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LD Tess Falcone and Ben Folds’ Tour

Debi Moen • October 2019On the Road • October 11, 2019

THE DESIGN: Ben Folds is an interesting challenge! We don’t carry lights, we don’t use haze, we have no backdrop. I am always trying to figure out what to project onto to create movement and mood without scenic elements. This year’s tours are with Violent Femmes and CAKE, separately. I am lighting for CAKE and VF as well, who also don’t use haze, so I’m having to create different looks for two separate bands with these challenges. Sometimes it means just keeping it simple, making pretty scenes. Sometimes it means hoping for a dusty environment so I can get a little beamage! It’s fun, and the people are the best.




Ben Folds, 2019, Des Moines, IA. Photo courtesy Tess Falcone

CAREER SPARK: “At Willamette University (Salem, OR) I had a fantastic lighting professor who taught me the basics of how to hang and focus. When I realized I was paying close attention to the lights at concerts, it made sense to learn to do that.”

FIRST GIG: “In 2010, I asked the house LD at the Summit Music Hall in Denver how to do what he does. He didn’t believe me at first, but allowed me to intern there for six months, teaching me everything he knew. I worked hard before getting a job LD-ing and doing stagehand work at the Bluebird Theater [also in Denver].”

INDUSTRY HEROES/MENTORS: “Brock Hogan believed in me early on and got me my first tour. We’ve now worked together on many tours and I respect him so much. I worked on a tour designed by Peter Morse last year; he’s an absolute legend, and a delight to work with.”

SHOW DESIGNS THAT CATCH YOUR EYE? “I always try to find time to see Nick Whitehouse’s shows for Justin Timberlake. Muse has some interesting shows, and I’m always intrigued by Bon Iver’s live show.”

OTHER ARTISTS YOU’VE WORKED WITH? “Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, Butch Walker, Matt Nathanson, Andrew McMahon.”

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? “I love running lights! Programming, and hitting cues on time like it’s an instrument. Listening to good music every night. Working with a solid team of kick-ass individuals. Getting to see the world.”

YOUR DREAM CONCERT TO LIGHT: “Queen! I’m bummed to not have gotten to see Freddie Mercury. I’d love to work for anyone that is that good at putting a smile on the faces of everyone in the audience.”

Ben Folds on tour. Photo courtesy Tess Falcone




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