Although Cleveland-based rising rap/hip hop star Kid Cudi doesn't even have an album out yet, he has kicked off his first tour, which he headlines with Asher Roth. The show was designed by Jonathan Goldstein of Starlight Visual. He brought in Cameron Yeary of UVLD for media design and programming.
"Jon and I met in 2004 when he was touring with Donna Summer, and we've stayed in touch," says Yeary. "The video media developer who works with Jay Z recommended that we partner on this project." Kid Cudi's tour runs four weeks, from mid-July to mid-August, playing intimate venues with a surprisingly large production. The tour, with content based on his hit single, "Day 'N Nite," along with mix tapes and Internet buzz, began in Boston at House of Blues and wraps in Chicago at Lollapalooza.
"It was great to team with Cameron again," says Goldstein. "He's one of my favorite video programmers. His ability to create video on the fly is huge. He sees what page I'm on and works with it; he really makes stuff happen that I like. These days I'm used to working on big shows for Kanye West. Going down to a small show can be stressful, but it can also be fun."
Music drives Goldstein's show design, and Kid Cudi's music is "not typical rap," he notes. ""It's very melodic and catchy. We wanted to integrate high-quality video with the show, so Cameron gathered his collection of stock footage, which we've tastefully altered so it's totally relevant. connects with the music and doesn't look like stock. We combined it with music video content provided by Kid Cudi and original content by Cameron to create the whole vibe."
Goldstein and Yeary had only two days to program the show. Yeary tapped a grandMA console, which also tours with the show, for his video programming. An Mbox server offers "interesting cueing" options, Goldstein says.
The video is displayed on a see-thru 20x8-foot WinVision LED surface. Six MainLight MF/3s provide "really soft LED wash lights in RGB, amber and white," he explains, "for nice true light and different looks."
Goldstein selected nine Color Kinetic Color Blaze 72s, four Kino Flos, three Atomic Strobes with color changers, four 1K fresnels, three Palas cyc lights and four bars of ACLs to give a "really moody, industrial look" to the show that's a far cry from typical concert lighting. "There are no moving lights," he notes. "Some people would find it hard to get emotion out of a static show but with the WinVision surface and the lighting behind it we're able to play with an interesting dimension. The lighting and video interact with each other all the time, never over-saturating but really adding dimension."
"Cameron got into a groove where he always knew what I was feeling for a song," Goldstein adds. "Before I could describe what I was looking for, he already had it. That saved an amazing amount of time, which was important since we just had two days to program the show. Cameron's really fast on the console and a great video programmer."
About Starlight Visual
Started in 2004, Starlight Visual services corporate and A list musical acts as well as major high coverage fashion shows, still photography , television abroad, and live concerts ranging from stadiums to music halls. Recent clients include Kanye West on his past two world tours, the grammy awards, AMA's, and SNL multiple times. You can contact SLV and Jonathan for more information, visit www.starlightvisual.com.
Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) creates lighting designs for corporate theater, live entertainment, themed environments, trade shows and special events. UVLD is a partnership of 10 designers working in all aspects of lighting design; their work has been seen on stages and screens nationwide and around the world. Clients include IBM, Mitsubishi, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, Volvo, Volkswagen, John Deere, Microsoft, Cartier, Victoria's Secret, FedEx, Avon and Audi.