Lauren Daigle Tour Looks Up for 2021
Popular contemporary crossover Christian singer / songwriter Lauren Daigle completed just 10 dates of the US leg that kicked off her 2020 World tour supporting her Grammy-winning third studio album, Look Up Child … when the live music and performance industry promptly shut down mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The carefully crafted production design by Seth Jackson and Nathan Alves of The Darkroom Creative had been in the planning and initial conception since first discussions in mid-2019!
The lighting kit supplied by Upstaging included 23 x Robe BMFLs, a mix of BMFL Spots and BMFL Blades as the workhorse lights, was de-rigged together with the audio, video and staging for the rest of 2020, but the good news is ... new dates have been announced for 2021 and everyone is thoroughly looking forward to getting back on the road!
Seth and Nathan have worked together for some years and last year joined forces as The Darkroom Creative, a production design and creative direction entity with multiple skills and experience cross a vast dynamic of shows and live events.
They were chosen by Lauren Daigle’s management from stiff competition, and both really enjoyed the fresh ideas curated and offered with great enthusiasm by the artist herself. As her first major production tour, Look Up Child needed to create a great impression, but more than that, also hit some precise aesthetic requirements and details.
Seth and Nathan enlisted the assistance of Parker Genoway, Daigle’s long-term lighting director as assistant LD, and his experience and working rapport with her was important to achieving their end result. On the video side they brought Simon Roberts into the creative team as content creator and Notch guru.
The thrust of the design was making Daigle feel at home onstage. A big part of their stylish minimalist look was a slick theatricality that ensured not an inch of metalwork was visible … with everything masked and all the fixtures concealed.
An elegant 27ft tall spherical arch was the main set piece, complete with a custom LED edge lighting product from both Upstaging and Go Live Productions which gave it an ephemeral glow, setting the visual tone. Upstage of this was an LED screen, also masked into a semi-circle shape, with a voile drape in front for softening and adding some mystery.
Downstage of this was a series of symmetric shallow risers for the band positions, also edge-lit in LED.
The overhead lighting positions were facilitated by a grid flown and trimmed up out of the way and out of sight, so only the actual sources of the lights were seen not the fixtures or any other hardware.
This set up was one of the reasons they wanted to use BMFLs as they have the power to cut through from the highest trims. For both Seth and Nathan, the BMFL is a regular go-to fixture. “They were used for key lighting, effects and for illuminating the audience – it’s one fixture that really CAN do it all!” commented Seth.
Nathan added, “the brightness, feel and quality of the BMFL has a certain finesse, and that’s exactly what we needed for this show!”
One of the BMFL Blades - controlled via a remote follow spot system - was positioned upstage centre providing neat back lighting and an especially perfect solution for arenas with lower trim heights.
Seth and Nathan enjoyed working with Parker who brought his own energy and freshness to the visual equation.
The show featured many beautiful subtle, rich, and textured looks overlaid with a huge amount of detailing through accents and emphases, an area where Parker’s experience and knowledge of working with the artist was invaluable. He programmed and ran all the lighting - which also included around 70 other fixtures - on a grandMA3.
A disguise media server was used for the playback video and the camera mix – a combination of manually operated and robo-cams - which was cut by Ryan Woods, with whom Seth and Nathan also had a great synergy.
“Everyone worked extremely well on this tour” commented Nathan, “there was a lot of multi-tasking and everyone put their heart and soul into all the elements in which they were involved to produce a show of which we were all very proud.”
Following rehearsals in Nashville, the first show was in Pensacola in Florida mid-February, however the tour came to an abrupt halt two and a half weeks later, with Grand Rapids in Michigan proving to be the last date.
Even those ten gigs made an impact. They were a hit with the public while the production won critical acclaim for a show that was genuine and pleasingly different.
Since the lockdown, Seth and Nathan have been actively working with a number of their regular clients on developing upcoming shows, taking some right up to the production rehearsal stage – which is as far as they can go right now - as everyone waits anxiously to be told that it’s safe to go back to work and get in front of their fans live!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock