NASHVILLE – Chris Young respects country music’s past. This is plain to hear on the Tennessee-born singer’s hit single “Raised On Country,” which pays tribute to legends like George Strait and Merle Haggard. But on his current tour, the Grammy-nominated star is being supported by a light and video show that is pointed emphatically toward the future.
“We do have moments for sure when everything settles and there’s a nice solid traditional look, but overall we pushed things the other way toward pretty advanced technology,” said Chris Lisle of CLLD, LLC, who designed the forward-looking show for Young’s Raised On Country tour, using a rig supplied by Bandit Lites.
A key contributor to Lisle’s fluid and dynamic design for the 28-city summer tour, which runs through September 14, are the 60 CHAUVET Professional Maverick MK Pyxis fixtures in his rig. Positioned ten apiece in six square automated truss pods that move throughout the show, the RGBW fixtures provide a steady stream of multi-faceted looks, thanks to their continuous 360° pan and tilt movement and outer rim of 15W RGBW LEDs.
“We love the overall eye candy that the Pyxis’ outer rim gives us,” said Lisle. “Their internal macros open up a lot of creative options, and their solid middle beam really pops too. Combining the two of them gives us a wide variety of unique looks.”
In addition to relying on the movement created by the Maverick MK Pyxis itself, Lisle is generating an expansive sense of motion on stage by repositioning the truss pods that hold the fixtures. Flowing with the pods as they seamlessly change their coordinates over the stage are four moving video panels. Displaying custom content from MooCreative, the automated panels work in harmony with the pods as they both shift positions to give the production an airy, open look brimming with possibilities.
“The show is very upbeat and forward looking,” said Lisle. “The eye candy element of the Pyxis is an ideal complement to this design concept, given all the movement we have with the pods and video panels. On top of that, the video content from MooCreative adds an extra dimension to the stage, while really reflecting the moods of different songs. I am just really pleased with the range of looks we’re getting. Mike Stanley, the tour LD and PM, Bill Cracknell, the TM, and Brian Jenkins, the lighting programmer, all deserve a lot of credit, as does the Chris Young team for making this come off so well.”
Adding to the impact of the show are the 84 CHAUVET Professional ÉPIX Bar Tour linear units that are built into the set. “We use the bars to line the trusses and make the set look really huge,” said Lisle. “They provide a nice balance to the movement we get on our set.”
For Lisle, the production, with its step-into-the-future feeling, strikes a personal note given his past association with Young. The LD began working for Young in 2011 when the singer hit the road with a basic bus and trailer tour. Of course, that was 11 Number One hits ago. Flash forward eight years, and Young’s current tour is requiring six trucks.
“It’s been great fun doing this tour, especially because of my history with Chris,” said Lisle. “The challenge has been to grow Chris’ show without losing sight of the basics.”
Based on the fan response all along the Raised On Country tour, this rapidly-rising star has succeeded in achieving this balance. Although he respects the past, he (like his lightshow) is smoothly moving forward with style to spare.