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Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull, Live

by Steve Jennings (Photos and Text) • in
  • Current Issue
  • February 2018
  • Production Profile
• Created: February 16, 2018

Enrique Iglesias photo by Steve Jennings

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull enjoyed a very successful co-headlining tour across North America last year where they switched off night to night, performing to packed arenas. Following their 2015 “Time of Our Lives” co-headlining trek, the 2017 tour, “Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull Live,” netting a combined $40 million in ticket sales from separate tour legs in June/July and October/November, according to Billboard. We spoke with designers Travis Shirley (Enrique) and Tom Sutherland (Pitbull), along with Pitbull LD and programmer Craig Caserta about the coast to coast journey, with stops in Canada along with cities near the U.S./Mexican border.

GLP JDC1 fixtures light the crowd. Photo by Steve Jennings

‡‡         Travis Shirley: Enrique’s Design

Travis Shirley, Enrique Iglesias’ production and show director, says he’s been fortunate to have collaborated with Enrique Iglesias on tours over the past 10 years, where he’s learned what does and doesn’t work, given Enrique’s comfort level. “However, given my history and familiarity with the show, I welcome the challenge of keeping the show fresh, and embracing new ways of processing,” he says.

“Communication is key to any successful relationship. In this (our) case, it is both on a professional and personal level. During the pre-design process, Enrique and I discuss what we both would like to see achieved, and how we would like his fans to experience his show. We perceive each tour differently and look at the parameters directly affecting that specific tour before a design is agreed to.”

The rig included 250 GLP X4 Bar 20’s. Photo by Steve Jennings

For the 2017 tour, Travis accepted that it was a co-headline tour and that each artist was to share the majority of the production. “However, it was important to both Enrique and I, that we had ‘moments’ that were specific to Enrique’s set, whether that be an acoustic custom B-stage, or specific laser, pyro and lighting effects. When putting together the lighting spec for the tour, I had to consider that this tour would be continuing after the co-headliner segment, and a majority of the overseas lighting markets would have to be supplemented locally. Bearing this in mind, I kept fixture types somewhat universal, knowing we would have to clone into a similar but different fixture type somewhere down the road.”

Enrique performs in front of ROE Creative Display video tiles. Photo by Steve Jennings

A large majority of the “flown production” was shared between both artists, which meant they had to create a stage/riser system for Enrique that would have a presence of its own. They accomplished this by creating a riser system that mimicked the stage shape and built custom fascia pieces made up of GLP impression X4 Bars…. lots of them! “I chose to use the X4 Bar for the set fascia, as there were several additional X4 units hung on an upstage truss (used by both artist), which complemented the Enrique set very well. It provided a very large, complete look.”

The tour used ROE Creative Display product for their LED tiles — utilizing 700+ MC7H (Black LED) panels, each measuring two feet per side, adding up to more than 2,900 square feet in total area. The lightweight tiles were packed into custom touring frames and carts, making the load-in time fast and efficient. The rear wall was separated into three elements via some architectural pieces that allowed the video playback to be easily separated into different images.

Martin MAC Axiom Hybrid fixtures light Enrique. Photo by Steve Jennings

“When constructing the show design, I knew that we wanted a large video presence, but not in your typical video wall configuration. It ended up as a series of three upstage screens to create a multi-dimensional video element. By separating the overall screen into three sections, it offered a nice platform to incorporate lots of I-Mag and camera shots throughout the show. I brought in the lovely folks from Lightborne, who worked hand-in-hand in creating the content for the show. Driving the cameras was Enrique’s longtime video director, Jorge Toro, who did a stellar job as usual,” Shirley says.

PRG provided 750 ROE MC7H tiles, used here for Pitbull. Photo by Steve Jennings

PRG was the video vendor on the tour, and they have been stockpiling ROE Creative Display LED cabinets for large arena shows for some time. Shirley tried out their GroundControl Followspot System this time. “We hang six of the lighting units on a downstage truss, which afforded a full 360-degree operation to Enrique when he decides to take off through the crowd, utilize the runway, or even perform at the FOH B-stage. Additionally, eight house spots were utilized to provide front light and band specials throughout the show.”

Shirley also credits Andres Restrepo, Enrique’s production manager, for the tour’s success, adding that “our amazing production coordinator, Misty Roberts, has been with Enrique for several years and does an incredible job of handling all the day-to-day operations for the tour and crew logistics.” Gala Santos also takes care of the artist and the band’s needs.

“It goes without saying that the Pitbull production team was a very crucial part of the success of this tour. Their dedication and overall collaborative efforts made this a wonderfully successful and pleasant journey,” Shirley concludes.

