Professional Lighting & Production - Spring 2018 - Page 21

“You can play anything from smaller shows to massive festivals with these guys, so I’ve always had to keep [the touring rig] workable for many different occasions and venues” -LD Alex Jeffrey Connolly took the time to weigh in on the video design on the day of the band’s Portland show. Some songs were obviously calling for video enhance- ment, but with others, Connolly tells Professional Lighting & Production, it wasn’t immediately clear what they should do. “So we just did some graphics, but overall, it really opened up the possibilities for the show. I can stand at the microphone with a guitar or sit at the piano or whatnot, and the show is still exciting because it has that added visual element, so it takes us to the next level.” Everything a band deploys for production is, ultimately, an expression of their artistic vision as both an extension of their musical output and part of a live performance. In Theo- ry’s case, that extends to being a reflection of their ongoing evolution: “We’re really progressing on our sound now,” Connolly says. “Our new record is a lot different than our last one, and we wanted the live show to reflect that.” Down the line, Connolly says, they’ll likely use video more extensively – taking into account the amount of time that the crowd spends in a venue prior to and after the band is on stage – and set the tone of their shows from the time the audience enters until they leave. “I think we can actually start putting in some more personal touches,” he adds. “We knew when we put the video on we were going to start somewhere and keep building on the content and maybe building on the size of the screens, so there are a lot of possibilities.” Granted, those possibilities change from night to night as far as the overall lighting scenario goes, depending on what the venue provides to augment the band’s floor package and video and vice versa. While it was early into the tour when Jeffrey spoke to PL&P, it’d been a smooth and seamless experience. “At this point, working with these guys for as long as I have, it takes a lot to catch me off guard. The one thing I’m noticing, how- ever, and I ran into it the other day, is that because you can get a lot of fixtures cheaper now, as far as moving lights and LEDs are concerned, some of the stuff provided isn’t your standard brands or, say, really well-known fixtures.” That can result in some hiccups. “Some knock-off fixtures don’t line up properly, so the other day, my entire colour palette was wrong because something between the fixture and the console didn’t communicate properly, so if I hit red, it was coming up blue and so that was an extra hour-and-a- half of programming.” Then again, Jeffrey says with a chuckle: “It’s always been an interesting ride with these guys.” Kevin Young is a Toronto-based musician and freelance writer. Spring 2018 | 21