October 2013 Issue
Designer Insights

Bruno Mars' Moonshine Jungle Tour

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsAlthough his backing band, The Hooligans, have also achieved a measure of popular and critical acclaim, Bruno Mars, who will be performing at the 2014 Super Bowl Halftime Show, could also probably do pretty well just by cloning himself. Along with a three-octave voice versatile enough to handle a variety of musical genres (not to mention vocal impressions to cover for glitches on Pandora.com), Mars plays electric and acoustic guitar along with the drums.

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsMars was also actively involved in the look and feel of his current Moonshine Jungle tour, now in Europe after a 44-date sweep through North American arenas this past summer, according to Cory FitzGerald, the tour’s LD and programmer, who also worked with creative director Roy Bennett on the elaborate show’s design elements. “He will sit with me, going through every song and all the looks,” FitzGerald says, of Mars. “He’ll make comments and critique each piece of each song until it’s perfectly crafted.” More insights on the tour design from FitzGerald follow.

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsCory FitzGerald

Lighting Designer/Programmer

“Roy Bennett and I worked very closely in the creative design of Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour to create a world he and his band inhabit on stage throughout the show. I have worked for a wide variety of different artists for the past several years, and alongside Roy, have gotten to work with some of the most interesting artists on the planet! The process often takes us down several different roads, but that helps us narrow down what will and won’t work, and ultimately it all clicks into place and the show goes on.
Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsFor the Moonshine Jungle tour, Bruno is very in tune with what he wants visually and creatively.

“I’ve been on the road with the band for over two years, so I’ve gotten a very good feel for what he likes live. This made the lighting part of the process fairly seamless with what we’ve been doing, and it became more about augmenting that with our new fancy lighting rig and building the new songs so they were as much a part of the show as the old ones, if not more so. I needed fixtures that were low profiles and high output for the overhead rig, because we built a ceiling overhead. The Sharpy and Sharpy Wash [fixtures] are perfect for this, as they are very compact and pack a lot of features. We were very happy with the results! We used a variety of fixtures, though — [Martin] MAC Vipers, Auras and Atomic 3Ks, along with Vari*Lite 3500s and 1650 washes, among others. I like to use the best tools for the job. I placed lights where they needed to be and used them for their purposes, so it really feels like they are supposed to be where they are, each filling a specific role throughout the show. VER is a great partner with us on this tour. Susan Tesh, director of the lighting division, has been with us every step of the way and has made this whole process almost effortless.”

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsThe Design Process

“In the start of the design stage, I tend to work mostly in Cinema 4D. Its a very useful tool and has great integration with other programs like Vectorworks when it’s time to export things and do light plots. The materials and lighting in Cinema 4D are great for renderings, and I’m just getting the hang of using it for video-based animations of stages and walking through different looks. The video content for the show was done by Tim LaValley of Battlecruiser Inc. The ceiling was a design choice from an early stage to create a full environment on stage, framing the performance and still allowing for the 270° seating option. The Chevron pieces that come down was an idea to create a semi-transparent background and framing device, because we didn’t want to use video for the whole show and wanted a way to expand upon the feel of the set. Its a great dynamic piece and really creates another part of this world for them to play in for a while.”

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsA Team Effort

“The crew out there is the best. They are the lifeblood of the tour and make the show look amazing every night. We have Dave Marcucci, who took over lighting director duties when I started working on other projects, and there’s our lighting crew chief, Jim Petrussion. Production manager Joel Forman is an integral part of the process. We are constantly in communication about how to make things work and getting our design realized on stage every night. Our vendors have been great on this one. Always there, and very helpful with any changes we might have needed. Tait Towers as always has delivered a great product and been incredibly helpful in the process, Tait’s project manager Brian Levine helps keep our show on track.”

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsCrew

Creative Directors: Roy Bennett, Cory FitzGerald

Lighting Designer & Programmer: Cory FitzGerald

Lighting Director: Dave Marcucci

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsLighting Crew Chief: Jim Petrusson

Lighting Techs: Ben Hammett, Ray Wszolek, Steve Sligar, Ryan Cox

Video Content: Tim LaValley (Battlecruiser Inc.)

Video/LED Director: Steven Fatone

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsHead Rigger: Art McConnell

Production Manager: Joel Forman

Tour Manager: Shaun Hoffman

Stage Manager: Brian Bassham

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsLighting Co: VER (Susan Tesh)

Video Co: PRG Nocturne

Staging: Tait Towers (Brian Levine)

Pyro: Pyrotek Special Effects (Rob Liscio)

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve JenningsTrucking: Upstaging

Truss/Rigging: SGPS/ShowRig


Gear

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve Jennings2 grandMA2 full-size w/6 NPUs

1 Control Freak Systems

13 Vari*Lite VL3500 Wash FX/1650W

24 Robe 600 LEDWash fixtures

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve Jennings26 Martin MAC Viper Profile

45 Martin MAC Auras

20 Martin Atomic 3000 strobes

80 Clay Paky Sharpys (66 blk, 14 gold)

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve Jennings42 Clay Paky Sharpy Wash fixtures

27 GLP impression X4s

14 Solaris LED Flares

30 Martin StageBars

Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve Jennings12 ColorBlaze TRX fixtures

1 Supernova Novalight

276 Chromlech Elidy PX100 tiles

26 Elidy PXX9 power supply units

    Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle tour photo by Steve Jennings Nocturne V-18 video panels

4 10-port ProPlex GBS Ethernet switches

2 Brainstorm SR-112 Distripalyzers

16 ProPlex dual universe Opto-Splitter 2x8

2 MDG One hazers

2 Jem ZR44 foggers

2 AF1 Fans


For more tour photos by Steve Jennings, go to http://www.prolightingspace.com/photo/albums/bruno-mars-2013-online-extras