Grammy-winning rappers Drake and Lil Wayne may be duking it out onstage this summer but behind the scenes it was no contest choosing Clay Paky Sharpys for their tour's lighting rig.
Lighting designer/show design Guy Pavelo, of GP Design, is using 180 Sharpys provided by PRG for the Drake vs. Lil Wayne Tour, which kicked off at the beginning of August and runs through September. The show is also known as the Shed Tour for playing amphitheaters in 31 US cities, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning rappers co-headline the tour performing dueling 10-minute sets, trading barbs and encouraging fans to use a special downloadable app to vote for one or the other of them. Drake and Lil Wayne ultimately make peace and perform together before the result of the poll is announced.
"We're taking an arena-size rig and putting it in small outdoor venues pushing everything to the limit," says Pavelo, who was lighting designer for Drake's world tour. He has also lit Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Rihanna, Beck and Pharrell Williams. "A lot of the venues are literally wall-to-wall with trussing and lights."
All 180 Sharpys are up in the air on two main sticks. "They are my gag trusses - and Sharpys in that quantity are crazy," he says. "We can change the angles of the trusses, but we always see the Sharpys on the high line. They make really good visuals."
Pavelo believes that Sharpys "help define the look of the show," and he uses them on every show he builds. "They are definitely a staple for me these days," he admits. "I'm always looking for new ways to do a different trick with them. I don't have to use them for every single number, but Sharpys really help to highlight, make a statement and bring variety to a show."
Pavelo notes that the tour is getting good reviews for its unique approach to showcasing the co-headliners. "Drake and everyone involved loves the show," he says. "And I'm really happy with the Sharpys. The fact that we had to build the rig from stock-size elements and take it to all these places coast to coast is great."
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, "The Sharpy lights look amazing in those venues on that rig. We're proud that Mr. Pavelo has chosen to use them on his tours."
A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.