LD: Spike used very few and very specific lighting units on both the arena and the stadium shows. What did you think of the PRG Best Boys and the GLP impression X4s?

FP: We had the X4 washes and the Best Boys in the arena, and I was pleased that both were also being used on the stadium shows. The Best Boy is excellent; it’s my favorite hard-edge fixture. The colors work great, and the shapers on the Best Boys are very fast. We got a lot of mileage out of them. It really is like people say: the Best Boy is the Swiss Army knife of hard edge fixtures. I also liked very much the GLP X4s. That little wash light is fast and bright. The Clay Paky Sharpys were a strong accent light, and the Bad Boys in the stadium were also a strong light for us. Certainly they were the right light for those stadium shows.

LD: Were you able to spend more time on the integration between lighting and video for the stadium design?

FP: Yes. We prevized at PRG in Burbank, CA, and then we went to Belgium to put it together in the lead up to the stadium tour kicking off in Sofia, [Bulgaria]. In Belgium, we had a good 10 to 14 days to work on the integration. We were able to do three or four passes of the entire set list to really put it together and refine everything. We went through each song and said, "Okay lighting, we’re going to hit our accent here. Why don’t we have video drop out?" Or "Video wants to hit an accent; we could have lighting drop out." That time gave us the opportunity to do that. We would do these passes, take notes, and do them again. We had a great time working on the integration.

LD: It all goes back to collaboration and the team brought together by Spike.

FP: Absolutely. Spike is one of those designers who is not afraid to take on the impossible tasks. He does a lot of high profile shows that usually don’t have a lot of time for programming, and because of that, he has assembled over time a sort of team of Navy Seals for lighting and video that can come in and handle these types of projects. Spike brings together people that are going to go above and beyond the call of duty, just because of the relationship and trust that we have with each other. There is never a dull moment with Spike and Justin. They are great to work for because, even though the projects may have stressful requirements and timeframes, Spike and Justin create a very relaxed, creative work environment that brings out the best in everybody. I think that is a key to their success on a project like this tour. Everyone was really passionate and brought something to the party. In the end, the arena and the stadium tours are two distinctly different looking shows that are, I think, indeed both dynamic and powerful.  All of us are very proud of what has been created.