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Designer Watch

Is Toronto Home to the World’s Youngest Lighting Designer?

Debi Moen • Current Issue Designer WatchJanuary 2018 • January 11, 2018
An avid reader of PLSN magazine, the recently-turned-16-year-old Christopher Da Silva, wanted to share his story and lighting success. So, the Toronto teen had a publicist spread his news. His biggest project to date? Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He was commissioned to create a new lighting plot for the musical, and directed the lighting. The set included LED drapes, lit staircases, and more lights than the previous production. The September event was the biggest multimedia production of Toronto’s CPA Centre, with an audience of more than 8,000. Read More...
“Christmas On The Potomac” in Maryland. Photo by Chris Werner

Lighting Up for the Holidays and Lighting On the Road

Debi Moen • Designer Watch ArticlesDecember 2017 • December 14, 2017

Within the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor, MD, LD Chris Werner and his Los Angeles-based design team installed a holiday light show for the venue’s “Christmas On The Potomac event. The team created a centerpiece using a 55-foot tall tree enhanced with 19 double-sided video stars, each measuring 12 feet.

Zedd, with floating DJ riser and table. Photo by Travis Shirley

Zedd, Springsteen, Grouplove, Plant, Bleachers and a New American Idol

Debi Moen • Designer WatchNovember 2017 • November 9, 2017

Russian-German EDM artist Zedd is on tour until Nov. 4 in Mexico with a creative team headed by show and production designer Travis Shirley. Longtime LD and lighting director Steven Hernandez and tour director Ken Floyd are also on board for the trek. “Zedd and his team were looking to get a bit more theatrical with the ‘Echo’ tour,” Shirley says. “We created a unique LED configuration along with a custom floating DJ riser and table and several projection moments throughout the show.”

Ryan Adams goes for the '1980’s dystopian Star Wars junkyard' look on tour. Photo by Janelle Corey

Ryan Adams’ Dystopian Set; Wilco’s Schmilco Forest; Killers, Dragons, Danzig and More

Debi Moen • Designer WatchOctober 2017 • October 12, 2017

Ryan Adams described the look he was going for on his current tour as “a 1980’s dystopian Star Wars junkyard.” LD Heather Cossette has been out with Ryan Adams’ tour as designer/director since March, supporting his new album, Prisoners. The tour ends Oct. 17.

Pretty Lights 2017 tour. Photo by Greg Ellis

Pretty Lights, Primus in Production, Plenty of People News

Debi Moen • Designer WatchSeptember 2017 • September 9, 2017

Lighting designer Greg Ellis, out with Pretty Lights, says a lot has changed in the band’s live show on this tour. While he’s simplified the lighting a bit from past designs, he has expanded the visual production “way beyond anything we’ve ever done before,” he observes. “I am currently running all aspects of the show including one of the most advanced laser shows out there. Also, I’ve got live analog video synthesis along with live camera feeds and a custom built touch designer server.” The U.S. tour started in early August.

Scalada: Stelar, a Cirque du Soleil exclusive event in Andorra. Photo by Mikki Kunttu

Cirque, Circuses and Summer Touring Circuits

Debi Moen • Designer WatchAugust 2017 • August 11, 2017

Liighting designer Mikki Kunttu emailed us from Andorra, a principality nestled in the high mountains of the Pyrenees between France and Spain, where he’s been working under a large tent on Cirque du Soleil’s poetic and acrobatic production, Scalada: Stelar, the Attraction of the Sky.

LD Martin Thomas had help from his son, Avery, on the digital media content for Todd Rundgren, just one of a slew of shows on the road in this hot summer season. Photo courtesy Martin Thomas

Summer Tours: Yestival & Son, Matchbox Twenty, Foos, Fears, Enrique, Pitbull and More

Debi Moen • Designer Watch • July 7, 2017

Lighting designer Martin Thomas and LD Don Weeks joined creative forces on the production design for the Yestival tour featuring Yes, Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer’s ELP Experience. For Rundgren’s digital media content, Thomas literally sought graphic art services in-house — from his 17-year-old son, Avery. “My youngest son Avery has been doing digital graphic art for a couple of years now,” says Thomas, “and I found many of his pieces worked well with Todd’s music. Lots of compliments from the audience and the press about the look of the show; a lot of it was because of his art.”

Robb Jibson calls Train’s ‘Play That Song’ tour design ‘a love child of the Hollywood Bowl and a jukebox.’ Photo courtesy Craig Mitchell and LMG Touring.

Jibson Gets Train on Touring Track; Take That’s ‘Wonderland’ Tour; More Cues

Debi Moen • Designer Watch • June 7, 2017

Robb Jibson put Train on its tracks with their new “Play That Song” tour, which kicked off May 12 and runs to July 15 in the U.S. before heading to Australia. Along with his creative company So Midwest Inc., Jibson designed the production and media content; Brent Sandrock designed the lighting and programmed, while Brandon J. Clark takes it on the road as director.

The Who performs 'Tommy' at Royal Albert Hall in London

Tommy Lights ‘Tommy;’ Vegas Gigs; LDs for Sheeran, Spoon, Evanescence, Lady A and More

Debi Moen • Designer Watch • May 12, 2017

Lighting designer Tom Kenny filled us in on The Who’s two special dates at the Royal Albert Hall recently, saying it was the first time The Who have played the iconic rock opera Tommy in its entirety in 28 years. Though the band originally billed it as an acoustic performance, they decided in the end to plug in to be more faithful to the 1969 version. On The Who’s website, it was noted: “Our own Tommy (Tom Kenny, lighting designer) made the room look amazing, using every surface as a screen and bouncing light everywhere, not just onstage. What an environment.”

LD Paul Dexter returns to Raiding the Rock Vault with a new edition of the classic rock show, this one staged at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Photo credit - Erik Nielsen-Raiding the Rock Vault

Back to the Vault; Tribe Thrives; Tour Kick-Offs for Spring

Debi Moen • Designer Watch • April 13, 2017

Lighting designer/programmer Paul Dexter of Masterworks Lighting has gone back to the “vault” — designing the production, lighting and programming for the new edition of Raiding the Rock Vault, now at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Paul Normandale’s rendering of the Kings of Leon’s U.S. arena tour.

Who’s Behind Kings of Leon, Bruno, GofT, DeadMau5, Stapleton, Tim & Faith, More…

Debi Moen • Designer Watch • March 9, 2017

Kings of Leon Production designer Paul Normandale unveiled a new design for the Kings of Leon’s “Walls” 2017 tour, with Hunter Firth as the operator. U.K. audiences got their first peek at the show in February, with the U.S. arena leg starting March 11 in Broomfield, CO. Normandale graciously shared his design in a rendering of the Kings of Leon’s U.S. arena tour, as press is not yet being approved. Read More...

Justin Kitchenman served as LD and lighting director for Luke Bryan's 'Kill the Lights' tour. His new company is called Align Design Group. Luke Bryan 2016 photo by Todd Kaplan.

Kitchenman Creates New Company; CMA Touring Award Winners, More…

Debi Moen • Designer Watch • February 8, 2017

Production, lighting and media designer Justin Kitchenman started the New Year by creating a new company, Align Design Group in Nashville. “The focus of the Align Design Group is going to be live production, mainly concert touring,” he told PLSN. “But, as with all ventures, the future is a great mystery, with many twists and turns! I look forward to the future and all of the opportunities it brings.”


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