Staged at Bridgestone Arena, the annual Awards show is a fan-voted show for country music videos and TV performances, which is enjoyed by a live audience of over 15,000 and broadcast live on CMT.
Hosted by Toby Keith and Kristen Bell, the action-packed evening featured live performances from a truly stellar line up of country talent including Lady Antebellum, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and many, many more. Lighting equipment was supplied by VER Rentals.
It’s the fourth year that Tom has designed lighting for CMT Awards, and once again he brought a clean and fresh contemporary look to the stage, working closely with set designer Ann Brahic and video designer Tim Levally.
For obvious reasons, there was a very close correlation between lighting and video in the scenic environment, and at around 300 ft. wide by 250 ft. deep, the spectacular stage dimensions emphasized the impact and importance of country music that underlined the essence of the evening.
The Robe MMX spots were used to frame the various video walls and set pieces, and six were positioned on the floor and used for rear effects on the B stage during the live performances taking place there.
The MMXs generally were used to produce striking back lighting for the cameras. Tom likes using a blown-out rear key-lighting look to bring a real live rawness to the proceedings and a total antithesis to any sense of a studio environment.
The LEDWash 600s were used to light the various scenic elements and also the audience with great success.
Tom has used Robe’s LEDWash 600s on a few previous occasions, but this was his first time using MMX Spots – for which he was suitably impressed with the power and output.
He says, “Robe fixtures can definitely compete with any other product out there – they are very fast and always work reliably – that’s what you need”.
He adds that he received great support from Robe Lighting Inc.’s Rental and Staging Segment manager Heather Busch, and also likes Robe’s approach generally to designers working in all areas and on all levels.
Tom, in addition to being widely respected for his lighting design skills and having lit some of the highest profile musicians on the planet including David Bowie, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, The Who and Eric Clapton, is also known for his great sense of humour and honesty.
“It takes a lot to impress me – I have been a guinea pig for many a new lighting product since 1987 … and this new Robe ROBIN line is very good. Both the MMXs and the LEDWash 600s proved themselves in every cue, the speed and lumens gave us some great looks and I look forward to using them on future projects,” he concludes.