The 31-city North American Damn Strait tour is creating big, bold, dynamic looks on stage
USA - The creatives behind the stage design for Scotty McCreery’s current 31-city North American Damn Strait tour is creating big, bold, dynamic looks on stage, while still meeting practical considerations, like fitting your powerful touring rig into the allotted trailer space.
Helping them make this happen is a design that cleverly uses rolling carts and upstage downlighting, along with well-placed specials to enlarge looks, along with a potent, yet compact, lighting rig that features 24 Chauvet Professional Rogue fixtures, owned by the former American Idol winner.
“The big thing about this show is we wanted to be able to create ‘WOW’ moments, but also fit everything into a single semi-truck,” said Drew Hornback, Scotty McCreery’s lighting director. “I feel like we’re doing this very well. In addition to being compact, our rig is designed for quick load out, because we often find ourselves in a headlining spot, but, at the same time, we also do some direct support slots. To us, it’s critical that we are able to use the same rig in multiple applications.
“A lot of credit should go to Alec Takahashi and his team at BKD,” continued Hornback. “They bring so much creative input to the table and are great to work with. We have a great collaborative team, including Luke Elrod from BKD, programmer, and Adam Duncan, Scotty’s production manager. Together, we’ve managed to streamline things, but still enlarge the show’s impact.”
In keeping with this goal, Hornback has worked closely with the team from BKD to simplify the programming from the previous Scotty McCreery tour.
“Previously, the show was very tightly timecoded,” said Hornback. “This made it difficult to operate without timecode. With BKD taking the lead, the show has transitioned into a single cue stack per song. This allows the show to be run easily without timecode if necessary. Our new show also gives the music plenty of room to speak for itself, with the lighting accenting what is happening on stage.”
Contributing to the sense of intensity on stage is the dramatic backlighting from the carts positioned across the upstage deck. This design was originally introduced to the production five years ago by Adam Duncan and reworked this year, in terms of cart placement and decking, by Hornback.
Also new to this year’s design are 16 Rogue R2X Wash fixtures. The moving wash, which is powered by 19 25-watt RGBW LEDs, was added to the rig for the tour.
“We added 12 new R2X Washes to replace some existing wash units,” said Hornback. “We wanted to go with the R2X because it offers the same colour chips as the R3X Wash and it was super important to have the colours match (There are 12 R3x Washes in the rig.) We also want the brightness the light brings. We deployed 12 R2X Washes in our carts that skirt the decking; six of them are used for band sidelight and six for front line backlight, as well as some aerial beams. We are excited to keep using the Chauvet Professional products to replace older fixtures.”

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