LD Megan Alksninis creates unique looks from LED floor package. JDI Productions supplies
California metalcore band Atreyu released their seventh album “In Our Wake” in October then promptly hit the road on a 27-date U.S. winter tour to promote it. Lighting designer on the outing was Megan Alksninis who had a large Elation floor package supplied by JDI Productions at her disposal.
“A big part of the physical design came from drummer and vocalist Brandon Saller,” explains Alksninis, who also programmed the lighting and served as lighting operator on tour. “He had a clear vision on how the stage was going to be set up. Once the design was set it was a full collaboration to create the final show design. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had designing a show.”
Atreyu’s fast-paced music drives the lighting and the design throughout the show, says Alksninis, with a mix of strobes, subtle color chases and even a mirror ball or two. The lighting package consisted of 30 compact ACL 360i™ and 6 DARTZ 360™ LED moving heads along with 8 Cuepix Blinder WW2s™ and 4 Protron 3K Color™ strobes.
“Metal can easily get stuck with a lot of strobes and little front light,” Alksninis says. “I tried to find the balance between having that but also allowing the audience to see and participate with the band. The chorus almost always had a unique color chase and occasionally blinders.”
A total of 6 pipes surrounded the stage with lighting working off the set each show depending on the stage size. From the back of the drum riser the pipes were positioned as a V with three on each side of the stage. The pipes held different configurations of lights but all had at least one type of each fixture.
Each pipe held five of the super small ACL 360i units grouped together mid pipe with a DARTZ 360 mounted on top. The designer comments, “The large amount of small beams fit any stage. Having a full LED rig was important to me because it meant the package would be cohesive between any color chases. The Dartz and 360i’s worked perfectly together. The DARTZ were used differently in each song, for example beams zoomed in/out, with gobos, or with prisms. For a small LED light they really out shine almost every other light.”
Alksninis says she was able to create unique looks with the variety of Elation lights she was carrying. “My favorite was using gobos in the DARTZ to sweep over the crowd. The Protron color strobes also worked incredibly well as wash lights,” she said, adding that it only took four to enclose the stage in color.
The designer scattered the Cuepix Blinders across the pipes as a traditional blinder effect. “Atreyu involves the crowd and talks before certain songs so it was important to have a great crowd light,” she said. “It was also fun to make dimmer chases with them for a certain part of the show.”
This was JDI Productions’ and Alksninis’s first time working with Atreyu, a collaboration that left the designer appreciative of the opportunity. “I want to thank everyone in Atreyu for trusting me and welcoming me into their family, my JDI team for teaching me and always having my back, and Elation for the support and recognition,” she concludes.
Photos: Jenn Curtis Photography