Daft Punk's huge pyramid from the "Alive 2007" tour. Image courtesy Andreas Herten.

Daft Punk's huge pyramid from the "Alive 2007" tour. Image courtesy Andreas Herten.

Throughout their career, Daft Punk has become famous for not only their music but also for its accompanying art. “Interstella 5555” was a modern day animated rock-opera set to the music of their sophomore record “Discovery,” and their recent world tour is best remembered for its extravagant light display and gigantic flashing pyramid.

Pacific Science Center and its fantastic laser artists and staff have attempted to continue that tradition with its own artwork, and the result couldn’t be better. Laser Daft Punk opened at the Seattle Laser Dome April 2, and the show features mind-bending visuals and enough pounding bass to rumble the entire building.

Led by John “Ivan” Borcherding, the laser theater supervisor at Pacific Science Center, a team took six months to research, plan and design the show. Part of that time was spent deciding on Daft Punk, a band which they arrived at through a mix of surveys and audience members’ suggestions.

“All the information that we put together, everything was telling us that our audience wanted to see Daft Punk,” Borcherding said. “It was time to do laser Daft Punk.”

The show takes the usual laser show formula of huge spirals, beam effects, animations and flashing lights and gives it a distinct feel that’s unlike any other laser show around. The Daft Punk tracks are varied and well sequenced, and the fast-paced throbbing electronic music feels better paired with lasers than classic and modern rock—long the dome’s staple genres. That could be because Jennifer “Mercedes” Bentz, chief projectionist and laser artist, said she tried to extract the feelings and intricacies of Daft Punk’s music and create laser art that expresses them.

“We’ve been doing lasers for so long that we start to feel what the lasers are projecting,” Bentz said. “That’s what we try to produce on the dome, so it feels like this is what you should see if you were listening to the song.”

“As an audience member you look at the imagery on the dome, and it should appear that the music is coming from the laser images, so we try to express that,” Borcherding added.

Five people contribute art—the individual shapes and general imagery—to the show. The nightly “laser artist” then decides what to do with those images and can tweak how big they appear and do things like strobe effects and fog based on the audiences’ reaction to different parts of the show.

“If you come back and see Laser Daft Punk next week you’re going to see some of the same animations and some of the same shapes,” Borcherding said. “But they’re going to be performed differently depending on how the audience responds and also if it’s a different laser artist performing.”

Daft Punk and their huge laser robot heads join the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Beatles and Radiohead as bands that have had laser shows set to their music at the dome. The Daft Punk show is also one of the first to be created entirely by the Pacific Science Center, which has been making original shows for five years. They’ve become world-renowned in that amount of time—Radiohead actually approached them when their album “Kid A” was coming out to organize a premiere there complete with laser show.

As for what’s next for the Seattle Laser Dome, only time will tell. The audiences will determine the next show again, and dome visitors are encouraged to share their opinion on what band it should be with the laser artists performing their show.