Josh Groban Gets A "Closer" Look with Vari-Lite Fixtures
Published Sunday, February 15, 2004

Josh Groban's first international tour includes an automated lighting rig featuring 13 VL3000™ Spot luminaires, 14 VL1000™AS fixtures and 10 VL1000™TS luminaires. Groban's sold-out "Closer" tour kicked off Jan. 22 in Boise, Idaho and currently has dates scheduled through April.

Lighting designer Anne Militello worked closely with director Daniel Ezralow, set designer Bruce Rodgers and projection designer Amy Shock to create a show concept and concert style for an artist who has never toured before.

"This was definitely a more formal presentation than a loosely based concept," commented Militello. "We definitely did a lot of planning and experimenting to come up with the final look. I'm primarily a theater designer so it is a familiar world for me,"

The look is clean, precise, and all the lights and truss are in straight lines producing a very simple and formal look. The scenery is very basic, employing mainly scrims and drapes. Although it was easy to light the show like a musical, the challenge was in taking it on the road where the venues vary from 2000-seat theaters to a 14,000-seat arena.

VLPS Lighting Services is providing the equipment and crew for the tour.

"Due to budgetary and space constraints, I chose equipment with the best optics and the most flexibility," Militello said. "I especially like the shuttering capabilities in the VL1000 fixtures and the width of VL3000 Spot luminaires' beam. I used a combination of tungsten and arc lights because I like the mix and variation of color temperatures. It gives it a more traditional theatrical look."

Lighting director Wally Lees will be called upon to duplicate what the team put together during rehearsals. "I'm using the Virtuoso VX console because it's versatile and user-friendly," commented Lees. "It is also important for all the precise shutter cuts we're doing with the VL1000 fixtures."

Another big element of the show is the projection design. Black and white abstracts and shadow images of different textures and architectural designs were used. "Everything has been mapped out and choreographed to strike the fine balance between light and projection," explained Militello.

"The theatrical style made it different from most of the other concert tours we work on," said VLPS Senior Account Manager Curry Grant. "All the equipment we provided, from the type of fixtures to the Le Maitre G-300 water-based foggers, was carefully selected to complement the style of the show."

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