Summer tour Canada 2009
While country rock band Blue Rodeo does have 11 studio albums to their name with over 3 million copies sold, it is in the live environment where they truly seem at home. For their latest cross-Canada tour, Lighting Designer/Director Brad Wagg is using a selection of Compulite Vectors to control a rig which accommodates venues big and small. A Compulite user for many years, Mr. Wagg had production supplier Metalworks Productions bring in a Vector Red for the first leg of the tour before scaling down to a Vector PC system for the latter part of the tour, including many “one-off” festival gigs. For their annual hometown show at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, the Vector Red returned to control an expanded rig which added a new video element.
Wagg specified the Vector Red with its triple touchscreens to give him added flexibility and speed of programming while he essentially busked the first few dates of the tour. Between gigs he would use the Vector offline editor connected to WYSIWYG to add new cues and adjust existing ones on his notebook. The rig, which used no conventional fixtures, consisted of 32 Martin moving heads (a mix of Mac 700’s and Entours) along with 20 SGM Palco LEDs (16 moving and 4 static). A Vector Blue running in Slave mode provided full tracking backup throughout the tour.
Hopping to various parts of the country they utilized Vector PC with 1 E-Port, 1 Editor Wing and 1 Playback Wing running on an HP touchscreen notebook, it was portable enough that Brad could check it on most flights without incurring a baggage charge.
Carrying their own console meant maintaining the integrity of the cuing, even in the festival situations where the rig varied drastically from what they had been touring with. “I was able to use the Vector’s clone function to copy cue data from my original fixtures to new sets of fixtures and it worked out quite well,” explains Wagg, “I spent a fair bit of time updating and adjusting palettes and libraries but it still saved me a ton of programming and, in the end, I was able to run my master cuelist for each song.”
For the aforementioned Molson Amphitheatre show, the lighting rig nearly doubled in size and Brad also added a series of Martin LC video panels running on a Brash media server. Since this was an outdoor show with no “dark time” for programming, Wagg spent hours in his home office with the Vector Red and the Brash hooked up to WYSIWYG, taking care to lay out the console in such a way that he could instantly override any elements which seemed out of sync. The Red’s 20 submaster playbacks and 20 Q-key playbacks proved invaluable in this regard, giving Brad total control and flexibility.
© by Darryl Ross