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Elation Lights Pop Rocker R5's Sometime Last Night Tour

R5 in concert. Photo: Will von Bolton

It's not hard to imagine American pop rock band R5 topping the charts sometime soon. With a style of feel good music that has struck a chord with fans across the US, R5 is out on their Sometime Last Night tour using an Elation Professional rig of Cuepix Panels, Rayzor Q7 LED moving heads, and Platinum Beam Extremes. Made up of four siblings and a best friend, R5 hit the road in Florida in early July and are making their way across the country on a seven-week summer leg in support of their new Sometime Last Night release.

Lighting and video vendor for the tour is Toucan Productions (toucanproductions.net) of Oklahoma City, their second tour with the band after supplying a smaller tour last year. "On this tour, the band chose to forego LED panels for the big pixel look that the Cuepix Panels give," stated Brad Meyers, director of show operations at Toucan, who handles lighting programming and lighting direction duties while band family member Ryland Lynch conceived the lighting design and serves as board op. "We have two horizontal walls of Cuepix Panels on stage, a front wall plus a rear wall on the band riser behind the drum kit. It's a total of 73 panels, which is enough to make out the graphics across them and looks great."

Part of Elation's Cuepix Series of LED blinders and strip lights, the Cuepix Panel is a high-power matrix panel with individual pixel control and a full spectrum of colors from 25 30W RGB COB LEDs. Meyers uses the panels for various purposes including visual effects with solid or variable colors, as well as graphics, and also pixelmaps effects across them. One Cuepix wall fronts the drum riser and is two Cuepix tiles tall by 17 tiles wide while the Cuepix wall in back of the drum kit is three Cuepix tiles tall by 13 tiles wide. The walls make for an ideal visual effects background for band members and also provide a layered look that gives the stage depth.

Meyers, who has had experience using the Cuepix Panels on other Toucan projects, outputs pixel-mapped video content across the panels and calls it a "great look." He runs the panels at a maximum of 80% and that only when he uses them as blinders. Even with some 127 moving lights in the rig, the panels have no problem shining through. "We had to be careful about what lights we used on the show," he said. "The brightness of the Cuepix Panels would have washed some fixtures out they are so bright."

The R5 rig consists of three horizontal trusses -- down-, mid-, and upstage -- with six vertical upstage finger trusses behind the back Cuepix wall. Each vertical truss contains Elation's industry-staple Platinum Beam Extreme fixtures for powerful narrow beam looks alternating with Rayzor Q7s, Elation's super compact LED wash/beam light. Meyers calls the Q7s "incredible" and uses them for chases and movement effects. At only 12.5" high and 11lb in weight, it not only provides up-tempo movement but is also surprisingly powerful with enough muscle to work with visual effects from larger fixtures. Over 10,000 channels of control all outputs through five Elation Enode 8 Pro Art-Net to DMX routers.

"I have been really impressed by Elation's recent equipment," Meyers concludes, who is out on the road with the band. "We had a minor issue with the panels at the start but that was taken care of and they have been reliable ever since."



(10 August 2015)

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