Following the release of their debut album, Kids Off The Estate, The Reytons sold out Rotherham’s 4,500-capacity Magna Science Adventure Centre in less than 10 hours. As well as being a landmark moment for the band, there is an equally inspiring story surrounding the band’s young production crew.
“It felt like everything was leading up to this one show,” explained Production/Tour Manager and FOH Engineer, Jake Mazzuca of Advocate Audio Visual, who brought in 24-year-old Lighting Designer, Jonathan Myers to devise the visual elements of the show. The duo share a good working relationship with the band, who are very hands-on.
“We wanted to take this show to the next level with the addition of a back wall video screen, which gave the show more depth and enabled us to scale the production without losing key moments,” Mazzuca recalled.
The design was based around a 10m by 4.2m Pixl Evolution video wall, which displayed content designed and created by the band. “We flew five vertical sloped trusses above the screen with towers either side and then framed with a front truss, with lighting fixtures supplied from Christie Lites,” Myers explained.
Band Manager, Rich Goodwin and frontman, Jonny Yerrell helped curate the visuals for this show. To pre-visualise the show, Myers harnessed Syncronorm Depence². “The realism of the software is incredible. I can compare a render to the rigged production in the venue and it’s identical,” he said.
The fact the band was able to play in front of a sold-out hometown audience was a ‘special moment’ for Myers. “Making sure the visuals were spot on was crucial, having changed the design three days before the show,” he said upon reflection. “One of the most challenging things for me was coming out of lockdown and setting up my own limited company. It was a leap of faith but it has been so worth it.”
Mazzuca, 27, added: “We understood the significance of this gig for the band. Seeing the production come to life was special.”
Offering his advice to those looking to make their first steps into the sector, Mazzuca said: “Now it’s easier than ever to get hands-on experience, given the gaps in the sector, and people are crying out for young people who want to learn on the job. I’ve personally never felt restricted by my age, however, I’ve been lucky enough to work with bands that are receptive to working with a young, up-and-coming crew. I believe if you nail down your technical ability first, with as much hands-on experience as possible, the rest will come naturally. My advice is to stay humble, show up on time and work hard for those around you.”
This article originally appeared in issue #270 of TPi, which you can read here.