The Who Hits 50! Tour will see the band take their audiences on an amazing journey through their entire career, from the days of The High Numbers to classic albums such as Who’s Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia and My Generation. Pete Townshend describes it as ‘Hits, Picks, Mixes and Misses’ and said the band will play all the classic anthems as well as tackling deeper cuts from their catalogue.
Production and Lighting Designer for the current The Who Hits 50! North American/European tour is Tom Kenny, who has been designing for The Who, as well as the solo productions that Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey do on a regular basis, since 1990.
Kenny has been working with the Nexus panels on a number of his projects ever since CHAUVET Professional brought him some demo versions to try out when the product first came out. “I’ve used the Nexus products on a lot of my shows and always wanted to use them on The Who,” says Kenny. “They have some very cool effects inside. They give me a great effect; they’re very bright; and they can light the whole arena. They’re just very powerful and they give lots of different variations.”
For this tour, because it was the band’s hits, Kenny wanted to go for a clean rock look. “Since I use a lot of the Nexus panels on my other projects, I knew for this design that I would use them to create shapes. Most of the lighting system is pointing out at the audience with shapes, circles, and ripples that go along with the video content. It works great.” Kenny’s design includes 50 CHAUVET Professional Nexus 4×4 LED panels, along with a range of automated lights that surround the centre video screen and tie into the video content via colour and movement that radiates out from the content.
The lighting package, including the CHAUVET Professional Nexus panels, is supplied by PRG and the video is supplied by PRG Nocturne for this tour. The Nexus panels are all operated from the main lighting console for the tour. The Lighting Directors who supported Kenny on this tour were Jim Mustapha and David “Fuji” Convertino.
Be sure to catch The Who Hits 50! as it plays in North America through the end of May and then heads for Europe later in June for summer dates. The tour will be back in the US in September for dates through November.