Claypaky, Robert Juliat and MA Lighting Hit the Road for Paul McCartney’s Tour

Paul McCartney’s long-running One on One World Tour has added 21 dates in the US this summer and fall. Claypaky and Robert Juliat fixtures and grandMA2 consoles help showcase the evolution of his music from the 1960s to today. The US leg of the ongoing tour kicked off in Miami in July and will conclude in Detroit in October.

Lighting Designer LeRoy Bennett is tasked with highlighting “a vast array of musical styles over the decades” during the course of the three-hour show. High-tech AV solutions, including layers of transparent video, LEDs and lasers, form a backdrop for the history of the former Beatle’s music but remain unobtrustie to fans. “While we use many aspects of technology you never see them all at once, and they are never overpowering,” noted Lighting Director Wally Lees.

Upstaging provided the tour with 12 Claypaky Scenius Profiles, 12 Scenius Unicos and 96 Sharpys as well as 12 Robert Juliat Dalis 862S fixtures and grandMA2 full-size consoles. The versatile Unico spot, wash and beam light and the Dalis LED asymmetric footlight are making their debut with McCartney’s show. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive North American distributor of all the brands.

Bennett has positioned the Scenius Unicos primarily on the upstage floor behind the band as big fill lights. “We had been using a different light and wanted to change things out a bit,” he said. “I’m really impressed by what Scenius Unico can do. They have a lot of functionality and versatility – they’re a great lamp.”

Bennett said Scenius Profiles are mounted in “key locations” to showcase McCartney at the piano and centre mic, for example. “In addition to spots we have key lighting just to enhance Paul,” Lees added. “We’re always looking for the best light, and I was blown away by a demo of Scenius Profile – its colour temperature and flatness of field were amazing. Then LeRoy saw it and loved it.”

The large complement of Sharpys “are all over the place doing what Sharpies do – tight beams, directional and quick,” Bennett noted. “We have two very tight banks of Sharpys mid-stage and downstage that create a wall of light, give the effect of being in a room or look like jail bars.”

Both Bennett and Lees agree that the Robert Juliat Dalis 862S LED asymmetric footlight is “a brilliant little light.” “You can use them really easily thanks to the two positions: near and far,” explained Lees. “Each fixture has two rows of cells:The bottom cell does the near position, the second row the far position. So they are versatile enough to capture any point on the stage.”

Bennett called the Dalis “beauty lights that break through the video and make the artists look good. We have four on Paul to cover him in different areas and two on each of the side guitarists so we can cover them wherever they go onstage. We also have two on the piano and several on a lift, all in near mode.”

Lees also praised the fixture’s colour temperature. “It’s fantastic – it can go from daylight 5600 or more, down to 2800 or less, or mix. You don’t have to choose one or the other.”

For lighting control grandMA2 full-size consoles are deployed to access McCartney’s huge repertoire of tunes. “With Paul you can never get rid of anything because it may come back into the show,” said Lees. “We use our spare board as an active console during the show with a different profile. I want to have the ability to control some other remote control followspots in the rig.”

Bennett emphasised that equipment choices are made based on “the best of what’s out there. The lamp choice, the gear choice – we want the best of the best. That’s why we’ve chosen these products for Paul’s show. It’s a complex system; there’s a lot of gear all over the stage. But everything is working great.”