Lüz Studio deploys CHAUVET Professional fixtures for Jason Aldean’s Highway Desperado Tour

Photo: Justin Mrusek and Sharyn Umaña-Angers

This year’s Highway Desperado Tour had a production design that was dominated by a single vertical, centre-stage video screen. Measuring 24’ high by 18’ wide by 6’ deep and angled at 20°, the 8mm blow-through wall displayed captivating IMAG images and dynamic patterns accentuated by pixel-mapped light from CHAUVET Professional Maverick Storm2 BeamWash fixtures, which were supplied by Bandit Lites.

“We wanted to change the screen design for a different look, but beyond that, our desire was to trigger new creative ideas for the content,” said Larivée, who worked on this production with the Lüz team of David Rondeau, Philippe Marquis, and Pierre-Luc Bedard. “So, we came up with the idea of using a monolith that we playfully called the ‘cereal box,’ because in actuality, it’s a 3D physical box.”

A notable feature of the video wall were the Maverick Storm 2 BeamWash fixtures positioned behind the giant structure and the three layers of curved trusses that were wrapped around it. All of the Storm 2 units were video mapped; and their white pixel light often shined through the wall, evoking the imagery of sparkling stars.

“We pixel mapped the Storm 2 to link it to the video content,” said Larivée. “This was not typical pixel mapping, where you feed an image into the lighting fixture. Instead, we used the coordinates of each cell within the 3D space, so they could be perfectly matched to the video wall. Philippe Marquis came up with some crazy pixel mapping for each cell — and that was a real game changer! By merging light and video, our pixel mapping allowed us to create some dazzling images,” continued Larivée. “We also used AI tracking to match IMAG with the wall of lights. The box dictated more IMAG with the lights. The fun part of this whole thing was creating 3D shapes that worked well within the box that could hold IMAG feeds using our scenic approach.”

A collection of 106 Maverick Storm 2 BeamWashes and 86 Color STRIKE M fixtures were used in the tour’s rig. In addition to projecting pixel-mapped effects synced to video images on the blow-through wall.

“An important goal of ours was to create a large number of unique looks for the songs,” said Larivée. “That’s why the riser facias were metal grated with Color Strike Ms behind them. We wanted to avoid having ordinary effects with one-dimensional fixtures. Because the Color STRIKE fixtures were partially hidden, we were able to do a variety of special effects without it feeling repetitive. We also wanted these fixtures to create texture. We used the same grated texture on our video for the profile of the box.”