Performance Environment Designer Doug “Spike” Brant of Performance Environment Design Group (PEDG) has designed Bon Jovi’s Because We Can worldwide tour in two entirely different performance environment designs—one distinct to the stadium dates and one completely different for the arena dates. Both designs support the dynamic nature of the band itself offering two unique concert experiences to fans.
A complete lighting package is being supplied to both versions of the tour by Production Resource Group (PRG). During the recently wrapped arena version that toured North America throughout the winter and early spring, Chris Shaffer, the Dimmer Tech, (he is the FOH Technician on the stadium version) worked with the PRG Series 400® Power and Data Distribution System. Shaffer described the system as “one of my go-to products. The timesavings are big when compared to traditional distribution systems. When I loaded the PRG sled rack with four S400 racks and S400 power disconnects, all pre-cabled, the dimmer beach set-up time including all power and data distribution was only four minutes; it’s exceptionally fast. It’s one of the reasons that I prefer that system. If I had to set this up with traditional power and data distribution systems it would take around 45 minutes, that is a big difference when setting up and a really big difference when breaking things down. It is a system that is fast and is absolutely reliable.”
The built-in redundancy of the Series 400 system is another benefit that Shaffer relies upon to make his life easier on the road. “Because everything virtually patches, when it comes to troubleshooting, if for some reason we lose a box or something like that up on the truss, I can setup a virtual patch so we’re not running additional data lines up to the truss. There’s a massive level of redundancy without the need to pull the extra cable; that’s one of the things that makes my job easier. Once you have real confidence in your system, like I do with the S400, you can easily and quickly troubleshoot any problems.”
Another plus of the Series 400 system Shaffer likes is the neat and contained system it lays out at dimmer beach compared to traditional systems. “Initially we had planned that I would setup 65’ away from the cable picks,” Shaffer explained. “That was because traditionally dimmer beaches are so messy because of all the multiple racks, the data racks, and the patches, but with the S400 being so clean, especially with the PRG sled it has allowed me to move up to within 15’ of the cable pick without any complaint about clutter or mess in the SR area from the artist. That’s another advantage of the S400, the huge lack of clutter.”
The Bon Jovi Because We Can tour’s arena design will be returning in the fall. Currently the stadium design, which was unveiled at the band’s May 14th concert in Sofia, Bulgaria, will tour throughout the late spring and summer, with dates in the U.S. in mid July. Watch for Live Design’s coverage of the stadium design in the coming days.