Luke Bryan Launches Winter Tour with Claypaky

Luke Bryan wrapped the 2016 leg of his Kill the Lights Tour last fall, but he’s back on the road with a new string of Kill the Lights dates this winter. Lighting designer Justin Kitchenman selected a big package of Claypaky fixtures, provided by Elite Multimedia, for the shows. They include Scenus UN1CO luminaires in one of their first appearances in North America.

Bryan kicked off the month-long winter tour in February in Huntington, West Virginia and will finish in Orange Beach, Alabama. Just prior to hitting the road Bryan performed the National Anthem at Super Bowl LI. The singer will be back in May criss-crossing the country with his rebranded Huntin, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day tour.

Justin Kitchenman, who heads Nashville’s Align Design Group and has been Bryan’s lighting designer for six years, redesigned the winter leg of Kill the Lights with a fresh look. “There’s more video in the tour this year,” he said. “We had scaled it back but now we’re playing with IMAG and graphics on LED surfaces,” including a large upscale video wall and side screens and ribbon-like video skirting on the trusses. Kitchenman also designed an approximately 40-foot thrust with a diamond-shaped B stage at the end.

Claypaky fixtures form “the core” of the lighting rig, he said. “We’ve been making our way through the Claypaky catalogue the last few years,” Kitchenman quips. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Claypaky products in North America.

Twenty-two Scenius UN1CO spots make their tour debut with Kill the Lights. Nashville-based Elite Multimedia was the first North American live event production provider to make an investment in Scenius UN1CO, the latest in the Scenius family of fixtures. The 1400W spot, wash, beam and profile fixture is a powerful, all-in-one luminaire for high-performance applications.

“Since the show is heavy on video and LEDs we needed a spot and beam fixture that could punch through, be well defined, work well with saturated colours, and had nice gobos and focus,” Kitchenman said. “We started comparing fixtures, and Scenius UN1CO was the newest and had the most options. It had more punch, a little more output and an even field – and the framing shutters were a huge advantage.

“Scenius UN1CO hasn’t let us down. We used them in rehearsals for 18 hours a day for a month, and they were flawless. And the first week of the tour they held up well at some rough venues in West Virginia and Indiana,” he reported. “We’re always eager to get our hands on new things and are happy with our decision to use Scenius UN1CO. I think we’ll be using them for years to come!”

The rig also has 14 Claypaky Mythos, which team with 16 Sharpy Washes on truss for aerial beams and effects. Twenty-four Sharpys serve as floor fixtures, are mounted on truss, and are deployed wherever needed as “powerful little lights,” says Kitchenman.

Additionally, ten A.leda B-EYE K10s are used in shape mode on the thrust’s B stage for aerial effects and washes.

Kitchenman deploys two MDG theONE atmospheric generators at stage right and two MDG Atmosphere hazers under the thrust for arena shows. “For amphitheaters we will use the Atmospheres as needed to catch the air and get haze blowing through,” he noted.

Bryan’s tour is “totally MA for control this year,” he added. Two grandMA2 full-size systems, one active and one back up, are at front of house for lighting control. A grandMA2 light is used for the dimmers as well as utility and testing. The show’s media server runs on an onPC command wing, and pyro and special effects are controlled by a compact MA dot2 console. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MDG and MA Lighting products in North America.

Although Kitchenman hasn’t needed any direct support from A.C.T Lighting for the winter tour he commented, “Every time I have reached out A.C.T’s support has been unparalleled. They’re very responsive, very involved. I always feel in good hands with them.”