Current Issue - January 2015
Editor's Note

Into the Fire

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

Nook at LDI. For his intro to the Jan. 2015 issue of PLSN, go to, here I am. The new editor of this fine magazine you are reading. And I’m over my head…again. But I’m not afraid, because most of my career has been spent being thrown into the fire. The fact is that, for the last 10 years, I have just been designing stuff, and nothing in my workload was stressful. Sure, there were challenges and long hours spent tweaking designs to bring my ideas to fruition, but I never stayed up late wondering how the heck I was gonna pull something off. Then came this new gig offer.

On the Road

LD David Hare and Stevie Wonder

Written by: Debi Moen

LD David Hare crafted the looks for Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life tourTour: Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”

Dates: Nov. 6-Dec. 20, 2014


Fleetwood Mac: The Full-On Mac is Back

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

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.


GrooveBoston and ECLPS Make Raves on Campus

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

GrooveBoston University of Texas at Arlington, Christ Dutton (c) GrooveBoston and ECLPSIt’s a Friday afternoon, and Nate Almeida and the rest of the East Coast Lighting & Production Services team (ECLPS) are gearing up for another stop on Groove-Boston’s Cohesion Tour. These players have been collaborating on large-scale shows for 10 years and six consecutive tours. GrooveBoston combines massive pro-ductions with resident DJs to create immersive concert events on college campuses. ECLPS has been a key partner in creating a majority of the visual designs for each show since its’ inception.


TomorrowWorld Gets AV Boost from NEP Screenworks

Written by: Mike Wharton

Tomorrow WorldTomorrowland, the international dance music festival founded by Dutch concert promoters ID&T and staged in Boom, Belgium since 2005, branched out to the U.S. in 2013 with TomorrowWorld, which featured a roster of 300+ EDM artists and a collective audience of 140,000 for its Sept. 27-29 debut in in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, outside Atlanta.

Inside Theatre

LD Kenneth Posner Puts "Disgraced" in a Natural Light

Written by: Bryan Reesman

Disgraced photo by Joan MarcusTony Award-winning lighting designer Kenneth Posner has worked on many dramatic productions with realistic, elaborate sets, including The Merchant Of Venice, Other Desert Cities and The Columnist. His most recent Broadway show, Disgraced, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Ahktar about pride, prejudice and self-deception, has allowed him the opportunity to use lighting to set mood and tone across different seasons in the same space. The changes are often subtle, but over the course of the show, the lighting moves from a warm atmosphere to a harsher vibe as the characters’ lives fall apart.

Production Profile

Jack White: The Power of 3

Written by: Will Romano

LA (c) David James SwansonGood things come in threes. At least that’s what solo artist and White Stripes co-founder Jack White would have us believe, judging by the lighting and production designs for his current tour in support of his 2014 solo record, Lazaretto.

Designer Insights

Elton John- The Diving Board Tour

Written by: Steve Jennings

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.


Top 10 Tours* - 1: One Direction

Written by: PLSN Staff

One Direction (c) Calvin Aurand. The tour ran from late April to October 2014 with legs in South America, Europe and North AmericaLighting Co: Lite Alternative/Upstaging

Video Co: VER/XL Video

*Top 10 Tour rankings from Billboard Magazine based on gross ticket sales from mid-Nov., 2013 to mid-Nov., 2014


2: Justin Timberlake

Written by: PLSN Staff

Justin Timberlake (c) Ralph LarmannLighting/Video Co: Solotech


3: The Rolling Stones

Written by: PLSN Staff

The Rolling Stones (c) Ralph LarmannLighting Co: Neg Earth/Upstaging

Video Co: PRG Nocturne


4: The Eagles

Written by: PLSN Staff

The Eagles, Scott Davies (c) PRG Lighting Co: PRG

Video Co: PRG Nocturne


5: Katy Perry

Written by: PLSN Staff

Katy Perry (c) Karen McGurkLighting Co: Upstaging

Video Co: PRG Nocturne


6: Paul McCartney

Written by: PLSN Staff

The “Out There” tour ran from 2013 to 2014, and LPL Professional Lighting supported the first shows in Brazil. Pictured here, from left, are  soundman Thomas Walls, Wally Lees, Guillermo Traverso (with Robe) and Roy Bennett.Lighting Co: Upstaging

Video Co: PRG Nocturne


7: Bruno Mars

Written by: PLSN Staff

Bruno Mars (c) Steve JenningsLighting Co: VER

Video Co: PRG Nocturne


8: Beyoncé & Jay-Z

Written by: PLSN Staff

Beyoncé & Jay-Z (c) TMB / SolarisLighting Co: VER

Video Co: Bowman Touring Video

NOTE: An earlier posting listed the wrong crew and gear for this tour. This posting was updated Jan. 24, 2015.  PLSN regrets the error.


