Chart-topping Country singer Morgan Wallen has set off on a career-defining tour of arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters across North America. At the heart of the design for the shows are an army of VL3600 Profile IP fixtures from Vari-Lite, the originators of the modern moving head and a Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) entertainment lighting brand, which are rigged center stage and creating an array of high intensity effects and rich colors.
Raw Cereal served as the Creative Production House for the tour, with founders Anders Rahm and Cort Lawrence as Creative Director and Show Director respectively. Keen to find a feature-laden fixture that would be “capable of transforming the stage into a canvas of endless possibilities”, they sourced 130 VL3600 fixtures from PGP to play a crucial role in the look and feel of the show.
“The VL3600 emerged as our literal beacon of light, surpassing our expectations with its remarkable versatility,” says Lawrence. “As we curated a production infused with cutting-edge technology, our vision seamlessly married a clean and contemporary aesthetic with the iconic imagery and style of country music, highlighted by the captivating CTO color mixing. The VL3600’s sleek aesthetics came alive, boasting solid gobos and vibrant saturated colors that seamlessly melded with the immersive video content interwoven throughout the show.”
They teamed up with Zac Coren as Production Designer, rigging the VL3600s strategically across vertical torms, automated trusses, and floor positions, enhancing both the stage aesthetics and overall atmosphere. At times, they are used individually to highlight performers or staging. At other times, the entire rig of VL3600s unite to create impactful, cohesive looks that envelop the entire stage.
“The VL3600 fixtures truly embody the spirit of this show, serving as the reliable workhorses behind its mesmerizing visuals,” adds Lawrence. “As the show dynamically evolves through automation, the VL3600 fixtures play a crucial role in transforming its essence. During intimate moments, they craft an enchanting ambiance with deep, rich colors and delicate gobos, setting the stage for a heartfelt experience. Yet, when the excitement reaches its peak, these fixtures take flight, casting impressive aerial beams and unleashing their full intensity, dazzling the crowds in the back seats and igniting the atmosphere with electrifying energy. The VL3600 fixtures effortlessly adapt to the ever-changing moods of the show, ensuring that each moment is precisely accentuated, captivating the audience and leaving a lasting impression.
“With its dynamic range, we painted vivid landscapes of ethereal hues, unleashed pulsating beams of energy, and crafted intimate ambiances. This remarkable fixture became our guiding light, pushing creative boundaries and leaving a lasting impact on audiences’ sensory experience.”
Furthermore, the intensity and sharp optics of the VL3600 fixtures left Zac Coren astounded: “Their remarkable brightness and precise optical performance enabled us to achieve even lighting across the stage, creating picturesque moments that were visually captivating. With their exceptional output, these fixtures illuminated every corner of the stage, ensuring that every artist and scene were showcased in the best possible light. The VL3600’s ability to deliver consistent and uniform lighting created stunning visuals that brought the artistic vision to life.”
Raw Cereal says their team immediately noted the robust construction, solid build and durability of the VL3600s, which proved to be a significant factor in their decision-making process. Lawrence considered the demands of Wallen’s lengthy tour, which includes pyro elements and exposure to various weather conditions in the array of venues, realizing they required lighting fixtures that could withstand the rigors of the road.
“The VL3600s have surpassed our expectations, proving to be an exceptional investment on PGP’s part,” says Lawrence. “Their resilience and reliability have played a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation of our production, offering us peace of mind and allowing us to focus on delivering an unforgettable show.”
Vari-Lite designed the VL3600 as an IP-65 outdoor rated fixture, with outstanding performance no matter the weather. With many of the tour dates playing in open-air venues, this rating was key. “The VL3600 fixtures have emerged as one of the standout performers in terms of weather resistance,” says Lawrence. “With their impressive IP rating, these fixtures have demonstrated their reliability and durability on numerous occasions throughout the tour so far. Their ability to withstand the demands of outdoor environments, including adverse weather conditions, has been nothing short of impressive. The VL3600’s track record of consistent performance in challenging circumstances has solidified its reputation as a trusted and dependable lighting fixture, providing us with the peace of mind to tackle any weather-related obstacles that come our way.”
Will Flavin and AJ DiCarlo served as Lighting Programmers for the tour, with Aron Altmark as Video Programmer.
Morgan Wallen’s One Night at a Time tour plays more than 60 dates across the USA and Canada throughout the rest of 2023, including the SoFi Stadium in LA, Columbus’s Ohio Stadium, and Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Image credit: © Vari-Lite