NASHVILLE, TN – A good fog machine effect not only evokes strong moods among the audience, it can also fire up members of the band. Tim Creedon, lighting director for chart-topping country star Canaan Smith, knows this first hand. Not long ago, he was running the board at one of the crooner’s shows when, just before the band played the platinum No. 1 single “Love You Like That,” one of the guitarists came over the talk-back mic and said, “Tim, I want you to go nuts with the Vesuvios for this song!”
The LD happily obliged. Turning up the CHAUVET Professional Vesuvio RGBA foggers in the rig, he shot plumes of LED colored fog high in the air over and all around the stage. “Audiences really love this effect,” said Creedon. “Screams of joy, wide eyes, and open mouths are very common in the crowd when we turn them on, but the band gets just as caught up in the excitement.”
Creedon and Lighting Designer Sooner Routhier used four Vesuvio RGBA units in their Canaan Smith rig. The fixtures, which illuminate water-based fog with shafts of LED light, were positioned on four lighting carts arranged across the stage.
“Normally we position one cart just to the right of the drum riser and another cart to the right of that one. Then we mirror that configuration on the left side of the stage,” said Creedon. “We find that this positioning provides a really good spread. The fog isn’t too far left or right, but in the middle of the action for maximum effect. The Vesuvios really give us that ‘cryo’ effect, but at a fraction of the cost and hassle. Canaan loves big looks and a dramatic lighting show, and the Vesuvios really help to enhance that look.”
Routhier and Creedon limit the number of times they use the Vesuvio fixtures during the show to increase the visual impact of the fog when it does display. “We want to avoid overusing them, because it’s more effective that way,” said Creedon. “We will fire them off right when Canaan gets on stage, then at most shows, we won’t use them again until the last two songs of the set. I go nuts with them at the end though!
“We actually cloned the LED portion of the Vesuvio from the color blasts we use in the show,” he continued. “So whenever we decide to fire them off, they are in the correct color scheme. Some of my favorite moments to use them are during the song ‘Fire,’ when we use a strong, deep amber that truly gives that ‘fire’ effect. Another favorite is in the intro of ‘American Muscle,’ which starts with a random strobe under the Vesuvios on a totally dark stage. It really adds to the intensity of the song and gets the audience excited – and that’s not to mention the impact that it has on members of the band!”