The Dave Matthews Band hits the road for an extensive national tour with Clay Paky lighting, grandMA2 consoles and MDG foggers along for the ride. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of both product lines in North America.
The band commences its 45-date cross-country swing in mid-May and wraps after Labor Day. They will be supporting last year's hit LP, "Away From The World."
Theatrical Media Services is providing the lighting gear and consoles for design company and video vendor Filiment Productions. Fenton Williams is the production designer and lighting designer for the tour; Aaron Stinebrink is the lighting programmer and designer.
"The overall concept is to continually augment the look of the show as the evening progresses," says Stinebrink. "Everything is mounted on automated curved trusses that can move around during the show. We also have a large curved LED videowall upstage."
Twelve Clay Paky Sharpy Wash lights hang from the sub grid and shine through all the trusses. A dozen Sharpys are positioned above the videowall and 12 more act as floor lights. Fourteen Alpha Spot HPE 1500s are integrated throughout the five automated trusses.
"We chose the Sharpys for the same reason everybody does: They have fantastic light output, speed, great colors and effects. It's a versatile light that everyone uses," Stinebrink explains. "The Sharpy Washes also offer a small footprint, speed and brightness, and they provide a great zoom and the ability to go from a nice tight beam to a wide wash."
He notes that the Alpha spots were selected "because of their output with a 1500W lamp plus two irises and a fantastic zoom. It's a very good light - far superior to others on the market."
Two full-size grandMA2s and one grandMA2 light control the lighting rig as well as the Hippo media servers. "We're very excited to start using them," Stinebrink says. "The entire video show is run through the Hippos and controlled by the grandMA2. The grandMA2 is a fantastic platform known for its stability throughout the years. It's so versatile that I can set up the console any way I see fit, as can anyone who operates the system."
The production is also using two MDG MAX 3000 and two MAX 5000 foggers. The 5000s are used in festival situations on the downstage corners to help with coverage. "The MDG MAX series has been perfect fit for us for years. They have a fantastic volume of output while still having enough control to use them as a hazer. This series of foggers has been perfect for our amphitheater tours," concludes Stinebrink.
George Masek, A.C.T Lighting's Vice President, Automated Lighting, adds, "We've known Fenton, Aaron, and the Dave Matthews team for a number of years and they are always a pleasure to work with. It was nice to see that Aaron and the TMS staff appreciate the same things that we do about the Sharpy, Sharpy Wash, and Alpha Spot HPE 1500. We're very pleased that we were able to offer fixtures that are new and exciting to them."