As one of the most successful bands over the last 25 years, the Dave Matthews Band has a string of hits to their credit with over 30m in record sales worldwide. The popular jam band is also known as a must-see summer touring act and this year are playing amphitheaters and select arenas across the US beneath a rig that includes Elation Colour Chorus Series LED battens and SixPar 200 LED Par lights.
Lighting and scenic designer is Fenton Williams, who has been with the rock group since the band formed in 1991. He has been handling the designs for lighting, scenic and video since 1995 when the band began to carry its own production.
Draped behind the band and a series of horizontal trusses is a large backdrop curtain that required a wash of coloured light. “We’re using Colour Chorus fixtures to uplight the backdrop behind the band and the SixPar 200s as truss toners in the silver 20.5″ utility trusses over the band,” Williams explains.
Williams says the SixPar 200 Par lights were spec’d due to their homogenous light output. “Some of the truss toners are visible from the front and we didn’t want to see the individual LEDs making up the colour mix,” he said. “In addition, we’re using the IP65 rated version as it’s not uncommon to see some rainy days playing amphitheaters in the summer.”
Production company Theatrical Media Services (TMS) of Omaha, Nebraska, has been working with the Dave Matthews Band for 23 years and serves as lighting supplier and co-lighting designer on the current tour. TMS decided to purchase the SixPars based on the fixture’s light output, states TMS’s Aaron Stinebrink. He adds, “Also, having a homogenized LED source was a must for us. We are finding that many clients are requesting that feature in their fixtures. The IP-rated SixPar fit in perfectly with the numerous outdoor events that we do throughout the year.”
The Dave Matthews Band’s summer tour is a celebration of the band’s 25th anniversary and runs from Memorial Day through Labour Day. LD Fenton Williams acknowledges TMS President Mark Huber for his support and the “great TMS support staff back in Omaha”. He also recognizes TMS’s Pete Franks (Crew Chief) and system techs Bob Chaise, Jerry Kaiser, Josh Albright and Josh Light, who also serves as board op.