Deadmau5 'Lots of Shows in a Row' Tour 2017

by Steve Jennings (Photo and Text)
in Wide Focus
Deadmau5 'Lots of Shows in a Row' Tour 2017 photo by Steve Jennings
Deadmau5 'Lots of Shows in a Row' Tour 2017 photo by Steve Jennings

Lighting designer & director Alex Ares is out with Deadmau5 (producer and DJ, Joel Zimmerman) for the “Lots of Shows in a Row” tour. Alex came up with the lighting design, and programmed the show with fellow programmer Bobby Brooks. We spoke with Alex about the tour when it came through for a three-night sold-out crowd at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA.

Video was played pack thru a Resolume media server. 2017 Deadmau5 tour photo by Steve Jennings

Alex Ares
LD/Programmer

“I’ve been working for Joel (Zimmerman) for close to two years now, and this is my second design for him. We have a B rig that we use in festival season and that was my first shot at designing for him. I was referred by Michelle Plushanski for DeadMau5. I worked with her on a couple of tours filling in for LD’s, and I must have made an impression. She introduced me to Chris Costello who I have an amazing working relationship with. She is one of those tour managers who cares about the crew and our well being on tour. It’s funny, I was actually a big fan of DeadMau5 before I started to work for him. Crazy how life works sometimes.”

Ayrton IntelliPix fixtures are used as the primary light source. Deadmau5 2017 tour photo by Steve Jennings,

The video content was put together by Zimmerman and is run through Resolume.

“He made a good amount of his own content as well as sourced some. The whole show is time coded minus the encore. I never know what that might be, so I have a punt page for that. When we were in rehearsals, he would edit things to work with the lighting, or I would edit to work with the content. A ton of fun, as not every LD gets to go through the creative process with the artist, who just happens to be sitting with you in the trenches until 5 a.m. every day.”

Joel Zimmerman sits atop the structure. Deadmau5 2017 tour photo by Steve Jennings,

PRG is handling both lighting and video duties as the vendor for the tour.

“I worked with Julian Edwards (PRG Rep), whom I’ve known for quite a few years, and he had also worked with previous DeadMau5 camps. I chose all the fixtures based off this crazy idea that I wanted little to no movement on the show. What I mean by that is you’re not gonna come watch the show and see a ton of the MA2 effects engine. It was not going to be a big circle chase and a ton of strobing. I’ve been doing my fair share of raves over the past 5 years and when you see this DeadMau5 show you’re not going to get that.”

The artist made mush of his own content. Deadmau5 2017 tour photo by Steve Jennings,

The rig is one big floor package of eight 20-foot towers stacked with fixtures, says Ares.

“We have 80 Ayrton IntelliPix-R which I chose because of a video I saw on FaceBook of IntelliPix-XT. I actually wanted to use this fixture for the summer festival run, but knew that it would be a pain in the buttocks to get everywhere. I thought it would be fun to challenge myself with them; I mean, they don’t really do much. No pan tilt, zoom, gobo, iris, just 25 individual RGB-W Pixels. Then it was, ‘How would I use them, and give each individual song its own look and feel.’ It worked out great with a little bit of help from the MBOX Pixel mapper, I think I achieved that. Our Solaris Flares are always fun to burn corneas with, and I’m a huge fan of the GLP X4 Bar 20’s. I love the fact that they zoom, tilt and the colors are great. They’re a big part of the show as well.

“We had nine days of pre-viz with Light Converse that we rented out of VER In Las Vegas. I just have one thing to say about that, David Perkins is a beast, and Light Converse is amazing. The rig was perfect! When my other programmer, Bobby Brooks, and I showed up to rehearsal, it was spot on. What more can a guy ask for. We had ten days with the rig and we programmed 16 songs for the show time coded and an additional 6 songs that have potential to make it into the show at some point. I’ll tweak the show with some new content sometimes when I find something new I think looks better for a song, or come up with different chases to add to songs.

“I’ve been fortunate in my life to work with some pretty amazing talent and program some really fun shows, but the crew and the talent on this show has been by far the best. We all just clicked and mesh well as a team. The Tait guys and girls were a class act as well as my PRG boys. I can’t wait to work with them all again.”

Crew

  • Lighting Designer/Director: Alex Ares
  • Lighting Programmers: Alex Ares & Bobby Brooks
  • Lighting & Video Co: PRG/Julian Edwards
  • Lighting Crew Chief: JT McDonald
  • Lighting Tech: Harry O’Neill
  • LED/Video Creator & Director: Joel Zimmerman
  • LED/Tech: Ray Wszolek
  • Tour Manager: Chris Costello
  • Production Manager: Chris Schroeder
  • Staging/Automation: Tait
  • Head Automation/Programmer: Sean Mullarkey
  • Automation: Andrew Penney (Programmer)
  • Head Carpenter: Tara Boughey
  • Auto/Carpenter: Rob Azevedo
  • Trucking: On Tour Logistics

Gear

Lighting:

  • 2               grandMA2 consoles
  • 80            Ayrton IntelliPix-R fixtures
  • 24            Ayrton MagicDot SX fixtures
  • 24            Ayrton ArcaLine 100 fixtures
  • 40            GLP impression X4 Bar 20s
  • 15            Martin MAC Viper Profiles
  • 16            Solaris Flares
  • 2               DF-50 hazers

Video:

  • 42            WinVision 9 Air 600 x 1200mm panels
  • 1               Barco MatrixPRO 8x8 switcher
  • 2               Folsom ImagePRO II
  • 2               CSI Fiberlink systems
  • 2               Mac “trash cans” with Resolume

 

More Deadmau5 2017 photos by Steve Jennings:

Current Issue