Lighting designer Bob Dickinson was the lighting designer for this year's American Music Awards, which aired Sunday, with Patrick Dierson designing Drake's performance.
Drake's stage design was the brainchild of Willo Perron and Anthony Randall at Willo Perron & Associates with Dierson as lighting designer and Bill Leabody as production manager.
"The concept was to have a forest of tripods with various types of light sources on them," says Dierson. "I mixed LED, gas discharge, quartz, and xenon lamps throughout the design and at varying heights. The programming was such that each type of light source was to be devoted to a specific set of instruments so as to react conceptually to the tonal range of those instruments, for example quartz bulbs reacting to deep bass and that sound's lingering trail off. Xenon strobes synched to the snare drum hits with their snappy, bright signature. Various rows of LEDs chased to the string sections in the track with their varying level of percussive drive, etc."
To create those looks, Dierson used PRG Bad Boys, Martin Professional Stagebar 54 LED fixtures and Atomic Strobes, and Philips Strand Iris single-cell cyc units. Epic Production Technologies provided the equipment and hosted a session of preprogramming on an MA Lighting grandMA 2 system at its shop in Oxnard. "From there, we moved the entire system, self-contained on rolling risers over to CenterStaging in Burbank for rehearsals with the band before ultimately shifting all of Drake's production over to the Nokia Theater in downtown LA for the actual show," adds Dierson. Check out the performance:
"In the end we were able to achieve a level of cueing intricacy that we wouldn't have realistically had time for onsite had we chosen to do all of the work directly at the AMA's rehearsals," says Dierson. "This also alleviated Dickinson and his personnel from having to execute Drake's creative concept so that his team could concentrate on balancing everything appropriately for broadcast. "