Known for their live performances filled with heavy-hitting melodies and a powerful atmosphere, multi-platinum artists Seether recently released their seventh studio album, “Poison the Parish”. As a reminder to the band’s commitment to creating relevant and modern music, they now prepared to launch their latest nationwide tour. Needing a tour design that could be adaptable to a variety of venues along the way, designer Kenny Mason worked with the Nashville production provider Elite Multimedia Productions who supplied a custom rig of lighting and LED video.
“I’ve worked with the tour manager for Seether on-and-off for about five years now, but this was my first tour with the band,” began Mason. “For the production, we knew we would be hitting a lot of club and festival shows, so the initial concept was to have something that could roll in-and-out with minimal load-in time. We wanted to make it look bigger than what you would expect from the amount of gear we would be traveling with, so I tried to make the biggest rock show possible with a small footprint.”
As work began on the production design, Mason met with the band to discuss the elements they would like to see in the show. Wanting to have a memorable impact on their fans out on the road, the team decided they would create a deep visual experience at each stop along the way.
“One of the initial requests of the band was that they wanted to use LED video in the design,” continued Mason. “In the show, we use zero front light, so the LED video would enable us to add a dynamic visual element to give the audience a little something extra. The band had never toured with video of their own before, so they were excited to try it out, and they loved it.”
Looking at the lighting design for the show, Mason had a clear concept of how all the elements would come together. By focusing on the right lighting solution for each location, he was able to fill the rig with exactly what he needed.
“When I envisioned the lighting, I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like and what job I wanted each fixture to do,” added Mason. “Harry and I then sat down and went through their inventory and picked out fixtures that would fit both the physical profile needed and give us the looks we were going for. I knew we needed a lot of sources, so the rig was really built around the ACL 360i luminaires because they are small and pack a punch. It’s a workhorse for its size.”
With the production gear selected, the challenge of how the design would travel and deploy still needed to be addressed. As each venue presents its own unique challenges for the technical crew, the expansive inventory of set carts at Elite Multimedia Productions allowed Mason to custom-fit an affordable, touring solution.
“During the design process, we knew we would either do truss lighting uprights next to LED video, or we would go with custom set carts that had lighting and video elements included,” explained Mason. “When I reached out to Harry Shaub at Elite Multimedia, he mentioned that they probably already had a solution in stock that would keep us from having to absorb a large amount of fabrication costs. After we started looking at all their carts, we figured out that we could do just a little bit of fabrication and have the tour aesthetic we wanted.”
Ready to launch the “Poison in Parish” tour with dates scheduled nationwide, it was time for the new production design to demonstrate what it could do. Knowing that the band would be ready to give their fans a true rock show night-after-night, the design needed to do the same.
“As a band, Seether really rocks hard, and I think that we complement that and rock just as hard on the production side,” said Mason. “Playing these types of club tours, we run into a few places where we may have limited space, but we’ve created a rig that easily adapts and still gets most out of the design. Being the only touring tech on lighting and video out on the road, I can’t ask for much more than that.”
In a touring environment, there is always an abundance of challenges that will define a tours success. In these times, it is often the partnership created with a tour provider that will be a very valuable asset behind the scenes.
“There are a lot of places out there that claim to be turnkey, but Elite Multimedia Productions has staffed themselves with professionals that really are experts,” concluded Mason. “Going that direction, you have a bunch of people that really know their craft, and when you start looking at the challenges of a tour design, they have real-world touring solutions. For me, it’s all about having a partner that’s been on the road and has the answers to any problems I may run into along the way.”
Elite Multimedia Productions is a privately-owned, leading supplier of the most up-to-date audio, video and lighting technologies. 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. With 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 Productions is the right partner for you, visit www.elitemultimedia.com, follow us on Twitter at @EliteMultimedia or find us on Facebook or Instagram.