Co-headliners Mastodon (photo: Bryan Matthews)
USA - The Mega-Monsters Tour is a spring and summer co-headliner that is blistering across North America with Grammy Award-winning heavy rockers Mastodon joining forces with French heavy metal act, Gojira.
The tour also unleashes the talents of two equally creative and distinctive lighting designers – Eric Price (Mastodon) and Pete Cary of Summit Production Design (Gojira), who share an overhead rig of primarily Robe moving lights specified by both, to which they added some individual floor elements and SFX.
Gojira’s set features a single circular riser with extensive video elements while Mastodon has two risers and lots of lasers. Apart from that, around 95% of the lighting is shared and – a tribute to the massive versatility offered – used to produce two totally contrasting yet equally as exhilarating hi-energy light shows.
Lighting equipment was supplied by Jason Reberski at Chicago based rental specialist JRLX with the Fortes a recent investment by the rental house that both LDs were delighted to add to their respective toolboxes.
Thirty-two Robe Fortes featured on the second leg of the tour – boosted by 10 more fixtures from the first leg.
Forte is currently Robe’s highest-powered LED Profile and these were supplied together with 30 x MegaPointes, 38 x Spiider wash beams and some other lights.
The final choice of fixtures was ultimately a five-way collaboration between the two LDs and the relevant artist production, tour, and stage managers, but Eric reveals that once he and Pete had nailed the production truss and video design, they both unanimously agreed that they wanted Robe moving lights.
While they essentially designed the rig together, the base elements were initially Pete’s ideas. “It evolved extremely quickly,” explained Eric who was on the road when it was confirmed, so Pete presented the first design, “which was brilliant for both artists, so we went with that.”
Twelve Fortes were now on the front truss for the second leg, with eight more on two upstage side hangs of truss. The extra 12 Fortes joining the tour for the second leg are rigged on a run of GP truss upstage on the floor that also has strobes and blinders.
The large upstage block of LED screen is flanked by two left and right columns of LED. All the band risers – Mastodon’s two and Gojira’s single circular one – are bordered with video, and LED panels are attached to the fronts of all eight over-stage finger trusses that are arranged in a chevron shape. The MegaPointes and Spiiders are alternated along these finger trusses.
Eric commented that the co-design concept worked “very smoothly” but the challenge came with it being a sizable system – suspended on 64 points, an operation overseen by rigger Mike Queally and lighting crew chief Parker Shore.
On the road, the running order is alternated each night in true flip-flop style, with a few obvious scheduling exceptions, like Mastodon closing at their hometown Atlanta, and Gojira playing last in Montreal.
On tour, Pete operates with a grandMA3 and a custom Resolume set up for video, while Eric uses a Hog4 for lights and lasers with an M-Box server running Mastodon’s video playback.
The two stage managers are Darren ‘Bubs’ Sanders and Ryan Tarby. The lighting crew are Dan Arnold, Pepe Salas and Jeff Giancaspro; the video crew chief is Caleb Strong, working alongside video techs Steven Harkins, Joe Rich and Thomas Ramirez, with pyro and SFX co-ordinated by Elliott Evans and Rick Russ. The tour’s production manager on the road is Taylor Bingley.

Latest Issue. . .