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LD Carter Adams with Allen Stone

Debi Moen • May 2020On the Road • May 7, 2020

Carter Adams, photo by SIC Images

DESIGN: For the shows that ran from Feb. 7-March 12, 2020, “Allen wanted the stage to look like a TV game show. He especially liked matrix-style LED panels and long pixel bars seen on many mainstream tours. We decided on a streamlined look. I was able to tier the lights using apple boxes and the decks. Allen had his heart set on a Star Drop to frame the stage, and it worked perfectly. The floor package consisted of 15 pixel bars with tilt and zoom, providing eye candy and washing the band/backline. I used 10 wash beams for aerial effects and occasional key light. Most of the venues were theaters and clubs, so we relied on them to have an overhead rig. It went together really fast, which was great, because I was the only lighting tech on the tour.”


HOME BASE: Berkeley, CA.


CAREER SPARK: “In the early 2000’s, a friend told me to check out STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9), and it changed my world. I instantly knew I had to figure out everything happening on that stage, starting with the musical instruments, MIDI controllers and Ableton Live software. Their light show is always top shelf, and it made me think of what a cool job it would be.”

FIRST INDUSTRY GIG: “EDM parties in San Francisco. A friend had an ‘underground’ venue with a dirty old PAR can rig. He hired me to tear it out to install LEDs and small moving lights. I gradually picked up gigs at small outdoor festivals around Northern California.”

BIGGEST CONCERT IMPRESSION: “Daft Punk at Vegoose festival, around Halloween, in Las Vegas [2007]. This was the infamous pyramid rig that I believe premiered at Coachella. It was the first time I saw a show integrating lighting and video with timecode. I was using on my projects the touchscreen controller that Daft Punk used, so I knew I was on track.”

HEROES/MENTORS: “Saxton Waller, LD of STS9, was a big influence. Watching designers like Michael Smalley go from club shows to arena tours keeps me working hard, learning as much as I can every day.”

OTHER ARTISTS YOU’VE WORKED WITH? “Galactic, Alex Aiono, Beats Antique.”

WHOSE SHOW DESIGNS CATCH YOUR EYE? “Martin Garrix (Gabe Fraboni), Alt-J (Jeremy Lechterman and Jackson Gallagher of FragmentNine), Billie Eilish (Tony Caporale, Cour Design/Fireplay) and Bon Iver (Michael Brown).”


Allen Stone at Granada Theater in Dallas, Texas on February 8, 2020. Photography by Jay Simon | Ten Ten Creative

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