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Designer Watch

Touring News on MGMT, Aerosmith, Bleachers, Pixies — and Reiff’s Reads

Debi Moen •
  • April 2018
  • Designer Watch
• April 6, 2018
American synth-pop band MGMT kicked off their new U.S. tour in March and continue in May, taking it worldwide through 2018. LD Susanne Sasic is the designer and creative director, handling sets, lights, overall production as well as art direction and video content. Sasic explains her theater-sized design. “The centerpiece is the ‘monolith,’ a freestanding […] Read More...

Design News on Black Violin, Jack White and Other Touring Productions

Debi Moen •
  • Designer Watch
  • March 2018
• March 12, 2018
Black Violin is comprised of a viola player and a violinist, who have combined their classical string training with hip-hop beat influences to create "classical boom." Production designer/LD Eric Cathcart designed and programmed for their "Classical Boom Tour" of theaters and performing arts centers. Read More...

NAMM Buzz, Bits, Brian, Butts and Benoit…and a Bit More

Nook Schoenfeld •
  • Current Issue
  • Designer Watch
  • February 2018
• February 16, 2018
There was a bright buzz reverberating around this year’s NAMM show, considering this was the first year of live production panels at this musical instrument-focused event...Sprinkled throughout this month’s column are familiar faces Designer Watch caught around the NAMM show. Top picture - LD Bryan Hartley (center) visits with LDs Susan Rose and Celine Royer during the Parnelli Awards. Middle picture - LDs Seth Jackson and Howard Ungerleider at the 17th Annual Parnelli Awards reception. Bottom picture - LDs Matt Guminski and Gurn Kaniski catch up at NAMM. Read More...

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

Debi Moen •
  • Designer Watch
  • January 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

PLSN Staff •
  • Articles
  • December 2017
  • Designer Watch
• 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.

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

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

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Watch
  • November 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.”

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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

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Watch
  • October 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.

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Pretty Lights 2017 tour. Photo by Greg Ellis

Pretty Lights, Primus in Production, Plenty of People News

PLSN Staff •
  • Designer Watch
  • September 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.

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

Cirque, Circuses and Summer Touring Circuits

PLSN Staff •
  • August 2017
  • Designer Watch
• 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.

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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

PLSN Staff •
  • 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.”

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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

PLSN Staff •
  • 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.

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

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

PLSN Staff •
  • 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.”

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