Lighting designer Mike Marcario and production designer Norwood Wood desire big looks with a creatively compact way to travel for their new lighting design
Nashville, 3/3/2016 – When ACM Award-nominee Eric Paslay hits the stage, the Texas redhead is a charismatic performer and a potent vocalist. Recently setting out on his latest tour across the United States, the crew behind him is working night after night to bring the biggest show possible through a new design by lighting designer Mike Marcario and production manager Norwood Wood. To create the show needed, the production team called upon longtime tour provider Elite Multimedia who not only provided a gear list filled with the latest lighting technology, but also developed a custom set cart design to carry it all along the way.
“To really help us get the music out to the fans, we wanted to come up with a completely new lighting design for this tour,” began Wood. “We’ve been fortunate to have this crew together for a while now and it’s really great to see everything tailored around Eric as a songwriter and artist. We enjoy working with Elite Multimedia because they take the time to listen and are great at helping us showcase Eric in the best way possible.”
“This is my fourth season touring with Eric and in the lighting design this year, I really wanted to challenge myself to use the latest technology to see how big of a look we could get,” added Marcario. “I wanted to go with a rig that used less fixtures than in years past, but actually gain more functionality by using newer fixtures on the market that have more capabilities. We have worked with Elite Multimedia before so I knew they would be able to provide us with the perfect lighting needed, and that is exactly what they did.”
Taking the time to fully understand the type of design Marcario and Wood envisioned for the tour, Elite Multimedia provided them with a lighting package that included Elation Platnium FLX, Ayrton MagicBlade, Philips Showline SL NITRO 510 LED strobe, and Elation Cuepix WW2 LED Blinder luminaires. For control, the tour chose a grandMA onPC Command Wing, along with a Chauvet Amhaze II Hazer for added ambience.
“I wanted to give the Elation Platinum SLX hybrid fixture a look and it impressed me even more than I thought it would,” admitted Marcario. “They have so many design capabilities and a great beam mode for a bright, tight beam with the switch of a DMX channel. We also really enjoy the Ayrton MagicBlade fixtures, and all of it together has allowed me to sort of stretch myself into some fixtures I hadn’t used before.”
With the lighting instruments in place, Marcario and Wood now needed to plan the logistical aspects of the design in regards to how it would travel throughout the year. As it appeared that a custom set cart design might be the best option, Elite Multimedia stood ready once again with a large set cart inventory and custom design team if needed.
“In years past we had articulating set carts that housed our tour lighting and we wanted to do a similar set cart design for this tour as well, continued Marcario. “We wanted lightweight aluminum that could house all the fixtures and cable, and be a live-in cart. We also wanted to put fixtures on top of the carts to get more height on stage, but riding in a bus trailer, they had to be small. Our account manager Peter Streiff came back with a custom design that absolutely killed it and I have to give a lot of credit to Norwood and Elite Multimedia for understanding what we really wanted to do.”
“While we wanted the biggest looking show, we had to very cognizant of how we would get it all on and off stage quickly night after night, and how it would travel in the trailer,” added Wood. “It’s amazing how flexible this lighting rig is and how big of an impact I see it make. We play a wide variety of venues and we now have the ability to fill any space, but it all still packs away modestly and travels on the set carts. It’s really impressive.”
As tours set out on the road, the job of a tour provider has often just begun. When the Eric Paslay tour prepared to make a stop in Nashville, the production team knew this would be one of the most attended performances. Understanding their desire to heighten the atmosphere to another level, Elite Multimedia stepped in once again.
“At the Nashville show, we knew all the industry professionals would be coming out along with some fellow artists as well, so you have to put your best foot forward,” stated Marcario. “As a designer you have to be ready to support the artist on an important night, and that’s when Elite Multimedia did something pretty cool. Knowing we wanted the extra punch, they brought over additional fixtures from their Nashville shop for us to use and this is what makes you feel great about your tour provider.”
Already noted as one of the most talented singer-song writers in country music, Paslay is quickly demonstrating to audiences that he is ready for the spotlight as one of Nashville’s hottest touring artists as well. Keeping pace with the rise of artist is often a challenge felt by many production teams, but through their relationship with Elite Multimedia, Wood and Marcario are confident they are ready to rise as well.
“The relationship between Elite Multimedia and the team at Eric Paslay has been developing over a number of years and they really put their best foot forward once again to show us what we could create,” said Wood. “They did a great job of tailor-fitting exactly what we needed for the tour to create the big looks we wanted, and they figured out exactly how we could carry it. They have been a valued partner with the Paslay tour and we are excited to continue growing together.”
“One of my favorite memories so far is looking over at our lighting director Matt Strode during the Nashville show and seeing how he was really into the music,” concluded Marcario. “He runs a phenomenal show from load-in to load-out and the band is having more fun with the lighting this year as well. When thinking about tour lighting, it can’t just be about what is behind the band, it has to be about everything working together in perfect unison. As a tour provider, Elite Multimedia seems to share that vision which only makes the show better for everyone involved.”
Elite Multimedia is a privately-owned, leading supplier of the most up-to-date audio, video and lighting technologies today. With a combined 85 years of industry experience, our team of dedicated professionals knows how to pair the right technology with your vision whether partnering with you in a rental, systems installation, or sales relationship. Through an unconditional desire to make your production or project a complete success, our passion and knowledge to innovate knows no bounds. For more information on how Elite Multimedia is the right partner for you, visit elitemultimedia.com, follow us on Twitter at @EliteMultimedia or find us on Facebook or Instagram.