Paramore 2017 'After Laughter' Tour

by Steve Jennings (Photo and Text)
in Cover Story
Chad Peters and Butch Allen used a colorful palette. All photos by Steve Jennings
Chad Peters and Butch Allen used a colorful palette. All photos by Steve Jennings

Paramore released their fifth album, After Laughter, in May and launched their 2017 tour the same month, with a performance at the KROQ Weenie Roast and Fiesta followed by a jaunt through Europe and the U.K. in June and July. North American dates followed, running from late July through late October.

LMG supplied the gear for the tour

The band also announced plans for their third Parahoy Cruise, to depart from Miami April 6-10, 2018. We spoke with lighting director Chad Peters about the recent Paramore shows in North America, and a slightly new direction the band went in their design. As co-lighting designer, Peters worked alongside Butch Allen, who was also the production designer for the tour, and Scott Chmielewski, who programmed the show.

Elation ACL 360i fixtures work the rings

Chad Peters
Co-LD and Lighting Director

Paramore’s latest tour took its cue from the music on the latest album, After Laughter, with a new look, new projection design — and a few new challenges, Peters says.

“The band really liked the shift from past tours to this design which also allowed for projection, but along with that comes some logistics that have to be worked out when using projection, the way we did. The set’s 45-degree angle, coupled with the variety of projectors placement in the various theaters, was quite challenging. The second challenge was finding enough fixtures to fill in the circles without killing the budget or overloading the rigging weight for some of these venues.”

Martin MAC Axioms supply the gobo patterns

Production partners for the 2017 tour included video content from Mike Kluge of MKAV and the circular panel surfaces for the video projection from Megan Duckett’s Sew What? Inc.

“Adding projection in the design was something new. The band was very impressed with a show they saw in Nashville by the band Phoenix, so I tried to incorporate some of the aspects that they liked into this design. It’s a darker look, more backlit than on previous designs I’ve done for them but there are definite big light moments in the show.

Robe Cyc FX 4 striplites in use

            

Peters welcomed the opportunity to collaborate once again with Butch Allen.

“It is always an honor to work with someone as talented as Butch. Honestly, he does the majority of the work. He sends me things and asks if I think it works for the band or will we be able to pull it off. We look at the shows programming together, and we can always ask each other if that actually works for the song and what the band will think about it.”

Sew What made up the softgoods above the rig

Peters also notes that the shows benefited from the “valuable experience” that Scott Chmielewski, who programmed the show, brought to the production. “He knew a lot of cool tricks.”

“This show is less cue-heavy than on previous Paramore tours on purpose, as we were trying to change it up a bit. There is a main cue list for each song and some extra buttons and faders for bloops and blips.

Panasonic 32k Laser projectors in use

Peters adds that the band members themselves also had of input for this year’s show looks.

“The band is really into the show and very opinionated on colors and looks. This made us re-program quite a few songs after rehearsals and so there has been a lot of cueing changes along the way.”

Paramore 2017 'After Laughter' tour photo by Steve Jennings.

The design team worked with Craig Mitchell at LMG.

“He and his support staff have been very accommodating throughout the process. They were able to hang the rig and have the band rehearse in the Orlando facility, which made any small changes in the rig very easy.”

Paramore 2017 'After Laughter' tour photo by Steve Jennings.

Peters noted that while the compact size and lighter weight of the LED fixtures in the rig helped keep the total rigging weight down, he saw a double-edged sword in terms of color palettes.

“We are able to make some funky multicolor effects coming out of the lights, but if you don’t want the funky rainbow white from the LED chip, you have be careful and stay saturated. Some of the fixtures were really one trick ponies that fit into the budget and that were available for the tour.”

Peters concludes with a big thanks to all the support crew.

“With such a large square truss in some of these theaters, there has been some struggles with fire curtains and rigging. So we’ve had a few ‘B’ rigs along the way…We always want to have the best show we can for the band, so it was really tough some days fitting the full version of it into the smaller spots. I would like to say a big thanks to all of the crew guys for working really hard on those not-so-easy days.” 

Paramore 2017 After Laughter Tour

Vendors

  • Lighting & Video: LMG (Craig Mitchell, Director of Touring)
  • Video Content/Creation: Mike Kluge (MKAV)
  • Screens Content Support: Kirsten Hovland (Electronic Countermeasures)
  • Projection Truss Material Rings: Sew What? Inc./Megan Duckett
  • Trucking: Stagecall

Crew

  • Production Designer: Butch Allen
  • Lighting Design: Paramore, Chad Peters, Butch Allen
  • Lighting Director: Chad Peters
  • Lighting Programmers: Scott Chmielewski, Chad Peters
  • Lighting Crew Chief: Emil Vuorijaervi
  • Lighting Tech: Colton Sellers
  • Video Crew Chief: Scott Chmielewski
  • Media Server Tech: Grant Draper
  • Projection Tech: David Powell
  • Production Manager: Travis Bing
  • Tour Manager: Andrew Weiss
  • Assistant Tour Manager: Natalie Hosselton
  • Stage Manager: Sam “Fish” Wilson
  • Rigger: Bill Smith


Gear

Lighting:

  • 1          grandMA2 full console
  • 72       Elation ACL-360i’s
  • 48       Robe CycFX 4’s
  • 17       Martin MAC Axioms
  • 10       Lowel DP Lights
  • 2          MDG Atmosphere hazers


Video:

  • 3          Panasonic 32K laser projectors
  • 1          Ai Media Server setup

 

More Paramore 2017 tour photos by Steve Jennings:

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