Avril Lavigne, “The Best Damn Tour” 2008

Lighting designer Brent Clark was tasked with putting together a lighting rig that would complement Canadian pop rocker Avril Lavigne’s new style while not overpowering her onstage. Brent, who has been working with Lavigne since the summer of 2007, states, “She is going in a new direction which includes dancers and a huge video wall, so my job was just to make sure she looked great at all times.”

Martin Lighting Package
Lavigne kicked off an extensive world tour last spring, promoting her latest release, “Best Damn Thing.” Brent uses a large Christie Lites supplied Martin lighting package on the tour, European leg counts consisting of 50 MAC 2000 Washes™, 20 MAC 2000 Profiles™, 8 MAC 700 Profiles™ and 12 Atomic 3000™ strobes each with Atomic Colors™ scrollers. Fixture counts were slightly higher for the US leg. “The Best Damn Tour” see’s Lavigne traveling in Europe, North America and Asia.

Little Movement, Color Changes
Brent’s mandate was to keep it simple and follow the mood of each song. In a seldom seen show of automated lighting restraint, Brent uses little to no movement in the show. “I have long said that just because the lights move doesn’t mean they have to,” he says. “It was decided that there was to be hardly any movement in the show so there are no crowd sweeps or random movements. Throughout the show I set a cool look and make it change color to match the song or chase to the beat.”

Brent continues, “Because video is such a huge part of the show, as well as costumes that I had to color match, the color palette was pretty much laid out. Basically the fixtures needed to punch through the massive video wall from both front and behind. Trim for the most part was pretty high so they also needed to wash the stage from about 12 meters.”

Lighting Fave’s
Brent mentions his two favorite lights as the MAC 700 Profile and the MAC 2000 Wash. “I love the speed of the MAC 700 Profile head as well as the animation wheel, and I have always tried to get MAC 2000 Washes on my tours since it came out, it’s so punchy. I put the PC lens on it and it is so beamy and strobes so well, I just love it.”

All the MAC 2000 Profiles and 32 of the MAC 2000 Washes are located in six truss fingers above the stage. Fourteen MAC 2000 Washes are at floor positions with four on trusses behind a MITRIX video wall. The MAC 700 Profiles are also on trusses behind the video wall with the Atomic strobes spread on the floor and on towers behind the video wall.

“I do not think one MAC 700 had to get fixed on the tour. All in all, the gear held up well despite some pretty rough driving all over Europe. It was a fun show to light,” Brent says.

Brent expresses his thanks to the crew “for without them the tour would not have happened.” He also thanks Christie Lites “for doing a great job of taking care of us and getting us the gear we needed to do the job.”

Lavigne burst onto the music scene five years ago with the hit singles “Sk8r Boi” and “Complicated.” Her current tour started in North America last spring before traveling to Europe. She performed more North American dates and ends the tour with a string of Asian shows.

* Production Manager: Dale Lynch
* Lighting Designer: Brent Clark
* Crew Chief: Darryl Magura
* FOH Tech: (LD stand in): Denis Lee
* Dimmer Tech: Paul Eves
* Lighting Tech: Terry Rice
* Rigger: Chris Jones
* Current Lighting Director: Dan Manard
* Account Manager: Ian Gordon (Christie Lites)

Photos: Allan Toft / KB Hall, Copenhagen / June 26, 2008

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