High End Systems Goes Straight Outta the Country

Lighting Designer Aaron D. Luke harnesses a High End Systems rig on Justin Moore’s Straight Outta the Country tour. Photo: Sandy Morris.

Lighting Designer Aaron D. Luke handled the production and lighting design for Justin Moore’s Straight Outta the Country tour. For the Evansville concert, Cincy Entertainment Services supplied High End Systems SolaFrame 1000, SolaHyBeam 1000, SolaPix 7 fixtures, and Hog 4 control to augment the production.

Cincy Entertainment Company President, Braden Hasselbeck believes The Ford Center chose their company for its gear and team. “I think Justin Moore’s team was relieved to see we had nicer gear. The only complaint we got from Aaron was that these fixtures have too many features. We chose the SolaHyBeams and SolaFrames based on their similar output, hanging twelve of each on GT truss for the mid-stage. The downstage truss featured a dozen SolaPix 7s – they’re the right size, very punchy, and clients love them!”

Hasselbeck says Cincy Entertainment Services began as a niche DJ lighting company, subsequently moving into full scale production support. “We started out with High End Systems SolaWash fixtures. We looked at all the manufacturers and felt like HES not only had these great products but were going to be in our corner – so we got onboard. Prestige and Mac Productions are friends of mine here and we often work closely with both companies. HES’ Paul Hancock and I showed them the value of the High End Systems brand, and they were soon on board as well. The three of us are pushing the brand really strong, and it’s a great thing for our market; we’re getting fair rental rates because we’ve committed together.”

Onsite, Rob Henggeler not only tech’d the gear but was thrust into lighting the opening acts. Braden laughs, “I told him ‘I forgot to mention you’re not just the lighting tech you’re the openers’ LD’, and Rob did a great job being thrown at an arena show. He also takes care of everything here in the shop and does all our repairs.”

Henggeler used a Hog 4 desk for the opening acts, as they use all Hog desks for their production work, including Hog 4, Road Hog 4, and HedgeHog. Henggeler said: “The Hog 4 is a great console for creating a show on the fly. One of my favourite features is the Command keys. I put lots of my groups on the Command keys during programming so I can quickly recall sets of fixtures. During the show, the Command keys become bumps for strobes and flashes, while still only being two easy key presses away from selecting fixtures.”

He added: “Personally, I love the SolaPix. They are incredibly versatile fixtures with a broad zoom range and deep, saturated colours. They were perfect for our front wash; I also like to use them somewhere where we can see the face of the fixture. The SolaFrames and SolaHyBeams provided a remarkable output brightness with a wide variety of functions. We used those to create a powerful upstage rig.”

In closing, Hasselbeck reflected: “To me, this show felt like a reset for our industry. Everybody there was excited to work, and it was very nice just to once again see a big show!”