Lighting Bob Marley’s Sons, Apollo 11 Launches Immersive Tour, The Who’s ‘Movin’ On’ Tour and Other Summer News

by Debi Moen • in
  • Designer Watch
  • July 2019
• Created: July 11, 2019

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LD Nesta Garrick uses the green, red and gold Rastafarian colors to light Stephen Marley on tour. Photo Credit: Backstage Flash

LD Nesta Garrick is working with two sons of reggae pioneer Bob Marley. Garrick finished an acoustic tour this spring with Stephen, then wrapped a European tour with Damian, the youngest son, with more dates this summer as well.

For Apollo 11: The Immersive Live Show tour, LD Bruno Poet is designing out-of-this-world lighting. “It’s a really exciting project, taking place in a specially built touring dome that allows 360 degree projection,” poet says. “I’m supported on the show by associate LD and programmer Dave Sadler, production electrician Sam Floyd and the touring team led by Katie Bruce.”

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of man’s first steps on the Moon, the 90-minute show takes the 1,600-seat audience to the lunar landscape under a 40,000 square foot purpose-built dome, which will also house life-size rockets. Treatment Studio is handling video design and production.

Says Apollo 11 director Scott Faris, “This truly immersive experience takes you from the thrill of the countdown to the enormous Saturn V rocket launch and on an unforgettable journey to the Moon and back.” The tour launched July 5 in the Lunar Dome at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, with 18 cities across the U.S. scheduled over the next three years.

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey listen to the audience’s applause following the end of “Tea and Theatre” during The Who’s fourth night of their “Movin’ On” Tour of North America with a full orchestra in Madison Square Garden in NYC. Photo: Tom Kenny

LD Tom Kenny tells us he has been working with the Met and has “a very wonderful Broadway show in the works,” which we’ll hear about soon. After the CMT Awards and NHL Awards in June, Kenny continues working with another cultural icon — The Who. The design, Kenny says, is “interesting — no smoke, no video, extremely minimal,” with “rave reviews.” The Who’s “Moving On!” tour — again accompanied by a symphony orchestra — returns from the U.K. with a Sept. 1 show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, then continues through North America in through October.

‡‡         Quick Cues

LD Allison “Blue” Siegel is out with Walk the Moon on fly dates this summer, then fills in for LD Tess Falcone for two weeks of Jimmy Eat World in July.

LD Anthony McCoy reports that country singer Aaron Watson’s tour went through a rig re-do for his new album release in June. “I’m very excited for this new design and the opportunity to grow with the tour,” he says. “We are shooting to have the new rig out by June 28 for Aaron’s hometown show.”

LD Bryan Schrumpf has designed, programmed and operates “The Royal Affair Tour” with YES this summer. Schrumpf was last on the crew with the prog rock band as lighting tech and lighting director in 2009 and 2010. The North American tour also features the band Asia with Steve Howe, John Lodge of The Moody Blues, and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy with Arthur Brown as guest vocalist.

LD Ed Warren is designing a light tunnel (with Light Initiative) for the World Cup women’s football teams of England and Scotland to run through for TV coverage this summer.

Emily Bornt says after the last date of directing the Derek Hough Live! tour (a Peter Morse design; see story, page 40), she jumped right into previz and rehearsals for Lil Wayne. Her role this time is lighting designer, programmer and LD for the tour. John McGuire designed the production. Lil Wayne is supporting Blink-182 with lighting director Manny Conde. “Things have been keeping busy and there’s a few other projects slated in after this run,” she notes.

LD Eric Cathcart says Greta Van Fleet just got a complete redesign. The current tour is carrying a full lighting rig and will be out until June, a bit of a scale back for festivals in Europe this summer, and will be back in the states with the full rig early fall for another round of U.S. dates.

Programmer/operator Ian Thompson is touring with Brandi Carlile, carrying out LD Mikey Cummings’ design.

Florida-based LD Jared Rarick has joined ESI Audio & Lighting, taking on a new local production job as a lighting director in Tampa. Having just helped send out Peter Frampton on his final run, Rarick says, “(I’m) taking the white gloves off to keep myself humble and remind myself what the locals have to do and put up with.”

Designer/programmer Kenny Gribbon is out with Sublime.

LD Kieran Healy is chilling out after the completion of Season 17 for American Idol (which was the show’s second season on ABC). Healy says the finale, with Laine Hardy crowned the winner, featured a stunning 29 performances in a three-hour show. Before the next season starts, Healy is traveling to Ireland to clear out his parents’ house and get it on the market. “I am not planning to work for a while after that, and hope to take a vacation!” he says.

LD Mick Gormley, who most recently toured with musical duo Cherub, is traveling with an Austin-based musician, Shakey Graves.

Production designer Paul Normandale’s latest project is Fleetwood Mac’s stadium tour, whose European run kicked off in June.

LD Phil Weinholts, formerly on the staff of in-house lighting designers at the ACL Moody Theatre in Austin, TX, has moved on to join the staff of ATX Events.

Preston Hoffman designed, programmed and is operating the tour with Moe., Blues Traveler, and G. Love & Special Sauce. Hoffman also designed Trombone Shorty’s tour, programmed and operated by Josh Rowe.

Rob Sinclair is still involved with Vampire Weekend, with Brian Spett as his associate and Ben Marx carrying out the design on the road. Jason Hyde continues with Sinclair’s design for Kaiser Chiefs as well.

LD Thom Roberts continues on with Here Come the Mummies across the U.S. this summer. The bandaged band — and they really do cover themselves in tape — describes itself as “a band of the walking dead making music for the living to dance to.”

How did a shattered leg lead Violent Femmes’ LD Joshua Schultz into the lighting industry? Find out in On the Road, this issue, page 13.

To get your news in Debi’s Aug. 2019 “Designer Watch” column, shake a leg and send your email to dmoen@plsn.com.

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