GC Pro’s extensive inventory, including LED and other fixtures from American DJ, which let lighting designer Neil Kull pull out all the stops on a fixed budget —
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — When TRU Night Club opened on East Flamingo Road in Las Vegas earlier this year, its location just off the busy Las Vegas Strip told you a lot about the new dance spot: it would be intimate and apart from – yet close to – the action of Sin City. Naturally, it features the same level of audio and lighting that clubgoers have come to expect: Funktion-One and EAW Avalon sound systems in its two main rooms, and with the assistance of Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the business-to-business (B2B) division of Guitar Center providing highly customized service for professional accounts, a dazzling array of lighting from manufacturers including American DJ and Elation. These include 16 American DJ Quad Gems, five LED tri-color scanning heads, eight pixel-pulse bars, and four Monster Quad Moonflowers as well as the Elation FLEX CHANNEL™ line of aluminum tracks. These systems are already lighting the room up for resident DJs Vixen and David Serrano.
Lighting Designer and Creative Director Neil Kull was tasked with making TRU a winner by club operator Disco Group, headed by Peter Arabo, a noted Detroit DJ whose clubs there, including Envy, Plan B, Confidential, Centre Street and Vision, set the stage for his first Las Vegas venture. In addition to specifying the club’s audio components, Kull — formerly lighting director of Light Group and a veteran of the Chicago underground scene with 23 years of nightlife industry experience — looked at TRU’s lighting as not only its biggest challenge but also what would be its signature statement, describing it as “a 360-degree omnidirectional show, a more traditional nightclub style that immerses the audience from all sides. TRU’s show will look complete from every point of view in the room. The audience becomes the star.”
Kull says he had a very specific budget to work with, and he turned to GC Pro to help him source the right elements to create a memorable lighting narrative that would also stay within the allotted budget. “He says he was familiar with the American DJ brand from twenty years ago, but after talking with GC Pro Account Manager John Stevens at the GC Pro Las Vegas office, he took a look at the American DJ products. “It’s amazing how much the technology has changed and how much I was able to accomplish with the American DJ fixtures,” he says. “Now that it’s all LED, the maintenance factor has been reduced to virtually nothing, and that’s a big thing for me. I was able to find the unique fixtures I needed to execute the design completely.”
GC Pro Account Manager John Stevens says such collaboration is the foundational model for all of GC Pro’s relationships with customers. “I worked with Neil and Peter on getting them the type of lights they needed to fulfill the vision, while also staying in their budget,” he says. “As such, I was able to get a majority of their needs fulfilled using mostly American DJ products and used Elation on some very specific higher-end models that were must-haves. I worked a solution between TRU and my American DJ contacts directly to help fulfill all their lighting needs.”
And as always, Stevens put the emphasis on the personal rather than the transactional nature of these relationships. “We met at a nightclub and bar expo earlier this year, and that helped solidify the relationship between myself, TRU night club and American DJ in person to make sure all their needs were taken care of,” he recalls. “It was a great collaboration between all parties to help fulfill Neil’s vision.”
Kull is appreciative of GC Pro’s attentiveness, not just to the sales side but also to any follow-up needs. “It’s inevitable that when you’re working with thirty-plus fixtures, one or two will be non-working right out of the box, and when that happened, John had a new unit ready for us on site the next day,” he recalls. “When it turned out the Quad Gems were back ordered, he made sure we were at the top of the list when they came in. American DJ and GC Pro kept us on schedule and within budget, and in Las Vegas that’s pretty amazing.”