Tony Caporale Creates Array of Looks for Tedeschi Trucks Band with CHAUVET Professional

Posted on October 23, 2023

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NASHVILLE – Tony Caporale uses the word “array” quite often when talking about his 61-universe lighting design for Grammy-winners, Tedeschi Trucks Band on their recently completed North American tour. That’s not just because he used 53 CHAUVET Professional STRIKE Array fixtures to convey the 12-member band’s outsized energy level; in actuality it has to do with his approach to creating the dynamic production that supported their music.

“I’ve been saying ‘array’ a lot when I talk about this show,” said the highly regarded designer and programmer. “The word really just sums up the vision we had for this show. We’ve grouped all of the fixtures in this rig in clusters, to create what I call an ‘array style look.’ Brian Pirrone, who has a great knowledge of this band, helped great deal in connecting me to their spirit.”

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The array configuration that Caporale arrived at, gave him the flexibility to reflect the deep and intriguing nature of the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s music in his show, which was cued out in detail for compositions, in addition to being busked at times. Formed by married couple Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, the band serves up a tight, beautifully rendered, mix of classic rock, blues, soul, and jazz. Grouping his fixtures in clusters allowed Caporale to flow seamlessly with this river of diverse sounds.

“I knew I would need enough fixtures to paint a pretty picture, but also make my looks very powerful,” said Caporale, noting that the tour’s rig was supplied by Upstaging for its summer run, and Gateway for the fall. “I decided to design most of the fixture types in an array look to better coordinate all these fixtures. The band has a very unified presence onstage with 12 musicians so I wanted to reflect that with the rig.

“Designing the rig in clusters, allowed me to break up the looks we had for big hits,” continued Caporale. “This kept them interesting. Doing this also framed nicely with the LED bars we used in the rig.”

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A key part of Caporale’s “array” of fixtures were 39 STRIKE Array 4 units, 16 of which were positioned downstage, and 23 arranged on the upstage floor. Also contributing to the shows dynamic looks were 14 STRIKE Array 2 fixtures arranged on the upstage floor. Collectively, these fixtures were used to create some engaging crowd lighting.

“I wanted to reintroduce the classic big audience lighting look on the downstage and upstage floor to fill out the stage for big moments like crowd sing-alongs as well as musical moments,” said Caporale. “But to be honest, I really wasn’t thinking audience light at first with the STRIKE fixtures. My focus was on using them for back light. I love a brooding tungsten ‘god look,’ it’s always been one of my favorites to use over the years. They STRIKE fixtures gave me a lot of flexibility.”

Indeed, flexibility was another watch word for Caporale on this tour, not just in terms of the looks he created, but also in the variety of venues on its run. The tour included sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden and Boston Garden, as well as smaller intimate theatre dates.

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“It was a special challenge designing a rig that was meant to be in arenas, and then down scaled to include sheds and theaters,” said Caporale. “I had to do this all while trying to keep the integrity of the rig intact.”

Caporale met this challenge in spectacular fashion. Just ask any of the fans who turned out to see one of the world’s great live bands, whether it was at The Garden in New York or the 2,400-seat Kansas City Music Hall, where the lighting like the music flowed seamlessly, without a hitch.