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Designer Insights

St. Vincent “Fear the Future Tour”

Steve Jennings •
  • Designer Insights
  • March 2018
• March 12, 2018
Creative director and scenic designer Willo Perron (Drake, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z), worked with choreographer and show director Annie-B Parson (David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie) to collaborate on the “Fear the Future Tour” with singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anne Erin “Annie” Clark (better known by her stage name, St. Vincent.) We spoke with the tour lighting and production designer Jesse Blevins (Jay Z, Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Lenny Kravitz) and lighting director and programmer Meagan Metcalf (Sheryl Crow, Fleet Foxes, Metric, Chromeo) to get some insight on the show. Read More...

The Killers ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ World Tour

Nook Schoenfeld •
  • Current Issue
  • Designer Insights
  • February 2018
• February 16, 2018
The Wonderful, Wonderful world tour is the fifth major concert tour by the Las Vegas rock band The Killers, to support their fifth studio album (of the same name) which was released last September. Back behind the lighting console is Steven Douglas, the only LD they have had since he started working with them in 2005. The band started the tour playing festivals last fall, then touring in the U.K. and Ireland before Christmas, where they have had a large following for most of their career. They embarked on a U.S. arena run at the start of the year. Read More...

Rigging Focus: Acass-Systems Keeps The Killers’ Tour Wonderful…and Safe

Nook Schoenfeld •
  • Current Issue
  • Designer Insights
  • February 2018
• February 16, 2018
As is the case with most large-scale designs, an artist and his production staff will sign off on some great artwork that paints a beautiful picture. Then it’s up to the production manager, with the aid of said designers, to find someone that can make this vision a reality. This often requires some engineering of the serious kind, as life and death can be involved when tons of scenery are moving overhead. Read More...

Halsey ‘Hopeless Fountain Kingdom’ Tour

Steve Jennings (Photos and Text) •
  • Designer Insights
  • January 2018
• January 11, 2018
Singer-songwriter Halsey exploded on the music scene when she put out her debut 2015 platinum selling debut album, Badlands. Along with the huge 2016 collaboration with The Chainsmokers on the song “Closer,” Halsey is now touring arenas in support of her 2017 second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. We spoke with the tour’s lighting designer Sooner Routhier, production designer Robert Long (both of SRae Productions) and lighting director and programmer Craig Rutherford. Read More...
PRG provuded the screens above the stage. All photos by Steve Jennings

Arcade Fire’s ‘Infinite Content’ Tour

PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • December 2017
  • Designer Insights
• December 14, 2017

We caught up with Canadian rock band Arcade Fire on their “Infinite Content” tour in Denver, CO, where the eight member band, including husband and wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, Win’s brother William Butler and the rest of the band swap places and an array of instruments throughout the show. The tour continues into 2018 for dates in the United Kingdom and ends in March in Madrid, Spain. We spoke with creative director Tarik Mikou (of Moment Factory), lighting designer & director Chris Bushell and video director Icarus Wilson-Wright.

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Queen + Adam Lambert 2017 tour photos by Steve Jennings

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour 2017

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Insights
• November 9, 2017

Queen + Adam Lambert are back on tour and it also happens to be the 40th Anniversary of the News of the World album, which is nicely tied into the concept of the show. We talked to two key individuals who both have history with the band from previous Queen tours, lighting designer & director Rob Sinclair and set designer Ric Lipson of Stufish.

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Pyro extended 200 feet into the air above the roofless stage. Metallica 2017 tour photo by Steve Jennings.

Metallica WorldWired Tour

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Insights
  • October 2017
• October 12, 2017

Metallica’s current “WorldWired Tour” is in support of the band’s Hard Wired… To Self-Destruct album, released last fall. We spoke with the band’s longtime lighting designer and director, Rob Koenig, about working with Dan Braun (show director and set designer) and the tour’s design and logistics he’s encountered for this massive production that’s been filling stadiums around the world. The tour began last year and included a run of stadium dates in North America this past summer. The band is continuing with a series of dates in the U.K. and Europe this fall and next spring.

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Green Day 'Revolution Radio' Tour 2017 photo by Steve Jennings

Green Day ‘Revolution Radio’ Tour 2017

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Insights
  • September 2017
• September 10, 2017

We caught up with production and lighting designer Ethan Weber and lighting director and programmer Tommy Horton for Green Day’s hometown show in Oakland, CA. Although the band has been playing mostly in arenas and sheds for their Revolution Radio tour, this show, staged on Aug. 5 at Oakland, CA’s Alameda County Coliseum, is one of the band’s stadium gigs. The tour, in support of Green Day’s Sept. 2016 album by the same name, is a 120-show trek that launched Sept. 26, 2016, one day after the album’s debut. Since then, the Revolution Radio tour has included multiple legs in North America and Europe along with a series of shows in Australia and New Zealand. After a performance at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park on Sept. 23, the band heads to South America and Mexico for a series of shows this November.

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Roy Bennett's pods flew in fixtures from the Motherland. Photos and text by Steve Jennings.

Rammstein 2017 Tour

PLSN Staff •
  • August 2017
  • Designer Insights
• August 11, 2017

For those fans lucky enough to see Rammstein’s tour on their limited 2017 U.S. run, one might ask — was it hotter that day in Las Vegas at temperatures of 110 degrees F. outside, or hotter on stage inside the T-Mobile Arena where the band’s pyro is the biggest of any band in the world? We spoke with the tour’s production and lighting designer Roy Bennett, associate lighting designer and programmer Jason Baeri, production manager and ffp managing director Nicolai Sabottka, pyro/SFX crew chief Nick Thompsett and the tour’s two lighting directors, Faren Matern and Bertil Mark.

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Roger Waters 2017 tour photo by Steve Jennings

Roger Waters 2017 Us + Them Tour

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Insights
• July 12, 2017

Roger Waters, the co-founder of Pink Floyd, is out on his “Us + Them” tour in support of his new solo album, Is This the Life We Really Want? His live set included five cuts from the new album, with topics ranging from President Trump, climate change and racism. Those things are magnified with the tour’s production visuals — which includes a massive video wall and a truss that lowers down from the rafters in the center of the arena to reveal a replica of the Battersea Power Station from Pink Floyd’s Animals record cover (including smoke chimneys).

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The Weeknd Starboy Legend of the Fall 2017 tour photos by Steve Jennings

The Weeknd ‘Starboy: Legend of the Fall’ 2017 Tour

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Insights
• May 13, 2017

Singer, songwriter and record producer The Weeknd (Abel Makkonen Tesfaye), is back out on the road, along with a massive set design by stage designer Es Devlin (Beyoncé, Adele, U2), who’s illustrious background includes design in theatre, dance, pop music, film and TV. Solotech provided all of the lighting and video elements in use. We spoke with two key individuals who worked with Devlin on the tour currently out on a North American leg, lighting designer Sooner Routhier (The Lumineers, Mötley Crüe, G-Eazy), and lighting director/programmer Darien Koop (Pentatonix, Sara Bareilles, Mutemath).

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The design is a showcase for the creative use of negative space. Eric Clapton tour photo by Todd Kaplan. Pictured here, Ayrton MagicPanels mounted above the video panels

Eric Clapton’s Production Design: The Art of Negative Space

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Insights
• April 14, 2017

Dave Maxwell’s Production Design Supports a Legendary Guitarist

Eric Clapton has enjoyed a long career of live performances all over the globe. A little while back he turned 70 and announced his retirement from the touring circuit. But not from performing entirely. He just wanted to do it on his own terms. For the past 22 years, Dave Maxwell has looked after keeping the artist illuminated amongst other things as they traveled.

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