NASHVILLE – An artist whose career has been fueled by his tight connection to fans, Josh Turner creates his own brand of magic when performing before audiences, something he’s rarely been able to do since the pandemic struck. But recently, the Grammy-nominated, chart-topping country star got to savor the live concert experience, as he played socially distant shows in Florida and Georgia.
Helping him feed off the crowd at both stops was an engaging, upbeat Mason Felps lighting design that featured warm white audience light created with a collection of CHAUVET Professional STRIKE 4 fixtures that were flown across the upstage truss.
“Josh really likes to see fans at this shows,” said Felps. “It’s part of the bond he has with them. So, of course we wanted to include audience lighting in the rig, especially during these times when the fans have to be separated. The STRIKE fixtures are very bright with warm light, which is just what we wanted.”
Like the other fixtures in Felps’ rig, which included 24 Maverick MK2 Spots and 16 Maverick MK3 Washes, as well as Rogue R2 Washes, and Vesuvio RGBA foggers, the four STRIKE 4 units were supplied by ESI of Tampa.
Felps used the LED movers in his rig to create a range of intense colors on stage, from deep cherry reds, to softer pastels, to dark evocative hues. Having the broad palette, not only helped him convey different moods in light, it also added a special, almost celebratory, quality to the show, reflecting the spirit of fans who were happy to be at a live concert again.
For some of Turner’s more mellow ballads, Felps set the tone by accompanying the deep, dark washes with large gobo patterns. He sometimes accentuated the mood of these songs by adding soft warm white washes from this STRIKE 4 fixtures.
The first show’s stage measured 50’ x 40’, while the second night’s was 32’ x 15’. Felps had his Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures arranged on the deck and flown on mid-stage truss the first night, then used them as truss toppers on the small stage on night two. On both nights, he relied on a variety of crossing beam patterns to add depth to the stage.
On the subject of these patters, Felps noted: “I tend to get creative with my position presets. Having beams cross in ways that are out of the ordinary makes the show more interesting. It also adds another layer to the stage, which makes the show and rig feel bigger in the room.”
Creating these patterns in light and adjusting them to account for different stage sizes and configurations is something that Felps has always enjoyed doing at live shows. He was happy on this weekend to have the chance to do it again.