Chauvet lights Turnpike Troubadours in NYC
Monday, 2 October 2023
turnpike-troubadours1Turnpike Troubadours play New York’s historic Beacon Theatre
USA - Joshua Schultz wasn’t overly enthused about lighting a show against a large, deeply rippled curtain background for his client, Turnpike Troubadours when they performed at New York’s historic Beacon Theatre. That quickly changed, however, when he saw how this billowy background played off against light.
“I was sceptical, but I quickly fell in love with having another canvas to incorporate looks onto, said Schultz. “Too many times having just a black backdrop deadens the stage. This curtain added another dimension.”
A big reason why the curtain worked magic for this Top 20 country rock band from Oklahoma can be found in Schultz’s inspired colour mixing. Overlaying light in subtly different shades of the same colours, he created deeply nuanced and redolent monochromatic looks that beautifully complemented the music and the venue.
“I like to think in many different shades of a particular colour palette at each venue,” said Schultz. “Someone once told me that they liked how ‘way out’ of the mould my lighting was with this look. That was odd to me a first, because I’ve never really thought of it that way. This is just naturally how I go about programming. I like to evoke feelings from the crowd, whether it be by creating a shade of colour to set the mood for a certain song or painting a room and including that space in the band’s performance.”
This was clear for all to appreciate at the Turnpike Troubadour’s Beacon Theatre show. Relying on a rig anchored by 54 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Squeek Lights, Schultz created a wide range of vivid and richly textured colours to reflect the sound and spirit of each song, as well as the captivating aesthetics of the theatre.
“Although we kept our colour combinations simple, and often went monochrome, I moved through different palettes during the show,” said Schultz. “I rely on colour not only to set the tone for the song being played on stage, but also to set the tone for the venue. Every show is a little different because every venue is different. So, I try never to have the same show twice, whether it’s by doing subtle changes in a look, or by going in a completely new direction with certain songs.”
At the Beacon Theatre, Schultz had an abundance of architectural flourishes to work with throughout the band’s lively 20-song set. The venue, which has hosted multiple Tony Awards, as well as concerts by the likes of The Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones, is characterised by a Neo-Grecian interior with Greek columns supporting the proscenium arch over its stage, which itself is flanked by statues.
Schultz adroitly utilised his fixtures to accent these surroundings. Key to his design were 18 Maverick Force S Spot fixtures. “They handled the bulk of my looks,” he said. “They have such punch for a fixture of that size - and thanks to their output, I was able to get some really bold looks and play off the amazing decor of the Beacon.”
The 30 Rogue R1 BeamWashes that were also in the rig were used by Schultz for overall stage washing, as well as on some notable curtain looks. The high output RGBW fixtures also did double duty, producing some potent beams at key moments in the show.
Rounding out the rig was a collection of six Strike Array 4 units, which were arranged in three groups of two. These fixtures were used for audience lighting during singalongs as well as for call-and-response moments.

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