The lighting was crafted by Jeremy Roth
USA - Popular Americana and R'n'B singer songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff and his band The Night Sweats played their sold-out annual homecoming holiday concert at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, in December.
It was the second time the annual event - which has been running for some years - was staged at this venue, after moving to the larger space in 2022.
The lighting was crafted by Jeremy Roth, who has been Nathaniel’s production designer since 2017. He utilised over 100 Robe moving lights - Fortes, Spiiders and MegaPointes plus a RoboSpot system - to help make it look spectacular and memorable.
Jeremy programmed and operated lights for this seasonal holiday performance himself, working alongside lighting director Adam Waguespack, who often takes the show on the road for him. At Ball Arena, Adam took on the vital role of coordinating the follow spots and RoboSpot system.
Additional video came in for the hometown production in the form of three large upstage screens, with the department overseen by Mike Grant (Black Keys), who is another talented LD in his own right.
The production design saw both lighting and video technologies share the stage, based on a scaled-up version of their current The Future tour which hit the road in April 2023, and an augmented package used for another high-profile set of sold-out local shows at Red Rocks last summer.
The video screens, which were framed by single LED blinders, were one of Jeremy’s creative starting points for the Ball Arena show, with the overhead lighting rig like the touring version populated across six trusses. Two mid stage trusses were flown one above the other, arranged in gentle U-shapes to boost the depth, with a straight front truss over the stage apron at the front and a reverse U-shaped advanced truss.
The back truss was rigged with 12 x Fortes, picked for their intense power and impact to project textures on the red velour drape behind the video wall, with another 13 x Fortes on the front truss, working with four more on the advance truss. These last four Fortes were all running on a four-way RoboSpot system.
The production started touring the RoboSpot system after encountering ongoing challenges with other remote follow spotting systems, and since that time, they have “never looked back.”
Initially, LEDBeam 350s were on the rig, but these were eventually swapped out for the 33 x Spiiders boosting the output and the wash coverage. Spiiders have also been a favourite of Jeremy’s since first using them on a Sheryl Crow tour. “The colours are excellent, and the flower effect is an ingenious idea that projects a nice impression of speckled light onto the floor or other surfaces. That and the wide zoom range really increase the fixture’s overall flexibility,” he commented.
Jeremy, Adam, and Mike engaged in three days of pre-vising at Brown Note’s Studio in Denver ahead of the Ball Arena show, then three days of technical rehearsal at Denver Coliseum before loading in on the morning of the actual gig. Lighting was programmed on a grandMA3 console running in 2 mode.
The touring schedule restarts in the spring with new music, and the lighting design for parts of this new touring cycle will be an evolution of the Ball Arena extravaganza.

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