The String Cheese Incident on tour (photo: Brian Spady)
USA - Lighting designer Andrew Cass chose Ayrton MagicPanel 602 and MagicBlade-R LED fixtures for his dynamic lighting of The String Cheese Incident, which toured the US from late summer 2014 to early 2015.

The String Cheese Incident is a Colorado band with an eclectic style that encompasses elements of bluegrass, rock, electronica, calypso, country, funk, jazz and more. Cass put together a vibrant and colourful lighting design which reflected the variety and dynamism of the band's diverse style. "Colours are my signature - I'm an over-saturated guy - and the band give me free rein to do whatever I want," says Cass. "The artists like my saturated colour and it is appropriate for their music. There are not many moments during their set when non-saturated colours fit."

To help achieve this level of intensity and variety, Cass turned to the ever-versatile Ayrton fixtures with their blend of continual movement and broad colour spectrum.

"I have been using Ayrton MagicPanel 602 since it was released in 2013," says Cass. "The fixtures made a big splash in the EDM scene and I used them at a number of festivals including Electric Zoo where we had over 80 units in the festival rig. For The String Cheese Incident I had 16 MagicPanels rigged on the overhead grid, just behind the band, so I could use them as backlight, eye candy and audience blinders and to create some great aerial effects out there in the smoke. But this tour was my first time using the MagicBlade which I chose for its linear alignment and unique motion capabilities."

Cass's motivation for his design was to return to the band's bluegrass origins and create an ingenious rig that was suggestive of mountains. "To do this I wanted a non-circular moving lantern which would enable me to outline the mountain concept with linear moving fixtures." Cass achieved this with 36 MagicBlade-R units evenly spaced on trussing behind the band to outline three triangular mountain peaks.

The show was a mixture of rehearsed numbers and improvisation which called on Cass to switch between moments of pre-programmed states and busking. "I tended to use the MagicPanel and MagicBlade fixtures in the pre-programmed sections because it gave me the luxury of really getting into the intricacies of the fixtures and using the individual pixels to maximum effect. It is worth taking a little while to learn to get the best out of the movement, colour and pixel opportunities, especially when using all 160 channels, because after that you can get such a lot out of them."

The Ayrton MagicPanel and MagicBlade units were supplied for The String Cheese Incident Tour by Upstaging, Inc.

(Jim Evans)

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