Clay Paky Sharpys are lighting up country singer Jason Aldean on the Night Train Tour, a musical powerhouse of a show also featuring Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett with location specific appearances by Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Kelly Clarkson. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky fixtures in North America.
Aldean is a double-Platinum recording artist who has had nine singles reach #1 on the Hot Country Songs charts. Bandit Lites Inc. is providing him with 24 Sharpys on the tour along with a pair of grandMA2 lighting consoles. A.C.T also distributes the MA products exclusively in the U.S. and Canada.
"The show design by Mike Swinford incorporates a lot of automation," notes Bandit Lites client rep Michael Golden. "Video panels carry the fixtures."
Lighting designer and programmer Aaron Swetland calls the show "very dynamic" with "a lot of elements and layers. The automated video screens move in all directions with 24 axes of movement."
Swetland says the Night Train Tour is the fourth tour on which he's used Sharpys. "I love that light," he says. "They have a very narrow beam and great distance. I have them spread out to maximize the effect, and they fill the palette well. It's great when they work together delivering nice beam angles and great looks."
Although Swetland has been a grandMA user for some time, he just made the switch to grandMA2. "This tour is my first chance to use it," he reports. "And it was an easy transition. I got some training on the system at A.C.T, which helped a lot; their support during programming was above and beyond the call of duty."
Swetland says grandMA2's effects engine "is my favorite new part" of the console. "It's a lot easier to get where you want to go. I used the bitmap effects engine to handle a matrix of 5x5 lights. I got good dynamic looks out of that. And the ability to write an effect during preset is a great feature."
According to the lighting designer, a number of stadium shows are coming up this spring, and he plans to add 88 Sharpy fixtures to supplement his inventory.
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