NASHVILLE – Necessity may indeed be the “mother of invention,” as the old saying goes, but it can also kick off some very cool lighting looks when it encounters a talented LD like Chris Lisle. Recently, Lisle designed for up-and-coming country star Billy Currington on tour supporting the iconic Tim McGraw.
As an opening act, Currington’s rig had to be moved on an off the stage quickly, which made it necessary to use backline carts for the sake of efficiency. Lisle turned these “practical” carts into a commanding visual element by using an array of fixtures provided by Bandit Lites. Anchoring this eye-searing collection were nine Nexus 4×4 LED panels from CHAUVET Professional.
“We based the design off utilizing the existing backline carts that Billy was already using, and incorporating lighting on them,” said Lisle, who placed the carts upstage over the band’s heads. The Nexus panels and moving heads were used for eye candy and effects. Other movers were mounted to the front of the band risers to round out the design.
With their intense output and pixel mapped breakout patterns, the Nexus panels delivered the desired effect and provided a dramatic backdrop to Currington’s hard driving hits like “Drinkin’ Town With a Football Problem” from his Summer Forever album. “The Nexus fixtures are amazing, and we used them to accentuate some big musical moments with some hits and flash,” said Lisle.
At other points in the performance, Lisle relied on the Nexus panels to create added aesthetically pleasing visual elements to the stage. “Aside from the intense big moment hits, the Nexus fixtures also provided some nice looks when we ran them at a low intensity and had just a nice pattern in them,” said Lisle. “They are such a bright fixture that we had to choose our moments to run them at full capacity. For a lot of our looks we kept them in the 10 to 25 percent range.”
Lisle controlled the Nexus panels via DMX with a grandMA2 console and did some “console-based mapping with them as well.” The Chauvet fixtures’ versatility helped him expand the looks he could create without sacrificing the efficiency required of an opening act rig.
“We wanted to make everything easy, so figuring out how to mount everything (and cable it) in a way that it would be able to come off stage quickly was a big key,” said the LD. “As a support act on a major tour, we want to be as accommodating as we can and make sure that the headliner’s staff/crew are happy with how quickly and efficiently everything moves.” The Nexus panels helped Lisle do that and much more for one of country music’s brightest young stars.