It was the sort of fanfare generally reserved for photo shoots featuring a Kardashian.
Or, at the very least, a Jenner.
For the photo illustrations that accompany Sunday’s stories on the Golden Knights’ historic playoff run, Review-Journal graphic artists Severiano del Castillo Galvan and Wes Rand wanted to eclipse the design of the special section fronts they created for each round of the postseason — the ones so popular that several of you were selling them on eBay.
They turned to DJ, emcee and former assistant cruise director Lee Orchard. You know him as the Golden Knight.
During the playoffs, their knights were assembled from a variety of existing images. One of the more elaborate designs required bits and pieces of a couple of hundred photos. So it was actually easier — and far more authentic — to have Orchard come to the RJ photo studio and don the famous armor.
Nine editors and staff members documented the scene as he sweated beneath the roughly 45-pound suit crafted from 18-gauge brass by Rob Valentine, a local armorer and Alice Cooper tribute artist.
Orchard mustered his poses and expressions in response to directions ranging from “Look up to the gods” to “You’re about to kick the (backside) of Godzilla.”
“I keep saying I’m going to put a Fitbit on. I’m intrigued to know,” the good-humored Orchard said of the workout that comes with wearing all that heavy metal.
On a serious note, he proudly showed off the back of this season’s armor, onto which are stamped 58 stars that honor those killed in the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting.
As odd as the studio spectacle may have seemed — pretending to menace imaginary forces while trying to avoid staring at the mannequin discarded nearby — it was nothing unusual for Orchard.
Especially when you compare it with the team’s elaborate pregame shows in which he performs before 18,000 of the loudest fans the NHL has ever known. (For more on those, see Sunday’s ENT. section.)
“This is tame,” Orchard said after the photo shoot. “This is like a Monday morning.”