Total Production

HARMAN’s Martin Professional MAC Aura Family on Passenger's Tour

November 2015

HARMAN’s Martin Professional MAC Aura and MAC Aura XB fixtures lit stages from New York to Los Angeles on Passenger’s recent USA tour.

Lighting and live production design group Okulus, made up of James Scott and Louis Oliver, was challenged to create a top-flight lighting show to complement the eclectic quality that characterises Passenger’s performances and visually enhance the concert experience.

Okulus joined forces with Passenger for his USA tour in September, which included eight shows at iconic venues like the Wiltern in Los Angeles, the Beacon Theater in New York, and a show with British pop star Ed Sheeran at the Gillette Stadium. For Passenger’s tour, the Okulus duo needed lightweight fixtures with a single point of rigging. Scott and Oliver decided on 22 MAC Aura and MAC Aura XB fixtures from Martin Professional, which they were familiar with from previous productions and knew they could rely on. The recent tour featured Passenger as a solo artist, so Okulus needed fixtures that would fill up the stage and captivate the audiences, which the MAC Auras fulfilled.

The design concept was based around a semi-transparent mixed media drape hung mid-stage, being lit from the back, front and sides. The MAC Auras were rigged on drop-down extensions from the pre-rig truss that the drape was suspended from. The drop-downs varied in height, following the horizontal curve of the top black masking of the drape. The MAC Auras were also used downstage for side and front lighting and to create drape effects.

“The drape is a simple, effective centrepiece,” Scott said. “We use a variety of different fixtures to create stunning effects, gobos and animation wheels. The lighting really serves to complement the passion and energy Passenger delivers to the audience at every show.”

Passenger, who spent years as a busking musician, impressed Scott with his ability to turn a 2,000-seat venue into an intimate setting for the audience. With the MAC Auras, Scott was able to light the stage in a way that enhanced, rather than overpowered, Passenger’s acoustic sets. What convinced Scott on the MAC Auras, however, was their dependability and ease-of-use.

“The most important feature of the MAC Auras for this tour is their reliability,” said Scott. “The entire stage setup rolls in and out in a carefully designed pre-rig truss system that saves us time during changeovers. Therefore, we need lights that work the first time we turn them on, with minimal setup time. The MAC Auras are a model of consistency, and we know we can count on them, night after night, to enhance the performances of this dynamic artist.”


Photo Credit: Bryan Dos Reis
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