‡‡

Pitbull, dancers and beams show the effective use of wash, keylighting and effects. Photo by Steve Jennings

Tom Sutherland: Pitbull’s Looks

Tom Sutherland wanted Pitbull’s design to give off energy, something he would be able to keep evolving throughout the 90-minute party. “It couldn’t be based on just one type of fixture or a concept as such,” Sutherland says. “When you hear a Pitbull song, it starts big and ends huge…. You have to give yourself enough tools to be able to follow one of his anthems from start to finish. With this in mind, the design was based on many different elements that meant I could evolve the lighting with the music, giving the lights, lasers and video all of their own key moments,” he adds.

The show is an immersive experience — you have to pull the audience into this exciting, high-energy world from the start, he notes. “When approaching the design, I always ask myself what would help enhance this experience for me and then figure out, ‘How do I translate that into a lighting design?’ One of the most important things to Pit is that when the show starts, the audience forget about whatever is going on in the world, forget about their day-to-day troubles and just live in that moment, the atmosphere and the music. As a designer, it’s your job to take the audience to that place.

“Pit’s one and only brief to me was ‘Don’t stop the party, and don’t drop the energy.’ I’m hoping that, with the crowd being on their feet, from the start all the way to the end of the set, [that’s] a sign we delivered.”

Pitbull photo by Steve Jennings

The crew had some challenges to overcome, however. “As a co-headline tour, our production rehearsal period was halved compared to that of a single artist tour,” Sutherland notes. “Knowing this, we spent five days in a previz studio in Miami. This was such a valuable few days — we were able to put together about 90 percent of the show, for both video and lighting. It was a few long days and nights for the team, but well worth it. We were first up on the schedule, and with the load-in delayed, we effectively had a day and a half to pull everything together. We hadn’t even had a chance to finish updating focus positions before we were thrown into dancer rehearsals. Thanks to the talents and hard work of my two programmers, Craig [Caserta] and Nick [Hanson], it all came together at a rapid pace.”

Beams, video and staging effects in use. Photo by Steve Jennings

Sutherland has had a long-standing relationship with both Brian Burke (content producer) and Craig Caserta (programmer/director). “We are all great friends both behind and away from a console. Our working relationship is a snowball effect — one idea leads into another, that leads into another — and it’s all done in a really energetic, positive way. We love to bounce ideas around between the three of us, and the end result is always something that is really fun and interesting. I first worked with Brian back in the U.K. on Britain’s Got Talent about eight years ago, and Craig and I have been working together for the past three or four years. It’s great when they know what you’re thinking before you even have to say it, which makes the process so much easier and, ultimately, more fun.

Flames synched with video and lighting. Photo by Steve Jennings

“This is the kind of high-energy show where you need every single kind of tool in the toolbox available to you because you’re going to use it,” Sutherland continues. “The addition of lasers gives you some incredible moments. They can be used for big drops and down moments, or they can take the design to a whole new level as soon as the music kicks off. I always try to ensure to not overload, and to give each element of the design and rig its own moment to shine.

“I worked with Lawrence Wright from ER Productions, who is a fantastic laser programmer,” Sutherland adds. “He really feels the moments within the tracks and adds in a whole new dynamic with his programming. We selected together a variety of laser products that included Beam Bursts, BB3’s and Tripan. This really helped add to the scale and energy of the show. Pyro, like lasers, is also a good tool to have up your sleeve — it always adds an extra ‘wow’ factor and surprises the audience here and there.

“As a designer on a project, you are seen to be sailing the ship, but without all the people behind you doing the really hard work, your visions would just be drawings on paper. It’s a huge team effort. From the people prepping kit in the warehouses to the drivers, the crew, the content producers, suppliers, programmers, management and producers — the list goes on. Thanks to all those people for making this such a fun and successful project!”

Pyrotek provided the flame effects. Photo by Steve Jennings

‡‡         Programmer Craig Caserta Chimes In

Lighting director and programmer Craig Caserta notes that he programmed a total of 24 songs in about four days of previz at DMD Studios in Miami, and then two days with the rig for full rehearsals before their first show. “Pitbull usually stays consistent with the set list, but there were a few changes that needed to be made once out on the road. A few medleys were broken up to be individual songs, for instance, that was all taken care of during sound check, and we added one song, “Por Favor,” for just the Los Angeles show with special guest Fifth Harmony.”

Another elaborate visual moment for Pitbull. Photo by Steve Jennings

The show is a “99 percent timecode show,” Caserta adds. “There are only a few hits and accents that I would run manually. The show is run off a grandMA2, which makes timecode extremely easy,” he says.

“Working with Tom [Sutherland] is always a fun process,” Caserta adds. “We have a similar aesthetic and a similar thought process about cue structure. We would listen to the song, making note of structure and accents, then discuss ideas. I would toss out an idea and Tom would enhance it, or vice versa — it was very collaborative. We respect each other and trust each other, and I think that is key in the designer/programmer relationship.”

