Astera LED Titan Tubes provide a ‘scenic solution’ for St. Vincent’s Daddy’s Home Tour

Lighting Designer, Paul Normandale and Lighting Operator, Tess Falcone maximise the scenic and practical capabilities of Astera LED Titan Tubes on St. Vincent’s latest tour. Photo: Steve Jennings

Lighting Designer, Paul Normandale, who, like St. Vincent, has a penchant for imaginative risk taking recently designed the set and lighting for the singer-songwriter’s Daddy’s Home Tour.

The creative duo sought to maximise scenic, practical and effects light sources for the floor lighting rig, which was based around a 16ft diameter revolve stage built by All Access Staging. The touring lighting set package was installed underneath the top lighting at each venue and facilitated the fluid dramatic theatrical style scene changes and backdrops supporting the show’s dynamics and narrative.

Running wirelessly, 13 Titan Tubes were a perfect solution for a light source on the back wall of the motorised revolve set piece. Attached at jaunty angles to the wall with a series of spring-clips for rigging, Titan Tubes worked as both a solid back light fixture on one side and as blow-through in conjunction with a semi-transparent cloth on the revolve wall which spun around 180° to create a complete cityscape.

The remaining Titan Tubes were positioned on the floor along both sides of the revolve wall to provide lighting for the background vocalists. During the song, Sugarboy, the backing vocalists unclipped three of the Titans from the back wall and used them as illuminated props as they danced around the stage.

“Combining the essence of old-school theatre with the revolve and different backdrops and contemporary technologies – the Titan Tubes – meant numerous different environments skillfully could be created to reinforce each song,” explained Normandale. From fast-strobing effects to beautifully subtle pastels to rich electric neon colour palettes, they helped bring elements of surprise, ambience and visual flourishes of soul, jazz, rock, and other genres to the stage and were “worked very hard throughout the set.”

Normandale’s UK-based lighting rental company, Lite Alternative, owns Titan Tubes and Astera AX3 LightDrops, and he has been using products on different shows and events for some time. “The quality of the light is excellent, and they are extremely well packaged, so you have everything you need to hand,” he said.

Operating lights on the St. Vincent tour was LA-based lighting specialist, Tess Falcone. It was the first time she had worked with Falcone, an opportunity she relished, commenting that “his creativity and industry knowledge is impressive, so I was over the moon to collaborate with him and help achieve his goals for the show.”

Falcone also enjoyed working with the Titan Tubes describing them as an “incredible” lighting fixture “They are a beautiful light source,” she said. “They are fantastic on camera as well as in person. We used them as front light and as an effects light and the light quality is really solid for both applications.”

The battery powered / wireless DMX functionality meant Titan Tubes could be deployed around the stage with a very expedient footprint for these shows, enabling “some really different looks, even without the rest of the full show,” according to Falcone.

They were also ideal for the smaller gigs where it was impractical to fit many lights on stage, so Falcone positioned them on top of amps or around the stage on their stands to create straightforward architecture and effects without impeding the backline.

Falcone and her partner, Dan Hadley, first used Astera products – AX1 PixelTubes – for a Jimmy Eat World video shoot in 2020 and loved them. Hanging down from a truss structure rigged with a fishing line – thanks to their light weight – the AX1s created a perimeter around the band that “looked absolutely beautiful,” she reported, hoping for more shows with St. Vincent later this year. “All credit to Paul for creating such a wonderful world for us to work in,” she concluded.