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“Down the Road Wherever” with Knopfler, Etheridge, Head & Heart and More

Debi Moen • October 2019 • October 9, 2019

Mark Knopfler’s U.S. leg did not use video projection. Photo by Debi Moen

Lighting director Tellson James is out with former Dire Straits’ frontman Mark Knopfler on the “Down The Road Wherever 2019 Tour.” It’s his second Knopfler tour, the first being in 2015, and both were designed by LD Mark Henderson. (At a recent Knopfler gig, PLSN ran into former Dire Straits’ LD Chas Herington and managed to capture him and James on camera.) James lives in Thailand now and frequently works on shows on his side of the planet, with an upcoming non-touring gig in Vietnam in October.

LD Andrew Kleiner reports in from the road with The Head and The Heart’s Living Mirage tour. “We’re a pretty small camp, so I’m pretty much a jack-of-all-trades,” Kleiner tells us. “Lighting designer, director, programmer, operator, with some video thrown in if we’re doing one-offs or festivals. I have one tech with me when we’re carrying our touring package, and we had a set designer build some props for us — so I guess you could throw ‘carpenter’ in there, too, but that’s definitely not my wheelhouse.”

‡‡         Good Medicine

LD Dave Hamilton is out again with Melissa Etheridge, who’s promoting her new album, The Medicine Show. Hamilton tells PLSN how the artist’s health had once affected his design. “She has been cancer free for 15 years, and we didn’t use any haze at all for a few years after that, but we started using it sparingly again a few years ago. Her only two real requests have always been to keep the haze as minimal as possible and don’t put the lights in the audience all night. We have a few audience cues, but I’m very aware of keeping the lights on the band and stage while building focus positions. Seems a lot of shows lately are basically half the lights focused in the house running effects all night. We don’t do that unless it’s a daytime outdoor show and I do it for eye candy.” After “going on 16 years” with the artist, he adds, “she’s a sweetheart and the plan is to retire here.”

LD Dan Reed recently returned from Dubai. “I have been brought on to consult for my fourth theme park project in the UAE — a large outdoor nighttime skytracker show for Global Village Dubai to coincide with their nighttime firework display,” he notes.

LD Ed Warren is currently working on a list of projects including the design update for Interpol’s headline Mexico tour (“we’re expanding the production and headlining Corona Capital Festival”); designing/operating Idles U.K. tour; designed Manic Street Preachers world tour; designed Mumford & Sons U.S./SE Asia tour; and designing/operating Mac DeMarco’s headlining gig at the Alexandra Palace in London.

Wilco’s new touring design runs into early 2020. Photo by Jeremy Roth.

‡‡         Quick Cues

LD Jeremy Roth is back on the road the rest of the year with a new lighting and projection design for Wilco, which just started in September.

Rachel Mullen is going out as touring LD for Avril Lavigne.

LD Bud Horowitz says he’s out covering some Jeff Beck shows for LD Gurn Kaniski in late September. He then spends 10 days in China with Yanni, followed by the annual NHRA Awards.

Jerome Thompson checked in to tell us he’s been the rack guy for Old Dominion for the past two and a half years. Travis Shirley did the original design, and Kevin Lickity is their lighting director. “You should give us a look,” Thompson advises.

Jogo dos Jogos is the new Portuguese version of Ellen’s Game of Games show. LD Marco Silva says he and his two associates are involved, but can’t talk more until its premiere there on national TV in October.

LD Meagan Metcalf says she’s wrapping up programming for Sofi Tukker’s fall headline tour, and then finishing out Metric’s Art of Doubt album cycle at the Austin City Limits Music Festival for two weekends in October.

LD Nico Riot says he’s returning to Marilyn Manson for the last part of the “Heaven Upside Down Tour.”

Shakira’s El Dorado 2018 world tour was captured on cameras and will be shown in select cinemas on Nov. 13 & 15. Production Designer Paul Normandale says he simply added audience lights to the touring set for the filming of Shakira en Concierto: El Dorado World Tour, much of which took place at the Los Angeles Forum show in August 2018.

LD Robert Sondergaard of Electric Aura Projects designed the North American tour of “We Will Rock You.” Due to the film Bohemian Rhapsody, the music of Queen continues to rise in popularity. He says the production will traverse his homeland of Canada and the U.S. until March 2020.

Rake up the details of your late autumn plans and send the news to Debi Moen. Reach her at

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