Jay-Z played Carnegie Hall in New York for two days of performances to raise money for the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, with a production design by Bruce Rodgers and lighting design by Patrick Dierson (check out his lighting plots below).
Dierson says lighting the hip-hop superstar in the iconic venue wasn't easy. "Carnegie Hall is not accustomed to facilitating the standard needs of popular culture entertainment design," he says. "By nature, there are only two linesets over the stage from which to hang any lighting trusses. On top of that was a more pressing design need in that none of us really wanted to have anything hanging in the way of the projection cone."
The solution was to tighten up the trussing and lighting rig. "Ultimately, I decided on a lighting design comprised of short, upright trusses and floor units wrapping around the orchestra and band members," Dierson says. His plot included Philips Vari-Lite VL3000 Spots, GLP Impressions, Martin Professional MAC 700 Wash units, Martin Stagebar 2s and Atomic Strobes, Philips Color Kinetics iW Blast TR units, ETC Source Four 10° and 19° ellipsoidals, and Robert Juliat Aramis followspots.
"It was definitely going to be stylistic and certainly unconventional, particularly in light of the fact that we were also incorporating a 12-camera shoot into the show, but the sheer concept of Jay-Z playing two historic nights at Carnegie Hall had already broken conventions, so everyone on the design team started to take very pliable attitudes toward what we were trying to accomplish," the lighting designer adds.
Check out this clip from The Showbiz 411:
Production Design: Tribe, Inc./Bruce Rodgers
Lighting Design: Dierson Design Group/Patrick Dierson
Projection Director: Drew Findley
Content Creators:Moment Factory
Video Director: Dirk Sanders
Assistant Scenic Director: Star Theodos Kahn
Gaffer: Mike Grimes
Production Manager: Bobby Schneider
Stage Manager: Carl Tovey
Staging Supervisor: Gary Lanvy
Broadcast Video Vendor: AMV
Show Producer: Stuart Weissman Productions
Stay tuned for Part 2, about the video projection mapping.