Early in 2015, creative production design company 44 Designs of Nashville, Tennessee, took on set and lighting design duties for country music duo Thompson Square’s new music video Trans Am and used Elation Cuepix Panels, Sniper 2R multi-effects and Platinum Beams in the visual design. The award-winning and multi-platinum group liked the look so much they decided to take it out on tour.
“It was a great experience and it’s a trending video in the country market,” says Jeff Lavallee, lead designer at 44 Designs, who has been designing Thompson Square’s stage look for the past four years, almost as long as the duo has been around. “The song and video capture the brazen passion and energy of Thompson Square’s live shows. Together with Keifer and Shawna Thompson, we then decided to use the look on their 2015 tour.”
An important visual element of the set, both in the video and for the touring production, is rows of Cuepix Panels, Elation’s popular full-colour 5 x 5 LED matrix blinders. Double stacks of Cuepix Panels line the front of the drum riser with single stacks backing keyboard and bass performers left and right.
“The Cuepix Panels that front the drum riser are at 90 degrees to the camera to give the stage depth,” an important component in all his designs, Jeff says. “The dimming curve is great, very tasteful, and the colour mixing is very smooth. It’s become one of my favourite fixtures.”
Also incorporated into the lighting rig and used for aerial looks while adding another element of depth to the stage is Elation’s Platinum Beam light, which work from behind the band and a floor position. Rounding out the rig are individual LED panels flown upstage centre, left and right.
In order to make setup and tear down of the lighting rig a faster process, 44 Designs designed custom carts for the lighting system, including the Cuepix Panels, which could quickly roll on and off the stage. “It’s a very effective system that allowed us to dismantle the set up in a matter of minutes,” Jeff concluded. The Trans Am tour kicked off in February 2015 and ran through the summer with the Elation rig reportedly holding up well.