Production Profile

Luke Bryan's 2015 'Kick the Dust Up' Tour

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Luke Bryan 2015 tour photo by David VenusCountry star Luke Bryan’s meteoric rise to the top has solidified his tour as one of the must-see shows of the summer. The singer has been selling out every show this year from arenas to sheds, special club gigs to humongous stadiums as evidenced by this weekend’s sold out gig at Nashville’s Vanderbilt stadium. Production designers Justin Kitchenman (touring LD) and Pete Healey (touring production manager) co-designed a large-scale system that can fit into any type venue. Through reconfigurations of where to rig the truss and video elements, these transitions between different sized venues are seamless, due to the design team doing their homework ahead of the tour.

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Inside Theatre

Scott Pask's Scenic Design for "Something Rotten" on Broadway

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 'Something Rotten' on Broadway, photo by Joan MarcusTony Award winner Scott Pask has tackled set design for large theatrical productions many times before, not to mention juggling multiple projects. He had five shows open this spring on Broadway, including the highly acclaimed Something Rotten!, the hilarious musical comedy about the birth of the musical genre in the Puritanical world of South England in 1595. The show was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won one for Best Featured Actor for the exuberant Christian Borle, and it is a true crowd pleaser that lovingly sends up the beginnings of musical theater through a satirical Shakespearean lens.

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Production Profile

The Rolling Stones Zip Code Tour

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The Rolling Stones Zip Code Tour photo by Steve Jennings“Since I started working with The Rolling Stones back in 1982,” says longtime lighting designer and show director, Patrick Woodroffe, “the background to the planning for a tour would always be the same. The band would get together and ask a question. ‘Should we go on tour?’ If the answer was ‘Yes,’ they would then commit to a year and a half on the road, and we’d be off. Mark Fisher and I would design a production, spending millions and millions of dollars on the grounds that this would be amortized over 160 performances or whatever. But they don’t work like that now.”

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Production Profile

The Deconstruction of Rush

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As these photos by Steve Jennings illustrate, the idea for the 2015 R40 tour was to go backwards in time...Rush hit the road last month for what they are calling the continuation of R40 — celebrating 40 years as a band. Parnelli award winning production designer Howard Ungerleider actually explains that he is entering his 41st year with the band, having been brought into the fray back in 1974 as he says, “to teach a new band how to tour.” But what is separating this tour from any other Rush show is they are touring behind a theme this time. They are “Deconstructing” their career live — as each song they play takes you back one more step in their long, storied career.

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Designer Insights

Train's 'Picasso at the Wheel' Tour

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Train 2015 Picasso at the Wheel Tour photo by Steve JenningsAt the age of 11 Brock Hogan attended his first concert, Def Leppard’s Hysteria tour. Ever since that moment, he knew he wanted to be involved in lighting. He began in the industry as a stagehand for a local production company in Boise ID. After several years of working every gig he possibly could and always asking questions, Hogan worked his way up from a pusher to lead rigger. In 2001 he began working at a local venue called The Big Easy Concert House (now The Knitting Factory). Within a year, he convinced them to let him learn lighting.

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Designer Insights

Elton John- The Diving Board Tour

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Elton John (c) Steve JenningsBefore embarking on a second three-year Million Dollar Piano residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas this month, Elton John headlined a New Year’s Eve concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The Barclays Center show incorporated set elements and visuals from the artist’s 2013-2014 Diving Board tour — which marked the last chance for LD Patrick Woodroffe and the late Mark Fisher of Stufish Entertainment Architects to collaborate on the look of an Elton John concert. Fisher died June 25, 2013; the tour launched Nov. 8 and ran through Feb. 28, 2014.

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Designer Insights

Eric Cathcart, Michael Grant and The Black Keys' "Turn Blue" Tour

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THE BLACK KEYS, c. Steve JenningsEric Cathcart says that, in terms of a career, he really hasn’t done anything but lighting. In high school, he was involved in the theatre tech departments, then was a technical theatre major in college when he picked up a gig with a local production company. From there, he worked in the San Francisco Bay Area with Morpheus Lights and a few other California lighting companies. He move on to Midnight Lighting in Austin, TX as an LD and tech and did his first tour for Asleep at the Wheel. From there, it was on to Nashville, working for Bandit Lites (Def Leppard, Brooks & Dunn, Reba McEntire and many others). In 1995, he was given the opportunity to be the designer for Olivia Newton-John. From there, the design/director gigs started trickling in. He’s also working as LD under Dan Hadley on tours. Prior to The Black Keys he’s designed Michael Bolton, Thievery Corporation, LCD Soundsystem and The Darkness. The last couple of years he’s been doing CAD drawings for Premier Global Production, including designs for some sizeable festivals.

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Designer Insights

Linkin Park Carnivores Tour 2014

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Linkin Park Carnivores Tour 2014 photo by Steve JenningsFollowing the mid-June release of Linkin Park’s The Hunting Party album and 30 Seconds To Mars’ Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams in mid-May, “The Carnivores” tour, which also featured opening act AFI, took shape this year. The 25-date arena and shed trek kicked off in early August at the Cruzan Amphitheatre (West Palm Beach, FL) and we caught up with the tour where it wrapped up Sept. 19 at the Concord Pavilion (outside San Francisco).

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Showtime

Tim McGraw “Shotgun Rider” Tour 2015

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Tim McGraw Shotgun Rider tourLighting Co
Premier Global Production

Venue
Various (Tour)

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Showtime

Seether

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Seether photo by Cory WilsonLighting Co
Christie Lites

Venue
Various (Tour)

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