Adaptable Elation rig for Christian music tour
Thursday, 2 January 2020
The arena tour featured Casting Crowns, Hillsong Worship and Elevation Worship
USA - Seth Jackson was called on by Premier Productions to design lighting for a special fall concert series that saw three of the most prolific bands in Christian music tour the US to packed houses. The special USA arena tour featured multi-platinum-selling artists Casting Crowns, Hillsong Worship, and Elevation Worship, three top acts that brought together their devoted fan bases all under the same roof for a night of music, worship and praise.
Jackson designed an adaptable rig using 51 Elation Proteus Rayzor 760 and 20 Smarty Hybrid LED moving heads, along with 12 Elation Protron Eclypse multi-effect lights, and then turned it over to each group’s design team to put their own different touch on. Lighting supply was by Bandit Lites.
The 17-date circuit kicked off 1 November in Memphis, Tenn., making stops in major cities across the country before culminating in Hartford, Conn. As all three acts were out on their own headlining tours prior to the special concert series, coordination could have proved especially challenging. Premier Productions therefore felt it was important to have a general-purpose designer to put it all together, “basically a designer to create a sandbox for everybody to work in,” as Jackson describes it. “It was a good decision because it was very last minute as far as the acts were concerned and there was very little rehearsal time.”
Despite the pre-tour frenzy, Jackson had months beforehand to communicate with each artist and camp, valuable time that allowed him to consult with each band about their wishes. “It never felt rushed,” he said. “It was actually a really good process and the artists were great to work with.”
Despite the fact that the three groups are united in their faith, they represent three very different styles and it was Jackson’s challenge to put all their needs together. “Hillsong is known for their very visual presentation and very high art kind of approach. Casting Crowns is more ephemeral and earthy and very much about their audience, while Elevation are the young and hip up-and-comers. They all have their own taste and we were able to come up with an overall design that married the three styles together but unified in worship.”
Jackson’s design featured a main overhead rig of concentric circle trusses with a number of upstage vertical towers separating vertical LED video screens and a large curved front-of-house truss above the B stage. The designer chose the Proteus Rayzor 760 as his main wash light and placed them in both the overhead rig and on the deck.
When Jackson was in search of a smaller profile spot fixture to serve as an upstage hard edge on the vertical towers, vendor Bandit Lites suggested the Smarty Hybrid, a compact yet full-featured CMY colour-mixing hybrid fixture with 20 graphic options and dual prisms. “Initially I was worried they wouldn’t be punchy enough but they cut right through. It had enough design features that the LDs took them in different ways and each found a unique way to use them.”
Also populating the back vertical towers were Protron Eclypse, a multi-faceted hybrid LED luminaire with 27,000 lumens of output that can take on a number of roles in a rig. “I needed the multi-functionality of the fixture. Everyone needed something from that light and again how the LDs used them was fantastic because everyone got a different feel and a different emotion out of the same fixture, which was terrific,” says Jackson.
(Jim Evans)

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