As one of the most successful bands over the last 25 years, the Dave Matthews Band has a string of hits to their credit with over 30 million in record sales worldwide. The popular jam band is also known as a must-see summer touring act and this year are playing amphitheaters and select arenas across the U.S. beneath a rig that includes Elation Colour Chorus Series™ LED battens and SixPar 200™ LED Par lights.
Lighting and scenic designer is Fenton Williams, who has been with the rock group since the band formed in 1991. He has been handling the designs for lighting, scenic and video since 1995 when the band began to carry its own production.
Draped behind the band and a series of horizontal trusses is a large backdrop curtain that required a wash of colored light. “We’re using Colour Chorus fixtures to uplight the backdrop behind the band and the SixPar 200s as truss toners in the silver 20.5”utility trusses over the band,” Williams explains. Colour Chorus is Elation’s popular series of RGBA batten wash lights useful for floodlighting surfaces in even washes of dynamic colored light. Available in 1, 2, 4 and 6 foot lengths, hue, saturation and intensity are all individually controllable.
Williams says the SixPar 200 Par lights were specd due to their homogenous light output. “Some of the truss toners are visible from the front and we didn’t want to see the individual LEDs making up the color mix,” he said. “In addition, we’re using the IP65 rated version as it’s not uncommon to see some rainy days playing amphitheaters in the summer.” The SixPar 200 houses a high-power 6-color LED multi-chip (12x 12-watt LEDs), including a UV LED, and can be used as a wash light, uplight, wall wash, truss warmer and more.
Production company Theatrical Media Services (TMS) of Omaha, Nebraska, has been working with the Dave Matthews Band for 23 years and serve as lighting supplier and co-lighting designer on the current tour. TMS decided to purchase the SixPars based on the fixture’s fantastic light output, states TMS’s Aaron Stinebrink. He adds, “Also, having a homogenized LED source was a must for us. We are finding that many clients are requesting that feature in their fixtures. The IP-rated SixPar fit in perfectly with the numerous outdoor events that we do throughout the year.”
As far as the Colour Chorus fixtures, TMS recommended them to Williams as the right fixture for the job, says Pete Franks of TMS. “We bought them as a replacement for a previous fixture in our inventory that had gotten to the end of its useful life,” he says. “The Colour Chorus fixtures were the obvious replacement for those.”
The Dave Matthews Band’s summer tour is a celebration of the band’s 25th anniversary and runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. LD Fenton Williams acknowledges TMS President Mark Huber for his support and the “great TMS support staff back in Omaha.” He also recognizes TMS’s Pete Franks (Crew Chief) and system techs Bob Chaise, Jerry Kaiser, Josh Albright and Josh Light, who also serves as board op.
Photos: Todd Kaplan
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Elation Professional is one of the world’s leading lighting and visual solutions providers and is the global brand of Elation Lighting. Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Los Angeles, with European sales, distribution and support based in The Netherlands, Elation designs and manufactures a comprehensive range of innovative yet affordable lighting and video products that are distributed through a global network of dealers and distributors. Made up of a spirited team of dedicated personnel, Elation is setting new efficiency and performance standards in Platinum lamp and LED technology and is acknowledged for a comprehensive commitment to Total Support. As a company in expansion with a presence in a growing variety of market segments, chances are you’ve experienced Elation lighting at a concert, special event, TV, theater, late night venue, House of Worship, theme park, cruise ship, exhibition, architectural space or elsewhere. For more information, please visit www.elationlighting.com
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