Clay Paky Sharpys and grandMA2 consoles are heading out on the road with Tim McGraw as the country superstar kicks off his Two Lanes of Freedom 2013 Tour in support of his new namesake album. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of both Clay Paky and MA Lighting in North America.
McGraw's Two Lanes of Freedom Tour will play 30 cities across the country. It follows his incredibly successful joint Brothers of the Sun tour with Kenny Chesney, last year's highest-ranking country tour in Billboard's list of the top treks of 2012.
For McGraw's latest show Premiere Global, which has been a vendor for the artist for the last decade, supplied 30 Sharpys and two grandMA2 full-size consoles. "The Sharpys are being used on the floor, on the rig and in the air for fanouts. They give a really big look," says Steven (Creech) Anderson with Premier Global.
"The shape of the production is a big spider with arms coming down and pods at the end of each," he continues. "There are lots of LEDs and video, and the Sharpys really enhance things. They're great lights - everyone is trying to copy them right now, but there are no fixtures out there that compare to them."
Lighting designer Pat Brannon went with "the ACL old-school look" by clustering four groups of four Sharpys on the rig and positioning 14 more on the floor. "I've used them before, but this is the first time I've had Sharpys on a tour," he says. "I'm really happy with them. I like their narrow beam, the quickness and brightness of the lamp, and the great color choices. They're small and lightweight but make a huge impact."
Everything in the show, including the video content, is triggered by the grandMA2; a back up unit is also on hand. "We had a multi-user interface for two programmers," says Brannon. "They could save to the same cue files at the same time, and that was great. The main feature is the video interface; I'm very fond of the DMX bridge that Control Freak provides. And it's great to be able to write your own fixture profile."
Brannon says he "loves the feel of the desk and using the NPUs. The speed and processing is unmatched by anything I've ever used." He enjoys the new layout feature of the grandMA2 series, which he finds "very useful - it eliminates the old fashioned process of grouping. Now you can lay out in the exact formation that you have in the system. You can see what your fixtures are doing live by just looking on the screen."
John Zajonc is production manager for the tour and Troy Eckerman was the programmer. Jeff Bertuch assisted on the video programming. Drew Finley is the content creator.