In April, Nickelback set out on a new leg of its tour—originally started early 2009—with a revamped design, courtesy of production designer Butch Allen, working with the band’s longtime lighting director/operator Chris Maeder, lead content designer Bob Bonniol of Mode Studios, video programmer Sean Cagney, and lighting programmer Benny Kirkham.
The new design doubled the tour’s truckload, with a custom stage built by All Access Staging & Productions, so the band can get closer to the audience, as well as the addition of more video and extensive pyro by Stage & Effects Engineering. “Part of the challenge of giving the show a new look was to maintain the stage, because it worked so well for them, but rework everything around it,” says Allen.
The team had to streamline load-in and load-out to accommodate the added gear, “so for lights that were single hung, we changed the pod configuration to be a fully captive system, and almost all the video surfaces ride where they play in the show, so it’s faster to set up. I thought we’d be sacrificing some of the show’s individuality, but oddly enough—okay, not oddly enough—I was wrong, as usual,” jokes Allen.
The Martin Professional MAC-based lighting rig consists of MAC 2000 Wash XBs, MAC 2000 Profiles, MAC 700 Profiles and Wash units, and MAC III Profiles. Martin Atomic 3000 Strobe units and 4-light blinders add to the effects, while Martin Stagebar 54s and single LEDs built into the stage deck also add punch. Christie Lites provided the lighting rig, including the company’s Swing Wing truss.
For this leg, almost all media content—viewed across a total of 700 LSI Saco V-Lite tiles from video supplier Nocturne Productions—was changed. The latest version of the rig has truss pods in the air that house more video surfaces to accommodate content. These can track and rotate via a Fisher Navigator automation control console, with motion control and additional truss and rigging supplied by SGPS. Four Green Hippo Hippotizer Stage v3 media servers manage content via Barco CLM R10+ projectors to the 15 surfaces, with I-Mag content mixed in. Additional video gear includes Saco processors, a Grass Valley KayakDD™ switcher system, a Barco Matrix Pro 8x8 HD/SDI switcher, four Barco HD ImagePROs, three Ikegami HL-65W cameras, one Sony EVI-70 robocam, and three Sony lipstick cams. Laura Kozuh and Pablo Molina of Mode Studios, as well as Cagney, contributed to the content creation.
The show is run via two MA Lighting grandMA consoles, and all video cues are linked to the lighting cues and operated by Maeder. “With all this video now, Bob and Sean and their team have built what is really this interesting deconstructed proscenium,” adds Allen.