Professional Lighting & Production - Spring 2018 - Page 19

They’ve racked up eight top 10 U.S. Billboard hits, including three No. 1s – the most recent being “Rx (Medicate)” from their newest release. Any band that’s been together and touring for that long knows full well they’ll end up in a wide variety of venues in a wide variety of mar- kets. In Theory’s case, their current run includes everything from small clubs to medium-sized halls to massive festival sites and more, all with varying house production rigs. Consequently, the band tends to tailor its production package to accommodate any and all of those venues – particularly when it comes to their lighting system. Theory’s LD, Alex Jeffrey, spoke to Professional Lighting & Produc- tion in late February from Medford, OR, just prior to the band’s Portland date early into the tour to discuss the need for flexibility in his design and the gear he’s deploying. SCALABILITY For this run, Jeffrey explains that Theory is only carrying a floor lighting and video package sourced through Nova Scotia’s Tour Tech East. From the outset, the primary con- sideration in the design and composition of the lighting and video system was scalability so that, depending on the size and type of venue they may be performing any given night, the rig could be deployed in whole or in part as needed to supplement a pre-existing house rig. “The tour is going really well – great reception and we’re actually doing headlining shows in some cities Theory’s never headlined before,” Jeffrey reports. Jeffrey has been the band’s LD for six years. He first got the gig when Theory’s previous LD, a friend of his, decided to stop touring and asked if he’d want to take it on. Based in Belleville, ON, Jeffrey also works with Canadian country band High Valley and designed the lighting for Marianas Trench’s 2016 summer run. “They were doing a run of ven- ues similar to the range Theory is doing now in the U.S.,” he notes. In his time with the band, Jeffrey has obviously devel- oped a number of designs for their tours, and ensuring the rig scales easily has often been the name of the game. “You can play anything from smaller shows to massive festivals with these guys, so I’ve always had to keep it workable for many different occasions and venues because it’s just a floor package and you never know what you’re going to get in the room. Last night, for example, I had to use about two thirds of our video and lighting because of the venue size.” In some ways, given he’s had to keep scalability and some similar consierations in mind on past tours, this is an exten- sion of previous designs; however, prior to this outing, the packages they took out did not include video components. “With the new album out, they wanted to step it up and give their fans a little more for the shows,” the LD says, “so we took the leap and got into video.” Jeffrey is using an MA Lighting grandMA2 Ultra-Light console to control the floor lighting package, house rig, and video. “I clone in everything the venue has to my show file, and then run our full floor package and drive the media server from the desk.” The lighting rig they have on the road is primarily comprised of four products:16 PR Lighting XLED 336 Beam RGB LED moving heads; 12 Elation Cuepix Strip Tri RGB bar luminaires; four Martin Atomic 3000 208-V strobes; and six Martin Mac 2000 Profiles. With the exception of the Mac Profiles, which are located on the floor in a semicircle around the band for up-lighting and moody scenes, the remainder of the fixtures are placed on six upright pipes spread across the stage. “The 336s are on pipes in between the video panels,” he begins, “so I’ve got four pipes with three on them and two pipes with two of those fixtures. They’re mounted straight up and down and pointed straight at the audience. Then, interspersed between those are the Cuepix to provide more light pointed right at the audience.” The Atomic 3000 Strobes are mounted below those fixtures, again pointed at the crowd to maximize the strobe effect. From stage right to centre, the heights of the pipes – “on a normal day” – are 9 ft., 7.5 ft., and 11.5 ft. “I do adjust the heights depending on the house rig trim, which usually corresponds with the size of the video wall that day as well, and sometimes I can only fit four of the six pipes on the stage because of width restrictions.” When it comes to what they request from venues, Jeffrey says there’s no specific lighting rider. “It’s really just what- ever they can hand me. I’ve got my show set up to handle anything from a classic par 64 rig to a full moving light rig, or just LED pars. It’s really whatever the lighting rig of the day is. I’ve pre-programmed my show with pretty much any option that can be thrown at me in mind.” Spring 2018 | 19