When the Sun Sets

When The Sun Sets is meant to be more than a mere concert. The event, which will take place at Tapp’s Arts Center this week was specifically planned for the summer solstice, and its creator, Liam Tackie, designed it to be a multimedia experience with the music merely serving as its spine. 

“Conceptually, the theme is based around the question, ‘What happens when the sun sets?’” says Tackie, who created the event under the banner of his audio-visual production company IlluminousQ Technologies. “I feel like so much happens when the sun sets, and I felt like a summer solstice celebration would be timely and serve as a parallel since it’s the longest day of the year.”

When The Sun Sets will feature a few different musical acts, kicking off with an acoustic set by singer-songwriter Jody Jackson at 7 p.m. Tackie himself (under the name Analog Cigarette) will follow Jackson’s performance with a set of heavy electronic rock with an electric guitar-plus-turntables setup, and then Zachary Dick (aka Baked ZD) will take the stage with a downtempo drum-and-bass performance. The evening’s headliner, hip-hop/EDM artist Koowaton (aka Jake Kirschner) will close things out. 

Tackie will bring the light show, with digital projections and three different live-painters deployed to create a complete experience.

“The lighting will parallel the sun setting, with bright oranges and yellows,” he explains. “There will be three separate live painters working in their unique styles, digital projections for the stage, and also a digital photo booth-style projection that will be set up between two of the painters. It allows people to take photos in front of a digital-based projection, and have colors and patterns imprinted on their bodies.”

Tackie’s philosophy is that straightforward concerts lack an immersive element that he aims to create using a multimedia approach.

“I love crafting these complete environments,” he says. “I feel like shows where you’re standing and listening to music can be tiresome even if you’re dancing, because you’re stuck in one place. I want there to be other points of attraction. It’s not one-dimensional, it’s interactive where you can explore different parts of the event.”

Interestingly, When The Sun Sets only turned into such a multifaceted event after it was moved within the Tapp’s Arts Center from the smaller Space Hall to the larger Soda Live.

“The bigger room led me to expand the event and make it more collaborative,” he says. “I have a good relationship with Tapp’s. They’re always so generous with their resources when it comes to art-driven events.”

It’s a fitting approach for someone who’s been omnivorous from the start. Tackie started playing guitar when he was 11 years old and moved into playing piano before he fell in love with DJing while attending the University of South Carolina.  

“One of my good friends was DJing, and after watching him do it for months and months I started picking it up,” he recalls. “It became my favorite way to listen to music, because I had full control of it. I could create a collage of sound. I could piece together choruses with different verses. I could take one song’s instrumental part and layer another’s vocals over it. I loved the idea of listening to exactly what I wanted to hear at exactly the time I wanted to hear it. It was a creative freedom.”

Tackie began incorporating the visual elements like light shows and digital projections into his arsenal after seeing other performers using it in their work. 

“I started toying around with visuals and making my own content last year,” he says. “I’d been to shows where I’d seen a visual aspect that created this whole story-based environment. I realized that I could fully construct my own sonic and visual universe in one package.” 

What: When The Sun Sets: A Multi-Media Solstice Soiree 

Where: Tapp’s Arts Center, 1644 Main St., Columbia

When: Friday, June 21, 7 p.m.

With: Jody Jackson, Analog Cigarette, Baked ZD and Koowaton

Price: $8

More: 803-988-0013, tappsartscenter.com 

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