OMAHA, NE – (For Immediate Release) –Christian music sensation Tenth Avenue North has never been one to rest on its laurels. After winning the GMA Dove Award “New Artist of the Year” honors in 2009, this group of five talented musicians has fearlessly plowed ahead, incorporating new musical influences into its sound and coming up with fresh original lyrics that proclaim the raw power of faith while addressing universal and sometimes painful issues.
This intensity has helped Tenth Avenue North (or TAN as it’s affectionately known) earn multiple No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Christian charts. It’s also very evident in the group’s newest lighting show, which features 23 pixel mapped Nexus Aw 7x7 warm white LED panels from CHAUVET Professional.
The high-output Nexus panels worked their way into the Tenth Avenue North rig after making a strong impression on the group and its lighting designer/programmer John Hansen of EnHansen Design. “I saw the panels when I was out on tour with another group,” said the LD. “The band members had also seen the Nexus separately from me when they were being used by another band on the road. So myself, Cameron Pumphrey, and Mike Marcario got together and discussed what we wanted to do to move the lightshow forward; we were pretty much sold on the Nexus.”
What the band and its lighting designer were looking for was a fixture that could display pixel mapped images at a low resolution. “We were looking to move in a different direction from the LED video walls that have become so prominent,” said Hansen. “However at the same time we wanted the kind of flexibility that you get with LED video walls. The Nexus Aw 7x7, with its pixel mapping friendliness, gave us this flexibility and on top of that, we all also loved the panels’ warmth and their powerful punch.”
Originally, Hansen’s design called for positioning strobe and wash fixtures behind the Aw 7x7 units, so they could shine through the gaps in the panels and add greater depth to the rig. “That was a major selling point at first,” recalled Hansen. “Originally we had envisioned a solid wall of 7x7 panels with Strobes / LED wash lights behind them shining through.
“After several revisions we ended up with a checkerboard pattern of 7x7panels with the strobes and washes in the negative space. The looks we get with this setup are amazing and they really reflect the power TAN’s music.”
Hansen credits the skills of lighting director and board operator Mike Marcario with helping the lightshow’s impressive looks come to fruition. “Mike has been instrumental making the show come off as the lighting director,” he said. “Without a good operator, any design work done prior to going on the road will likely be wasted. Mike has great timing and visual instincts.”
Marcario explained how he controlled the Nexus Aw 7x7 panels. “Early in our tour when we were direct support, a snake was provided to drive our set carts, but eventually we needed to find a way to drive our fixtures from front of house. Between that tour and summer festivals, we also purchased some custom LED tubes, which brought our universe count on stage to six.
“Instead of going the conventional snake route, I wanted to look at ArtNet because it’s more flexible for routing local rigs into our system,” continues Marcario. “Plus, it allows me to run one Ethercon line from stage to front of house, as opposed to six loomed DMX lines. That one Ethercon line is actually loomed into our audio snake, so we run one snake every day opposed to two. I’ve been using the Chauvet Net-X ArtNet to DMX adapter to drive all my touring fixtures, and on some days I use it to drive local rigs if necessary.”
Currently, Hansen and Marcario are displaying a combination of bitmap and linear effects on the Nexus Aw 7x7 panels. “From a small twinkle to the whole panels beaming, you have as much flexibility as you could want,” said Hansen. “When the panels are on it makes a great wall of light upstage behind the band. The panels can also be used for subtle glows, smooth movement, or in your face blinding effects. We’re using the panels to fill a variety of roles. Being behind the band they’re often relied upon to add a scenic element and extra texture to the set. They also work to back light the band and engage the crowd as audience lights.”
Hansen has also been impressed with the extremely tight beam angles of the LEDs in the Aw 7x7 panels. “One of my favorite things I discovered is how cool the individual pixels look from the side when you add haze,” he said.
On the current TAN tour, the 23 Nexus Aw 7x7 panels are set up on three customized pre-wired set carts that save time during setup in addition to saving trailer space. “We have added some black mesh scrims onto the front of our set carts,” said Hansen. “This helps blend the three different fixtures types together – we have strobes and washes that bleed into the Nexus for an amazing effect. The scrims also help smooth out the overall look of our show. I like the way that the Nexus fixtures looked by themselves, but the pop and sparkle that they add behind the band on video/ IMAG is amazing.”
“In most cases we keep the Nexus panels at 20%-35%,” said Marcario. “The fixture is so powerful and punchy that we’ve got to be careful not to punish the audience too much!”
When TAN is playing indoors in a dark venue, Marcario keeps the panels at around 20%. However, he’ll also push them up to as much as 35% during the big accent and punch moments. “When we’re outside in daylight, we run them pretty high to compete with the sun,” he said. “Amazingly they seem to keep up and keep our show intact any hour of the day.”
Like any successful touring rig, the Tenth Avenue North lightshow is the result of a team effort. “This crew has been out crushing it all year,” said Hansen. “In addition to Mike, our tour manager Tim Combs, production/FOH manager Andy McDaniel, stage manager Cameron Pumphrey, and Holly Russel, our account representative from TMS have really come through. It’s a challenge when you’re on the road with a group like TAN that won’t quit pushing the envelope. When you have good people and good fixtures that can keep up with that challenge, it’s a lot of fun.”
For more information on EnHansen Design visit: www.enhansendesign.com
For more information on Theatrical Media Services visit: www.tmsomaha.com
About CHAUVET Professional
CHAUVET Professional offers innovative professional lighting fixtures for the production and touring market as well as permanent installation in theaters, hospitality venues, cruise ships, clubs, television and architainment applications. For more information, please visit www.chauvetprofessional.com
Chauvet, headquartered in the USA, is a leading global manufacturer of professional luminaires, truss and related equipment, fulfilling the needs of various industry sectors. Chauvet has four main brands: CHAUVET® DJ, CHAUVET® Professional, ILUMINARC® and TRUSST®. They share Chauvet’s unified strategy to pursue every market segment where it has a competitive advantage in terms of value, innovation and performance, with an emphasis on LED technology. For more information, please visit www.chauvetlighting.com