Editor's Note

LD Software Helps Get the Job Done

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Nook Schoenfeld, editor of PLSN magazineAs a lighting designer, I just love my software. I know a lot of designers who whine about drawing plots and having to number things. They’d rather shout directions out to some assistant who can scribble notes now and transform that into 2D plots, 3D renderings and paperwork on how to make it all work. I get all that, and there’s nothing wrong with it. But I am not that guy. I am addicted to my software and would rather do it all myself.

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On the Road

LD Max McDougall for Steve Aoki

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LD Max McDougall lit Steve Aoki’s Neon Future Experience tour. He’s pictured outside the Austin Music Hall in Austin, TX where the tour started on Feb. 13, 2015. Photo by Debi MoenTour: Steve Aoki Neon Future Experience tour

Dates: Feb. 13-March 21 (North America); festival dates follow

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Features

Kylie Minogue's "Kiss Me Once" Tour Heads to Australia

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LD Rob Sinclair included 120 Martin MAC Viper AirFX and a dozen Martin MAC Auras in the rig.Kylie Minogue’s Kiss Me Once tour, in support of her 2014 album release, moves to the artist’s native Australia with plans for five concerts in March 2015 before returning for another tour leg in Europe this summer. The 2015 shows follow the artist’s 2014 tour, with close to 30 shows in the U.K. and Europe. LD Rob Sinclair and lighting director Louisa Smurthwaite provided insight into the creative processes behind the tour’s extensive lighting design, which included fixtures from Harman’s Martin Professional.

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Features

In Memoriam: Bob See, 1947-2015

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Bob SeeBob See, founder and CEO of See Factor Industry and one of the leading innovators in rock 'n' roll tour packaging, died Feb. 10, 2015. See Factor noted that he died peacefully in his sleep. He was 67.

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Features

Fleetwood Mac: The Full-On Mac is Back

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FleetWood Mac (c) Steven JenningsI’m having lunch today with Paul “Arlo” Guthrie, who could well be the finest Australian export to the States since Vegemite. He has again assumed his recurring role as production designer for Fleetwood Mac’s latest world tour. The band wrapped up well over a year ago when one of the founding members, bassist John McVie, had to take a leave of absence due to health issues. But that was after another original member, Christine McVie, sat in with the band for a show in London last year. She had been missing from the lineup since 1998, and for the first time in 17 years, the five members from the powerhouse lineup of the 1970s were involved in the show. I also spoke with lighting director Chris Lose and with screens provider Danny O’Bryen about the tour.

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Inside Theatre

Constellations on Broadway

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Constellations on Broadway photo by Joan MarcusThe recent Broadway production of Constellations, a two-person drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, seems deceptively simple: a short 70-minute play in which the duo plays a couple that meets, falls in love, then copes with insecurities, infidelity, and illness. Above them hover a group of “balloons” of varying sizes that are omnipresent as the actors play out the scenes numerous times, reciting many of the same lines but offering multiple takes on the relationship based on a “what if” premise. What if one person had reacted to or acted differently in a certain situation?

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Production Profile

Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show with Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott

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The mostly-new production shared elements of the “Firework” performance from Perry’s Prismatic world tour.. Photo from Getty Images courtesy Strictly FX.“It’s the hardest show I do, but I love it because you’re working with the best of everybody,” Mark Grega of Strictly FX says of the Super Bowl.

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Production Profile

Red Bull Crashed Ice Tour, St. Paul, MN

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Red Bull Crashed Ice came to St. Paul, MN on Jan. 24, 2015 and set up in front of the Cathedral of St. Paul. Photo courtesy of Red Bull Crashed Ice.What started out as a single event 15 years ago has blossomed into the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship Series. For the fourth year in a row, one of these sporting spectacles took place in downtown St. Paul, MN on Jan. 24, 2015, where an estimated 140,000 spectators got right into the up close action of this sport. A plethora of the worlds’ fastest skaters go head to head down a narrow track skating at speeds of 40 mph. While the races themselves were exciting, I couldn’t help wondering who and how a company can erect this gigantic structure along with all the lighting, video and audio it takes to put on a world televised event like this.

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Designer Insights

Butch Allen and Rob Koenig on Eric Church's "The Outsiders" Tour

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Eric Church The Outsiders tour photo by Steve JennignsWe caught up with the Eric Church tour in February and spoke with Butch Allen (lighting, set and production designer) and Rob Koenig (associate lighting designer, programmer and director) about the tour, which has exploded along with Eric’s popularity. Eric’s devoted fans in Salt Lake City got something extra when both band and crew got a bad case of the stomach flu. Instead of canceling the gig, Eric went on with the show solo, playing 19 songs with no fancy lights, video or stage production, just spotlights for a rare performance. He also told the crowd that they would get a free makeup show later in the tour.

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Designer Insights

Sam Smith 2015 Tour

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Sam Smith tour photo by Steve JenningsWill Potts has been working professionally in the industry since graduating from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in 2006 with a BA in Technical Production Arts, although his first paid jobs specifically in lighting were in 2003 at The Arches, a multipurpose arts venue in Glasgow, Scotland. Here he was given the opportunity to light concerts, clubs and theatre, gaining valuable creative experience while working closely with all sorts of artists in different genres of performance.

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