Vari-Lite VL3600 Profile enriches colours for Vance Joy

Sooner Routhier and Morgan Embry use Vari-Lite VL3600 Profile IP luminaires for the lighting design on Vance Joy's In Our Own Sweet Time tour. Photo: Brad Cauchy

Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy’s In Our Own Sweet Time tour traversed Europe through April 2023, with a captivating lighting design by Sooner Routhier and Morgan Embry. The show was created to not bombard the audience with video or overstimulating lighting effects, but envelop fans in rich atmospheres and song-style-driven moods, which were delivered using Vari-Lite VL3600 Profile IP luminaires from Signify.

Routhier and Embry worked with PRG to source the VL3600 fixtures, which are rigged on four, 10-feet tall ground-supported truss towers left and right of the stage, with additional VL3600 luminaires on an upstage row.

“This show requires a high lumen output to carry the design and the VL3600s have done well in the role,” said Embry. “I really appreciate having a fixture with plenty of output and clean, smooth color mixing. Some of my favorite moments are when I use the VL3600s to scrape across a specially designed scenic metal mesh curtains with gobos. They are beautiful and react to light well, giving an organic texture to an already warm and welcoming show. I also do a fair amount of right-left contrast and color divides that the VL3600 execute well, both on the band and on the curtains. The VL3600’s colors are very punchy and rich.

“And the fact that the VL3600 has an IP65 weatherproof rating is a major plus when touring to so many different types of venues. It offers a lot more flexibility.”

At the heart of Routhier and Embry’s design is the scenic mesh and the white cyclorama, which provide a rich canvas of texture and surface for light. “The color palettes of the show are really what make it come to life,” Embry continued. “While developing the lighting looks for this show, the emphasis was on setting an atmosphere for each song. We did not want to get caught up in representing every audible component visually, but rather take the song as a whole. A Vance Joy concert is meant to be a fun experience, but we don’t want the production taking away from the performance. I think audiences find it a nice change of pace and a colorfully theatrical show.”

The engaging concert is the first time Routhier and Embry have worked directly to collaborate on a lighting design. Presented by Live Nation, the European spring tour leg follows a series of shows in North America earlier in the year and during 2022, which played arenas, stadiums, theaters, and amphitheaters. “Our design was interesting because of how scalable it needed to be,” added Embry. “It has really served the show by allowing us to customize to each venue. Vance Joy and his management team conveyed their desire for both scalability and easy transport of the scenic elements, but also that the show be able to be captivating without overstimulating, and that’s what we delivered.”