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News of Marian Hill, Tinashe, Vance Joy, Sam Hunt, Neil Young, More

Debi Moen • Designer WatchJune 2018 • June 4, 2018

For songwriting duo Marian Hill’s Unusual tour, Ricardo Rojas served as set and lighting designer and lighting programmer. The tour supports the duo’s new album, released last month. Describing his lighting design, Rojas tells us, “Their electronic R&B sound paints beautiful musical landscapes with lots of tension. I wanted to create a design that would complement this by creating striking, minimal scenes wherein they could exist and play. I wanted to change the architecture of the stage with each song.” Tour dates run to June 28 in the U.S., with Japan slated for August, Europe in September.

Ricardo Rojas designed the set and lighting for Marian Hill. Photo courtesy Ricardo Rojas.

Production designer Nathan Davis recently worked with Tinashe on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she performed her new single, “No Drama,” featuring Offset. Creative director Beau “Casper” Smart asked Davis to submit a lighting and set design that featured custom umbrellas lined with EL wire for dancers to use in the performance. (EL wire glows, and produces an unbroken line of visible light.) The quick deadline had Nathan and the team at DKPD working right up until the last minute to make sure everything worked properly.

Tinashe, with umbrellas lined with EL wire. Photo courtesy Daunte Kenner.

SRae’s Sooner Routhier and Robert Long have designed the new Vance Joy Nation of Two world tour. Joshua Light is lighting director. “He’s great!” says Sooner. Dates started in April and run to November. She says SRae is also producing the Kidz Bop Live tour, starting June 1. Kidz Bop songs are kid-friendly versions of today’s top hits, and those who pass the audition to become one of the The Kidz Bop Kids perform more than 50 dates per year.

LD Dan Hadley says while he’s “bouncing back and forth between legs of the Foo Fighters tour,” he’s co-designing Weezer with Tess Falcone for a debut in late June. He’s also
designing/directing Devo’s June 30 appearance at the 2018 Burger Boogaloo festival in Oakland, CA.

While LD Travis Shirley takes a break from European shows with Enrique Iglesias, he’s currently in rehearsals getting ready to send Sam Hunt on the road. Hunt’s dates are made up of several stadium appearances with Luke Bryan’s What Makes You Country tour and a handful of solo headlining shows and festivals. “Without sharing too much, its sure to be an eye-opening show,” he tells us.

Bigtime Lighting Design is busy gearing up for the “LSD” tour 2018 featuring
Lucinda Williams, Steve Earl and Dwight Yoakam. Eric Cathcart is designing the show, with Brian Hatten keeping it together on the road.

Richard Neville of design firm Mandylights has James Bay on a promo tour in the U.S., U.K. and Japan with an upcoming run through Australia; and both Joey Bada$$ and Tory Lanez starting national U.S. tours. In Australia, Mandylights is also preparing seven precincts of lighting design for Vivid Sydney. Called the world’s largest light festival, the event runs from May 25 to June 16 with installations throughout the city.

Chris Lose is programming Paul Simon’s “Homeward Bound: The Farewell Tour” for LDs Patrick Woodroffe, Terry Cook and Rich Locklin. Locklin will direct the show on tour, with the third and final leg ending Sept. 22, 2018. After that, Simon has said he still plans to occasionally perform — just not on a touring level.

Styx, with LD Jeff Ravitz and lighting director Libby Gray, share a co-headlining bill touring sheds this summer with Joan Jett + The Blackhearts (LD Dan Cassar), and special guest Tesla (lighting director Matt Guminski). After Nashville rehearsals, the tour kicked off May 30 and runs through the U.S. and Canada through August.

LD Jack Davis just finished a start-up tour with Beach House as lighting designer, lighting programmer, video content creator, and operator. Davis also helped recreate their live touring show recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live using the late night TV talk show host’s production team.

LD Scott Warner tells us he’s “out of the girl group world and back doing metal!” Warner is designer/director for Stone Sour’s European tour in June and July. The band supports Ozzy Osbourne from August through October and hits Russia in November.

Chris Smith was lighting director for Jennifer Lopez’s performance at the Robin Hood Foundation benefit show — which aids the poor — in NYC at the Javits Center in conjunction with LD Cory FitzGerald, and design firms Nimblist and Earlybird Visual.

LD Neil Scrivener just completed a run with American blues artist Beth Hart over in the U.K. and Europe.

LD Eric Price is out with Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness & Friends’ “The Pen and the Piano Tour,” which runs to September.

LD Nathaniel Beckett is touring with The Used.

Production manager Kent Black got a phone call for a gig recently with a fast approaching load-in day. It was at the 2,000-seat Warnors Theatre in Fresno, CA. “Nobody had done a show in this venue in a long time,” Black says. The show turned out to be for Neil Young and Crazy Horse with Nils Lofgren in the band, with Marc Brickman as the LD. “And it was all white light!” Black says. “And, of course, they blew the doors off the place with a great show.” Young’s longtime production manager Steve
“did some fast advancing,” Black tells us.

And finally, LD Cosmo Wilson is relieved he can officially talk about Aerosmith’s 50th anniversary tour in 2019-2020… But that’s all he’s saying about that!

Take a break from the sizzling summer and send a cool tip to Debi about your upcoming gigs. Reach her at

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