Singer and songwriter Kelsea Ballerini paired up with Elation Professional’s Artiste Monet for her Heartfirst tour.
Nick Chang initially served as a Lighting Director for Ballerini, and as the tour gained more demand, he very quickly moved into the role of Creative Designer, taking the opportunity to redesign the visual aesthetic as the tour went on.
With a series of sold-out outdoor shows in the West of the U.S. looming, Chang and the crew had a short turnaround to get a new rig together. As the shows were moving from inside to outside, smaller to bigger so Chang wanted a workhouse light that was scalable: “Something we could use large and punchy for bigger venues without losing the looks we had in the smaller venues.”
He also emphasised the challenges that come alongside hosting live music outside, following such quick turnaround. “We were playing against the sunset outside, I wanted something that could punch through ambient light with ease, that was another reason why I went with Artiste Monets.”
With the majority of Ballerini’s show revolving storytelling, curating a performance that integrated audiences closely was crucial, in one of the show’s most powerful moments Chang poignantly illuminates Ballerini using a solitary Monet fixture. Moving through the show, Chang silhouettes the country singer with a pair of the Monets and utilises the fixtures to colour grade in line with the sunset.
To pair with the Artiste Monet’s work with this show, Chang also takes advantage of another luminaire in the Elation portfolio the SMARTY MAX of which the production used 10 fixtures that lined the ground truss to shoot through the brightness of video with great colours, gobos and beams. An extra SMARTY MAX being strategically placed behind the video wall that casts a striking silhouette of the singer.
Kelsea Ballerini is an artist who curates an intimate connection with her fans and paired with Chang’s design for the third and final leg of her Heartfirst tour the relationship between a compelling stage presence and an endearing light show makes that bond even stronger.