Robe moving lights were chosen by lighting designer Alex Blagg for the recent Alison Krauss & Union Station (AKUS) US tour, which saw the multiple Grammy Award winning bluegrass and country singer/songwriter play 3000 – 7000 seater venues and festivals across the US.
Lighting equipment was supplied by Knoxville, Tennessee based TERI Productions and co-ordinated for them by Brad White.
Blagg has worked with AKUS for around ten years, and his creative starting point for this design was the fact that Krauss likes a very intimate atmosphere onstage which is conducive to her music and style of delivery.
The call was for subtle texturing and colouring of the environment, with different layers of illumination which could be added to or stripped back to the look of the performance space as necessary.
The set consisted of a set of black velvet drapes and white sharkstooth gauze which were combined to create a classic proscenium-arch look disappearing into an optical illusion of infinity at the back of the stage.
Blagg used five Robe MMX Spots, twelve ROBIN 600 LEDWashes and 11 ColorSpot 700E ATs for his rig - so a compact set up for the profile of the tour, but one that offered great flexibility and numerous imaginative possibilities. It was also his first time using Robe!
The LEDWash 600s replaced the front truss Lekos that were on the previous tour, bringing a whole new dimension of freshness and possibility to the stage. Their low power to high output ratio impressed everyone! Having a moving light instead of a static Leko also dispensed with a climber being required for focusing and infinitely increased the flexibility for the downstage truss positioning in any of the venues.
Blagg liked the ability to produce an authentic 3200 K white from the LEDWashes, together with the other vast range of colours and special effects available – all offering a dramatic increase in options.
The MMXs were also selected for their low power consumption and brightness, as well as for the “amazing” dual graphic wheel which enabled the creation of numerous subtle and complex moving textures across the band and the backdrop.
The ColorSpot 700s were utilized for the dual purposes of strong back-light and colour washes from the rear.
Two Robe Haze 500 FT Pro machines provided for atmospherics. These were located offstage and away from the performance space. They were chosen for their quiet, smooth running, the quality of the smoke and the fact that it has a good ‘hang time’.
The overall low power requirements of this moving lights rig meant a reduction in cabling needed, and utilizing the Lumen Radio wireless access on all fixtures made it an exceptionally quick, easy and practical rig to set up needing minimal help
There was no control snake to run and no dimmer racks to install each day – just one expedient sized distro was all they needed to get up and running.
Blagg programmed the show together with TERI Productions’ Andre Huff and Brad White.