9: Lady Gaga

Written by: PLSN Staff

Lady Gaga (c) Clay PakyLighting Co: PRG

Video Co: Solotech


10: Michael Bublé

Written by: PLSN Staff

Bublé (c) Ric LipsonLighting Co: Christie Lites

Video Co: Solotech

PLSN Interview

Tyler Elich: A Designer You Should Know

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

Tyler Elich

At 34, Tyler Elich has already crafted fresh looks for projects that range from theater to comedy to huge arena pop shows. He has lit artists ranging from Bob Dylan, Janet Jackson and comedian Eddie Izzard to Fun, Sugar Ray and Everclear. He divides his time between drawing event renderings, corporate shows and designing and directing touring projects. He has been drawing for LD Paul Normandale for more than 12 years, and last summer he got a “dream” assignment: serving as lighting director for the Nine Inch Nails tour.

Buyer's Guide

Truss Products

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

PLSN January 2015 Buyers Guide - Truss ProductsIt’s been 18 months since PLSN last published a Truss Buyers Guide. But in that time, almost every manufacturer we contacted had info on the latest products they have unveiled. Some had so many new products we simply could not list them all.  We encourage you to click on the company websites listed to see what other great truss and associated products they have available. We include everything from small utility truss to large structural items and everything in between. Whatever your truss needs, someone listed here can’t wait to help you.

To download a PDF of the PLSN Jan. 2015 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

Product Spotlight

Mountain Productions MTN Box

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

A special insert lets the MTN Box adapt to newer models of CM hoists, which are about three inches longer than traditional hoistsMountain Productions, the legendary staging and rigging company based in Wilkes-Barre, PA, has come up with the ultimate road case designed for housing chain hoists. Being a certified CM dealer brought around the necessity for a stronger case. According to Mountain Productions’ Marty Wesstrom, “the average motor case takes quite a beating on the road and obviously does not have a long life. We designed this specific road case with the idea that hopefully it will be the last one you will ever need to transfer your motors and other products.”

Road Tests

d3 Technologies 4x4pro

Written by: Laura Frank

d3 4x4proOne of the biggest challenges facing the video industry today is how to handle 4K signal distribution and the hardware that will support that raster size for playback.



Written by: Nook Schoenfeld


I just spent two straight hours playing with this remarkable new fixture from Robe, the fine Czech Republic manufacturer of quality lighting fixtures. The latest in their series of hard-edged spot fixtures is cleverly called the BMFL, which stands for Bright Multi-Functional Luminaire. This fixture is so unique in the way that it projects textures that it took me all that time just to glance at all the amazing designer macros in this fixture and the fact that I’m playing with a whole new beast of a light here, not another clone of a typical spot fixture. This fixture has every bell and whistle of all the other spot fixtures I have used, rolled into one.

Company 411

Image Engineering's Sibling Revelry

Written by: Tim Bradley

Laser effects for Tiësto.It started when they were children. The three Suehle brothers were those kids at your grade school assembly who were in the back fiddling with projectors and lights, trying to make something unique happen. Enthralled with the production aspects of shows, Andy, Joe and John first worked on events at schools and churches. Their obsession became their profession. John, the eldest, got a Ph.D. in electrical engineering (yep, he’s Dr. John). Joe, in the middle, got a degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA. Andy, with a degree in mathematics, became the marketer and salesman of the trio. PLSN spoke to Joe for this article.

Video World

So, You Want to be a Cameraman

Written by: Paul Berliner

Freelance cameraman Danny ZemanekI’ve often wondered how someone gets their start these days, if they’re aspiring to work in the video industry. Where does one acquire the knowledge and the skill? How can you get that first big break? Certainly the colleges, universities and trade schools provide a comprehensive background, teaching a little bit of everything involving audio and video— but rarely concentrating on specific marketable skills.

Feeding the Machines

Blinded By the Light

Written by: Brad Schiller

Programming automated lighting requires much more than just pressing buttons on a console. A good understanding of the lighting fixtures and their capabilities is equally as important. In addition, the consideration of the effects of the lighting programming must be considered and evaluated during the programming sessions. The positions of the lights, the actions of the fixture parameters, and environmental conditions all can have an effect on your programming.

Designer Watch

The Lighting Industry's Gratitude/Goals Journal for 2015

Written by: Debi Moen

Matt Mills directed the lighting on Motley Crue's Fiinal Tour. The band will resume touring overseas in 2015.As we pull the plug on 2014 and flip the switch for 2015, Designer Watch checked in with designers, directors and programmers to inquire about their state of mind. We asked: What are you grateful for? What are your goals or resolutions? What are your hopes and wishes for the New Year?

LD at Large

Club Rules 101

Written by: Stosh Rickenbach

Illustration by Andy AuThis month’s LD-at-Large is Stosh Rickenbach, longtime house LD at the original Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. He’s glad to help, but you have to give him a fighting chance. He has some guidelines that each club band should follow to ensure a well lit show. Good luck with that, Stosh. —ed.