True to its name, the Justin Timberlake kicked off his "20/20 Experience World Tour" is "an experience rather than a show," says lighting director Nick Whitehouse. "It's very visual with lots of projection and lighting and a lot of new technology. We got pretty creative with everything and had fun putting it all together."
The tour is in support of Timberlake's third studio album, which has a sophisticated vibe. The singer plays dates in North America, Europe, Australia and South America. Accompanying the performer for his three-hour show, with ten-minute intermission, are a 15-piece band and six dancers.
The majority of the lighting is in the wall or ceiling or hidden. Timberlake came with a lot of ideas with projection mapping, which has been taking the EDM market by storm. He also wanted a light show you basically couldn't see, so they could go from a single spot on the stage with some architectural pieces, to this enormous, rock 'n' roll light show.
Whitehouse programmed the tour on a grandMA2 console with Jason Gangi, who is also the tour lighting director. "I like using grandMA2 best," Whitehouse says. "They have developed a 3D tracking system for us; our video server feeds 3D info to the MA, which interprets it to the lighting rig. Lots of companies have tried to pull this off before, but MA has succeeded. Every light on the rig can follow Justin around the stage."
"We did seven weeks of rehearsals," Whitehouse reports. "The gear really got a work out – 20 hours a day." On the tour "the whole rig is hidden behind a scenic back wall and ceiling. We have 80 Sharpys and 130 Sharpy Washes mounted on trusses, and all of them come through a grill and look amazing. When they're not on you don't see them at all. And when they're on you can't see the grill."
Whitehouse selected Sharpys because he "needed something that was powerful, lightweight and low power. And they tick all those boxes."
Although the tour is still in its early days the lighting designer says "everything is working great – all the Sharpys and the grandMA2 are holding up really well.
80 Clay Paky Sharpys
130 Clay Paky Sharpy Wash 330s
grandMA2 light with an onPC system with both command wing and fader wing
Justin Spangler and PSX Audiovisual Technologies in Covington, Louisiana – Equipment supplier and integrator