Country rock singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert kicked off his Hell on Wheels Tour in late September hitting the road with a complement of Clay Paky Sharpys from Digital Console Rental, Inc. in Nashville.
Gilbert has had two No. 1 hits as writer, Jason Aldean cut “My Kind of Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem”, the later co written with Colt Ford, both making it to the top of the Country Charts. Gilbert has released two albums of his own, “Modern Day Prodigal Son” which he released by himself and “Half Way to Heaven - Deluxe” released on the Valory Music label. Gilbert’s “Country Must Be Country Wide” reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart last fall, and this summer his follow up, “You Don’t Know Here Like I Do,” also hit No. 1.
Gilbert has been a long-time client of Digital Console Rental, Inc., company president Howard Jones even served as his tour’s lighting designer. Tony Fransen handled the programming and Matt Kilgore is the LD / PM. Digital Console Rental, Inc. is handling all of the audio and lighting for the Hell on Wheels Tour.
“I wanted to come up with something that was iconic to Brantley,” Jones explains. “He’s big into motorcycles and has a bad boy image. I had the idea to have the truss over the stage be a giant pair of brass knuckles, we placed a Sharpy in the center of each circle of brass knuckle. We needed a fixture with the fire power to punch through, and Sharpy delivers.” Jones chose eight Sharpys from his inventory deploying four in the truss and four wrapping around the top of the set.
Jones says that most of the lights on the show are LEDs and the Sharpys “fit into the high output-low power profile, which we like. They are working great.” A Grand MA console controls the show lighting.
He recalls the first time he realized how bright the Sharpy fixtures are. “We had heard stories about the Sharpy so when we first got them in we had to see for ourselves. We opened one of the shops dock doors and aimed the beam outside, to our surprise we were lighting up trees over 700 feet away like daylight! In a concert situation they can shoot all the way to the back of the arena. The fact that Clay Paky can get a beam to stay that tight and that intense from a 185W lamp is amazing.”
A.C.T Lighting is the distributor for Clay Paky in North America.
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, comments, “It’s great that our Sharpys could provide the right tone for this very cool tour. I’m sure that they supplied the ‘punch’ Brantley and DCR, Inc needed for the brass knuckles that comprise the truss.”