Zac Coren lights Morgan Wallen’s One Night at a Time Tour with Elation Proteus

Photo: Danielle Marshall

Morgan Wallen’s current One Night at a Time stadium tour reflects his meteoric rise with an expanded production design by Zac Coren that includes Elation Proteus luminaires.

Being an outdoor stadium tour, IP-rated lighting fixtures were a must and Coren turned to three fixtures in the proven Proteus series Proteus Rayzor Blade linear FX bars, Proteus Hybrid moving heads, and Proteus Rayzor 760 LED wash effects.

Event production company Premier Global Production out of Nashville serves as lighting vendor for the North American outing.

Coren has been with Wallen for nearly five years and says the current stadium tour is the biggest the country artist has done to date. “We wanted to create something that feels as big as he is right now,” Coren stated. “So we brought in some elements that we’ve wanted to add for a while but didn’t have the opportunity to use until now like more pyro, lasers and a larger lighting rig. We really put together a show the way we have always wanted.”

Coren serves as Production Designer and Lighting Director with programming by Will Flavin and AJ DiCarlo and Creative Direction by Cort Lawrence and Anders Rahm. Coren stated that they intentionally steered clear of designing a setup that was overly specific as they didn’t want to be constrained by a certain look. Instead, they aimed for something versatile enough to adapt to the singer-songwriter’s growing catalogue of music.

Lawrence worked alongside Raw Cereal partner Anders Rahm to oversee the collaboration of various production departments to develop the concert’s overall concept and theme and bring the show to life. “Our collective goal is to deliver an engaging and immersive experience, creating a cohesive and visually stunning live performance that reflects Morgan Wallen’s brand and deeply connects with the crowd,” Lawrence stated.

Overhead are what appear to be four simple sticks of truss but it quickly becomes apparent they are much more than that. “The truss lines are automated which allows us to move them into different positions and create various shapes throughout the show,” Coren commented. “We take what looks like a simple setup at the start of the show and then lower it to create different angles and shapes that complement the video and lighting elements. It adds a lot and keeps the rig feeling dynamic.”

The use of automation allowed the lighting design to evolve throughout the show, adapting to different songs and moments. He continued: “We were waiting for his new record to come out which it did right before we left for Australia, so we didn’t have a lot of time to digest his new music. Having that versatility, being able to create different positions, different moments and looks, was huge.”

An important component in the nature of the automated trusses is the Proteus Rayzor Blade, a multi-functional IP65-rated linear tilt FX bar: “You want a strobe on those trusses but you want something else as well, maybe a linear bar or Mole, and we have it all in this one fixture,” Coren commented: “As the truss moves into different formations, we carve out ever-changing shapes and designs with them, and can use them for eye candy or to hit a specific moment in the music if need be. The amount of tricks you get from them is fantastic.”

The LED-based Proteus Rayzor Blade with zoom combines the traditional batten’s form factor with technology, offering an array of lighting features and capabilities. It can function as a wash, strobe or FX light and powers out up to 11,000 lumens. Two high-intensity strobe lines add extra impact and 210° tilt rotation allows them to position during a show.

They also include Elation’s proprietary SparkLED™ twinkle effect for added design choice, Lawrence commented: “They produce bright twinkling patterns that can be seen from every seat in the venue, enhancing the overall concert experience.” All of the overhead trusses, as well as a second structure on stage, are lined with Proteus Rayzor Blades.

“There are a lot of looks where the Rayzor Blades complement the other fixtures,” Lawrence said. Will Flavin and AJ DiCarlo did an excellent job in maximising what every fixture could do and pulling out different tricks with them to make them feel new throughout the show.”