Starset Tour

by Steve Jennings (Photos and Text) • in
  • April 2018
  • Showtime
• Created: April 12, 2018

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STARSET photo and text by Steve Jennings

Lighting Cos

Above Sound Lighting and Elite Multimedia



Various (Tour)


LD/Lighting Director/Programmer: Rodger Pugh

Video Director: Dustin Bates

Video/LED Company: PixelFLEX

Video Tech: Aaron Vaughn

Tour & Production Manager: John Phillips

Cryo Tech: Jonathan Kampfe

Stage Manager: Drew Ferrara

Carpenter: Jullian Mason

Promoter: Live Nation



1          grandMA2 onPC console

4          Aryton MagicBlade R’s

4          Martin Atomic 3000 LED Strobes

4          Chauvet COLORado 72 battens

4          Chauvet Vesuvio Geysers

4          Claypaky Sharpys

2          Claypaky Sharpy Washes

2          Space Suits w/ custom LEDs and Cryo

1          Custom Drum Kit LEDs

4          ClubMax 5W lasers

2          Chauvet AMhaze 2 Hazers

3          Epson Pro L1300U laser projectors

3          V12H004X01 ultra short throw lenses

2          Custom PixelFLEX LED wall carts

3          PixelFLEX Flexible LED panels


Designer Insights by Steve Jennings:

Lighting designer & director Rodger Pugh is currently out with the band Starset. Having been in the industry for 15 years now, he starting as a stagehand with a dream, six scanning lights and a Martin 2308 controller. Past clients include Collective Soul, whom he notes was a huge part of his life, Queensryche (Mindcrime 25th anniversary tour), Hollywood Undead, In This Moment (Black Widow Tour) and Kidz Bop.

“I originally met Starset when they were a support act on the Black Widow Tour, and back then I thought, ‘That’s a cool idea, think of the possibilities.’ Their current tour manager John Phillips and I were acquaintances and shared many mutual friends (I actually posted my availability to Facebook about the time he needed someone). We talked and when he mentioned it was Starset, instantly all of those old possibilities came to mind. I said yes of course.

“From the lighting aspect this has been was one the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced. The video elements are a major part of the design, the show is basically Sci-Fi rock theatre where the story is the focus not so much the players in which the LED walls become a sort of dynamic set piece and a major source of lumens. When combined with the projections and our Plexiglas cubes they dominate the stage (and the footprint). My goal was to accent the show not the talent, with the limited stage footprint – Magic Blades on pipes became the contrast and Atomic LEDs for the punch (and soft color accents). Sharpys on the floor ‘break the space.’ No downstage truss lights are used, instead Vesuvio Geysers under the ego risers give a wall of light the musicians can enter or exit (with proper atmosphere).

“The upstage ‘cubes’ are made from Plexiglas and have a film on them that causes them to go transparent or opaque with DMX control allowing for projection mapping. There are also LED battens in upstage risers to light the players in the ‘cubes.’ The band’s old LED panels are used to hide the projectors which give and added layer of depth. Starset is the epitome of DIY, they own or make much of what they use.”

The helmets and suits for the band are all custom built and maintained by the band. The guitar/bass player suits each have two DMX decoders to control RGB LEDs in the armor/face masks, headlamps and cryo built into the arms (with tanks in the backpacks). The drummer has LEDs in his mask and kick drum. All the LED gear is from PixelFLEX.

“I just want to thank our crew and (TM) John, who regularly pull off the impossible. I am humbled to work with them.”

More Starset tour photos by Steve Jennings:


For more details, see related story, PLSN, April 2018, page 60.

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