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Classic Fox

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East Coast Lighting and Design provided lighting for Derek Trucks' New Year's eve show at Atlanta's Fox Theater. ATLANTA, GA--East Coast Lighting and Design (ECLD) merged with The Magnum companies last August to create a strong lighting presence in the Southeast market, assimilating the only two lighting companies in the Atlanta area. After combining their resources and making substantial increases to its inventory, MAGNUMLive, the new live entertainment division of Magnum, recently did lights for a New Year's Eve concert at Atlanta's historic Fox Theater for Derek Trucks. David, "Duck" Burns, manager of ECLD/MAGNUMLive, spoke on working with the group. "We were very happy to be working with three of our favorite clients at once, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and The Fox Theater here in Atlanta. Windy Palmone, long time East Coast friend was the LD for both of the acts."

The beautiful Fox Theater is one of three Fox Theaters from around the country, the others being in Detroit and St. Louis respectively, that were designed by the same architect with a classic 1920's style. The lighting director for Trucks, Windy Palmone wanted to take the beauty of the theater and bring it out. Duck explained, "Windy really wanted to make the Fox show special. She was looking for something different to do with the acts but to also highlight the already beautifully ornate architecture in the building.

These bands aren't very active on stage so it was important to pop out these architectural accents, which was what we used a lot of washes for. We wanted to make it beautiful without showing off. They didn't want to take the focus away from the stage." Before the show Palmone went looking for something to capture the theater. She recalled, "I went to the local hardware empire, and looked around for textures that would reflect light. On isle 23, my attention was drawn to rolls of 25 X 5 foot aluminum screen. I opened up the packaging, crushed the screen in my fist, held it up to the light, and knew I had found my fill. The backdrop was our centerpiece."

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Derek Trucks' lighting director, Windy Palmone, used an aluminum screen in front of the theater's legs to accent the Fox's architecture.
After figuring out the basics of the rig after a few site surveys at the Fox, the crew went to work getting the rig together. The crew ended up with a 120k, 18 S4 lekos, four ACL Bars, two Moles, eight Mac 2000 Performance, eight Mac 2000 Profiles, 15 Mac 700 Wash, nine Mac 700 Profiles and 24 S4 Pars on the floor. A Hog2 with a playback wing and a Leprecon LP2000 did control duties. Duck commented on the rig, "The LP2000 works perfectly every time. It's great because we do a lot of festivals and where u just got a 120K and a bunch of conventional lights and it has 96 channels 30 channels of playback on each page, so our guys love that board. This was also our first show using our new Mac 700s. Martin really stepped up their research and development lately and it shows. Those lights just look amazing and the brightness is unbelievable."

ECLD's Brian Cohn programmed the show for Palmone, running the moving lights while she ran the conventionals and called the spots. Palmone expanded, "I used a cyc with scrim behind the backdrop for an added dimension, and then used the crushed aluminum as legs to frame the stage in a horseshoe design. As the band's dynamics climbed, the stage and venue were lit to expand. When the tones were softer, I could isolate the band to make things more intimate." Duck commented on the set as well, "We hung the theaters' legs and then she hung the screen in front of it and lit the front and back. It almost seemed to frame up the stage. And the screen stuff was cheap and easy to transport. The best part about using something like that is that if it gets ripped you're not out 10k for a set piece."

The show looked spectacular and Duck attributed some of it to the staff of the Fox. "It's great to go down to that building because the Fox guys are pros over there. It hardly takes us over two hours to get stuff up off the ground there. We love working there."

From doing several shows of this magnitude, Duck has begun to see a trend in how these shows are being staged. "I think what you're seeing, especially with bands in the small to midrange market, is a lot more emphasis placed on scenic elements and textures. It's moving away from 'how many moving lights do I have,' or 'can I pack 600 conventionals in this rig?' These bands are going to start traveling with more useable elements, and the looks of the shows are going to start looking more refined." For more information visit www.eastcoastlites.com.

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