Playing to sell-out crowds on the US leg of their round-the-world tour, rock band The Strokes has integrated two full-size MA Lighting grandMA consoles plus a grandMA 3D into their multimedia show.
The largest console in MA Lighting’s range, the grandMA has twenty motorized faders, a built-in keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, trackball, and four-parameter encoders. Its three-color touchscreen and up to two external monitors make for an extremely comfortable programming environment. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of grandMA in North America.
The Strokes are in the midst of an extensive two-and-a-half year international tour, which will take the band across the US and Canada, to the UK, Europe, Russia, Australia, and Japan.
Christopher Ragan of Intelligent Production Solutions Creative Group is acting as lighting director and designer and production designer on the tour. He works front of house at tour dates with partner Howard Giddens, who is also lighting designer for the show and its programmer. They’re using two grandMAs, supplied by CA-based Ed and Ted’s Excellent Lighting, plus 25” LCD monitors, and road cases, which flip out and convert into tables.
Ragan’s grandMA serves as the online console running the show, which features 35 songs in rotation. Giddens’s grandMA fills an offline function as he monitors the show and keeps a close watch on lighting fixtures. If a fixture goes down, Giddens grabs it, makes adjustments offline on his grandMA and exports it to Ragan’s online console.
The show’s equipment complement includes a James Thomas Pixel Drive and Pixel Drive ethernet/DMX interface, a red light server and artnet. Numerous LEDs are employed as well as Martin Atomic color changers, 12 Martin Atomic 3000 strobes, nine Martin 2000 wash and 20 Martin 2000 profile moving lights, and 16 Colorkinetics Color Blast 12 and six Colorkinetics Color Blaze conventional lights.
“I had never used grandMA before,” Ragan admits, “although Howard had previous experience with grandMA for String Cheese Incident. It took a long time to get me over to grandMA, but now I love it. Our grandMAs are so easy to use and are spot on every time. They’re also very versatile: I can run anything on them, especially multimedia like servers and LEDs.
“We’ve never had a problem with our grandMAs, never had them go down despite the 100 shows that we’ve done with them to date,” he concludes.
Chris Fox is production manager for The Strokes tour with Trevit Cromwell the crew chief, KISS the electrician and Dennis Gardner the rigger. Also instrumental to the tour were Kevin Forester of ED and Teds, Dave Ridgeway of NEGEARTH and Richard Jackson A.C.T Lighting.