Garth Brooks’ maverick “Man Against Machine” tour continues, now using a full Kinesys automation system which was specified by Atlanta Rigging Services (ARS), brought on-board by production to take care of all rigging requirements.
Seventy-one axes of movement feature a variety of CM Lodestar motors, 29 of which are fitted with Kinesys Elevation 1+ vari-speed drives … and these move two (out of ten) chevron-shaped trussing pieces; four individual sides of a large video cube plus assorted other scenic metalwork elements like ‘the claw’ which flies in and out over ‘the Orb’ drum kit.
The other eight chevron trusses are flown on fixed speed motors that are controlled with Kinesys DigiHoists.
All of these are controlled via Kinesys’ powerful and stable Vector control platform.
The tour kicked off in fall 2014 and is still going – such is Brooks’ popularity as a live artist. To keep the show constantly energised, fresh and spectacular, parts of the production and presentation are evolved every few months, and with the latest redesign in fall 2015, the size of the video screens increased and with that came the need to move them faster.
To achieve the additional speed and agility, Kinesys was chosen as the best, most versatile, safest and accurate method.
They assist lighting designer Dave “Gig” Butzler by moving large fat beams and slices of light around the stage and the auditoriums, illuminating the audience for the cameras – which Garth likes to see up on the video screens.
The two downstage chevrons are flown on 64-ft-per-minute half tonne hoists which allow them to zoom in unseen during a short blackout, then engage in a ‘guitar duel’ during the show’s opening sequence for “Man Against Machine“. They are flown back out, also in a few seconds of darkness at the end of the drama!
The other eight are flown on 32-ft-per-minute half tonne fixed speed hoists as their flying activity is more sedate.
The upstage and downstage LED walls measure 40 ft. wide by 20 ft. high and are made up of Roe Linx 18 screen, weighing approximately 2,500 lbs (1.13 tonnes) each. The stage left and right walls are 20 ft. wide by 15 ft. tall, made up from DigiLED MC7 7mm pitch LED panels with a 7 degree curve weighing around 2,700lbs (1.224 tonnes) each.
These are flown on variable speed hoists – offering up to 32-ft-per-minute of movement – controlled via Kinesys Elevation 1+ drives, all running through the Vector master control system.
Inside the video wall are three additional lighting / scenic elements – two triangles on three half tonne hoists fitted with Elevations 1+s, and ‘the claw’, a large and spectacular metalwork set piece which flies in / out over the drum kit on five points. Four of these are 64-ft-per-minute half ton motors with Elevation 1+s and one 32-ft-per-minute hoist, also fitted with an Elevation 1+.
All of this is run through Kinesys’ Vector control software, operated by Jason Adams and Michele Maglich, with around 100 cues in the show.
Moving to more vari-speed elements and running everything through Vector has given the tour much greater creative flexibility in terms of being able to move the lighting rig around.
The moves can be faster and also the controlled deceleration capability of the hoists using the Elevation 1+ drives reduces unwanted inertia movement on the rig, as well as giving the capacity for more subtle and unobtrusive moves.
Jason is working closely with Garth Brooks’ production rigger Lanny Landers and an ARS crew of 4 on the tour and lighting equipment is being supplied by Bandit. Both Dave Butzler and Garth himself – who takes a highly proactive role in his stage presentation – are delighted with the creative results.