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A Late Summer Harvest

by Nook Schoenfeld • in
  • Editor's Note
  • September 2018
• Created: September 14, 2018

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Summer’s just about over, and once again we lament the tasks of taking the kids to school, covering the pool, and raking the leaves. It’s also that time of year when PLSN takes a peek at what’s up in the house of worship market with entertainment products.

‡‡         Houses of Worship

We have four different stories that look at how different pastors called for different production values to get their message through. One church in St. Louis felt their old lighting system was adequate, but they wanted a “wow” factor with video. This church also recently installed a new audio line array and quickly got a lesson in rigging weights and existing structures. They found it necessary to figure out alternative ways to utilize their video and lighting elements without depending on any overhead hang points. They did some serious shopping to finally settle on a versatile system that could be hung or ground-supported, and curve when the design called for it. Turn to pages 74-75 to read about who they chose, in the end, to achieve everything they wanted in a video wall.

Another church (page 63) was concerned with properly lighting their audience, as well as having the ability to bathe them in color. Yet another (page 62) wanted to be able to throw textures on the walls to spice up the ambience. In almost every House of Worship, music plays a big part. Lighting systems that could highlight soloists to stand out in the band or choir appealed to everyone. Parishioners now match the energy of concert attendees in many churches, not just the new ones.

In this issue, we also take a look at a mobile church, and how they provide production elements for their services every week (page 67). Imagine the challenges of transforming a local middle school auditorium into a church sanctuary every week, and relying on a crew of volunteers who must set up and break down the lighting, video and audio gear every time. They have another service on Wednesday at a community center that lets them use some space. Everything is reconfigured for the next venue.

‡‡         Tours and Festivals

Speaking of the need to set up and strike production gear on a regular basis, the summer concert and festival season is winding down, and 2018 had a bumper crop of great shows that we tried to cover. Besides the big ones, we like to stop in and see some of the other productions that are equally impressive, often put on by musicians and production designers we may not be familiar with.

PLSN recently met a designer out of New York named Marc Janowitz who designed the production for a band called Dispatch (Pages 44-45). Using a variety of different tools, he presented the band with an affordable, yet huge-looking production that he could expand or shoehorn into almost any venue, from a 3,000-seat theater to a large outdoor amphitheater.

We also stopped in to see what designer Jeremy Roth was up to this summer with Ray LaMontagne going out with his full band once again. He turned to Rose Brand for a little help in his scenery needs for custom soft goods (See pages 50-51).

The king of “The Little Tour That Could” — Kevin Lyman, founder of the Vans Warped Tour (pages 46-47), talks about shutting it down after more than 20 years. He’s not passing the torch, just moving in another direction to help society.

Of course, we do cover our usual couple of big shows. Harry Styles (Pages 26-32) wound down his world tour with some shows in California. Harry went in a new direction as far as designers, bringing Baz Halpin’s Silent House team into the picture for this year’s design. The Imagine Dragons (Pages 34-42) are out with their third production design of the Evolve Tour. Check out what they were carrying this summer.

Thirty-five years ago, who would’ve thought someone could write a musical, then use the songs of The GoGos to support it? Certainly not this editor. Check out why everyone on Broadway is talking about Head Over Heels (pages 24-25).

For Nook Schoenfeld’s video introduction to the Sept. 2018 issue of PLSN magazine, CLICK HERE

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