ER Productions provided the laser looks. Photo by Steve Jennings

Nick Hanson, media server programmer, was another key person on the team and would also throw out ideas that helped tie the lighting and video together to get a more cohesive show, says Caserta. “The three of us, along with Brian Burke, our video creative director, and laser programmer Lawrence Wright, worked really well as a team to make the best show possible. Once out on the road, Brandon Leedham, our lighting crew chief, was great to work with. Brandon and the whole Christie Lites crew were great and had the rig up and working by noon every day. The same can also be said for the entire touring crew. Every day was 100 percent because of all the hard work of those guys and girls. It’s a fun, fast-paced show that’s non-stop. I’m very proud to be a part of this team and what we created.”

Pitbull photo by Steve Jennings

Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull Live Tour

All Access provided the lift for Enrique as well as all the staging. Photo by Steve Jennings

Crew

Production Companies:

  • Lighting: Christie Lites
  • Video: PRG Nocturne
  • Video Content: Travis Shirley Live Design, Lightborne (Enrique Iglesias); Blink, Gravity (Pitbull)
  • Staging: All Access Staging & Productions
  • Pyro: Pyrotek Special Effects
  • Lasers: ER Productions

Enrique Iglesias photo by Steve Jennigns

Enrique Iglesias Crew:

  • Production & Show Director: Travis Shirley
  • Associate Lighting Designer: Trevor Ahlstrand
  • Lighting Director: Cassady Miller-Halloran
  • Lighting Programmer: Nate Alves, Trevor Ahlstrand
  • Lighting Crew Chief: Brandon Leedham
  • Lighting Techs: Marc Durning, Jacob Alexander, Kyle Lovan, Oliver DeKegel, Austin Bloomfield, David Schmieder, Jon Drlicka
  • Video Director: Jorge Toro
  • Video Engineer: Brian “Bubba” Ress
  • Video Techs: Kenny Ackerman, Taylor Espitee, Tom Cesano, Johnny Martinez, DJ Stokes, Steve Haskins, Martin Jimenez
  • LED Lead: Taylor Espitee
  • LED Tech/Camera Op: Johnny Martinez, Tommy Cesano
  • Projection Lead: Dino “DJ” Stokes
  • Catalyst Programmer: Tyler Munson
  • Production Manager: Andres Restrepo
  • Tour Manager: Abel Tabuyo
  • Production Coordinator: Misty Roberts
  • Production Assistant: Gala Santos
  • Stage Manager: Leonardo Roman
  • Laser Tech: Luis Alfredo “Koach” Collazo
  • Pyro Techs: Gregg Pearson, Amy Stein, Paul Cusato, Dave Harkness
  • Riggers: Kenneth Mitchell (Head), Jeremy Caldwell
  • Carpenters: Chuwe Asp, Daniela MacCallum, Deonte Matthews,
  • Jesus Arroyo, Kyle Duarte, Dyland Levely

Pitbull photo by Steve Jennings

Pitbull Crew:

  • Lighting Designer: Tom Sutherland/DX7 Design Ltd.
  • Lighting Director & Programmer: Craig Caserta
  • Media Server Programmer: Nick Hanson
  • Video Director: Brian “Bubba” Ress
  • Video Creative Director: Brian Burke
  • Tour Producer: Macarena Moreno
  • Tour Manager: Frida Karlsson
  • Production Manager: Ernesto Corti
  • Production Coordinator: Sara Parsons
  • Stage Manager: Raymundo “Lefty” Barajas
  • Hippo Tech: Jeffery Cady
  • Laser Programmer: Lawrence Wright
  • Laser Operator: John Borschelding

All Access provided the staging. Photo by Steve Jennings

Gear

Lighting (Shared):

  • 3          grandMA2 full size lighting consoles
  • 4          grandMA2 NPU
  • 51       Martin Viper Profiles
  • 16       Martin Viper Wash fixtures
  • 55       MAC Axiom Hybrids
  • 34       GLP JDC1 fixtures
  • 90       GLP impression X4 Bar 20’s
  • 14       Robe BMFL WashBeams
  • 70       2 Light Mole Fays
  • 6          PRG Bad Boys
  • 3          Martin ZR44 Foggers

Lighting (Enrique Only):

  • 160     GLP Impression X4 Bar 20’s
  • 2          Lycian M2 Truss Spots

Enrique Iglesias photo by Steve Jennings

Lighting (Pitbull Only):

  • 110     GLP impression X4s
  • 48       Martin Sceptron
  • 6          Tripan Lasers
  • 22       BB3 Lasers
  • 6          Beam Burst Lasers

Pitbull tour photo by Steve Jennings

Video (Shared):

  • 700+   ROE MC7H (Black LED) LED tiles (2,900+ sq. ft.)
  • 4          Evision processors
  • 4          Double stacked Barco HDF 30K projectors
  • 1          Green Hippo Hippotizer V4 Boreal media server
  • 1          Green Hippo Hippotizer V4 Amba media server

 

More Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull Live tour photos by Steve Jennings:

 

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