Burning Up With The Jonas Brothers

Disney darlings the Jonas Brothers just wrapped the second leg of the massive Burning Up tour in support of debut album, It's About Time, with additional dates sprinkled throughout the fall and winter. Operating under the philosophy that more really is more, the brothers approached co-production designers John LaBriola and Rob Brenner to come up with designs that would work well in arenas and amphitheatres. The second leg was to be bigger and better, and like the previous leg, LED/video content played a starring role.

The design mandate was to keep it colorful and moving. “The show was very energetic, and I wanted the visual elements to play a large part in that with lots of accents and changes — as a big choreographed part of the performance without upstaging it,” LaBriola says.

Although there was no dedicated original projection on this leg of the tour, Screenworks provided a number of screens, including one high-resolution 24'×14' Toshiba 10mm screen upstage center that dominated the show with I-Mag footage mixed with some stock content LaBriola tweaked. “Lighting came secondary to make the scenes and add the emphasis to each song,” he explains. “I essentially aimed for beginning, middle, and end with every song with the video.” The tour also had a mix of Panasonic and Sony 20mm screens, as well as lower res strips, also from Screenworks.

Lighting gear included Coemar Infinity units, Vari-Lite VL3000s, VL1000s, VL500s, PixelRange PixelBrick LEDs, Main Light MF3s, Zap Technology LittleBig units, Martin Atomic 3000s, 8-Light Mole Fay units, and Hazebase hazers, all run on an MA Lighting grandMA, with one more for backup, as well as three grandMA video servers networked together via an Ethernet switch, and four MA NSPs.

LaBriola notes that the Coemar Infinity units “were the foundation of the show. I played the video walls very bright. The Infinities punched right through that and held their own,” he says. Another workhorse on the tour was the Main Light MF3s. “On the eye-candy side, they're fantastic,” he says. “They provide limitless options when mixed with either mapping or just custom effects. As a light source, they're equally powerful. They provided an outstandingly bright, even wash.” All lighting gear was provided by BML-Blackbird.

Having just four days (outside in an amphitheatre) of full production rehearsals, LaBriola programmed on ESP Vision. “This was the largest show I've programmed on Vision,” he says. “Being outdoors pretty much cut my effective programming time to just those nights. This was also the first and only time we got to work out the kinks and put together the pyro/lasers which are also a huge element of the show.”

Lorenzo Cornacchia, vice president of Pyrotek Special Effects and Laser Design Productions, created an array of atmospheric scans and beam effects used throughout a sequence of songs. The laser system comprised one 10W white light diode laser system positioned upstage center, two 4W white light diode laser systems located on stage left and right of the drum risers, and an additional two 40W high-powered Yag laser systems located off-stage left and right. Each of the 40W Yag laser systems included a 12-position laser projector with two fiber-fed remote scanners, while a total of 40 bounce mirrors were positioned on the downstage truss and stage floor. The lasers were managed by laser crew chief Gordon Hum and laser technician Brian Van Tright.

The pyro consisted of 16 Silver Waterfall Gerbs, four Silver Gerbs, 14 15' to 20' Gold Flitter Mines, 28 15' to 20' Red Comets with tails, 20 1×20 Silver Gerbs, 12 1×15 Gold Gerbs, 9 15' to 20' Gold Airbursts, nine Hot Bursts, six large regular Fireballs, 14 White Flash with bang, five Dragons/Propane effect with tails, and a 64' Fire Screen effect.

LaBriola and Brenner are already planning a third leg to go out in the spring, with even more in store for fans. LaBriola gives extra props to the BML crew, saying, “We couldn't have done it without them — Ritchie Steffa, Kevin Pampel, Mike Brancato, Rich Jackson, Gerald Kaiser, and extra thanks to Troy Giddens, who did all of the spot-calling and tolerated me with the greatest of ease.”

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