Fans of American country singer Brett Young were treated to an enveloping lighting design featuring starry gobo effects and bright, rich colors when Luke Elrod utilized the powerful features of Vari-Lite VL3600 Profile IP fixtures as part of his rig. Young’s Five, TOUR, Three, Two, One Tour swept into LA’s famous The Greek Theatre in May 2023, and traversed the US over the next few months.
Elrod, who runs Luke Elrod Designs from his base in Nashville, Tennessee, has been Brett Young’s tour Lighting Director since mid-2022. The current tour visits a wide range of venue sizes as well as festivals, meaning Elrod required an IP-rated fixture capable of producing bright colors and effects using the full 28-strong VL3600 rig or a scaled down version.
“I’d heard many great things about the VL3600s and they checked off all of the boxes for the design,” says Elrod. “I wanted something that was really punchy and could fill a lot of space, while keeping the design simple and fixture count down, and I knew the VL3600s could deliver. Fresh looks and changing effects were key to my design, and the VL3600s made it possible. Everything from their gobos to their tight beamy looks really make them usable for tons of different moments, all from one fixture type.”
Elrod and his team rigged the majority of the VL3600, which were supplied by PRG, up in the air on a US truss, and an MS Truss. A selection of the VL3600s were positioned behind the band with further VL3600 luminaires used as side light.
“The VL3600s did a great job at filling all the space behind the band with rich colors, considering there were so few of them in that location,” Elrod continues. “They punch through very nicely and I’m impressed with how bright they are, even with gobos in. At one special moment in the show, I used the Night Sky gobo and aimed the VL3600s at the audience, creating a great atmosphere and seemingly transporting everyone into space.”
As the tour is visiting festivals through the summer season and playing outdoor venues such as The Greek, it was important for Elrod to use an IP-rated fixture. “I always prefer to have as many fixtures be IP rated as possible,” he says. “It takes away all of the stress on those days when we know it’s going to rain and is one less thing we have to worry about casing up.”
Elrod used Depence to pre-visualize most the show, and reports that by the time rehearsals began there was very little to change. “The VL3600s were very easy to program,” he says. “I found them to be a very user-friendly fixture that delivers massive looks. Touring with them has been very easy and most of them live in GT truss so we don’t ever have to touch them. The sidelights live on some racks for transport and those fixtures get set out every day. Overall, I’m very pleased with the VL3600s and will definitely specify them on any other shows I am able to.”