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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Clay Paky and grandMA2 Celebrate The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary

Photo: Todd Kaplan

The Rolling Stones have wrapped the U.S. leg of their 50 and Counting world tour with Clay Paky lighting fixtures and grandMA2 consoles along for the still-wild ride. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky and MA Lighting products in North America.

The Stones sell-out 50th anniversary tour is their first in six years. They opened the U.S. leg May 3 in LA and concluded their 18 dates June 24 in Washington, D.C. The legendary band performed on a stage set featuring a giant set of psychedelic lips and a tongue-shaped walkway that riffed on their iconic logo. Upstaging supplied the lighting equipment for the tour.

Lighting Designer Patrick Woodroffe chose Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1500s for the gigs. Co-Lighting Director Ethan Weber comments, “They’re a very impressive, bright, good-looking light.”

They also scattered a complement of Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures around the trusses. “You see Sharpys on every show now,” Weber points out. “It’s a turnaround from a few years ago when we were all using large format lights as our 3rd source. They add a nice texture to most any look.”

Weber and Programmer/Co-Lighting Director Dave Hill manned two grandMA2 full-size consoles, networked together, for the tour. “We love them, ” says Weber. “I handled the key lighting on one console and Dave ran the bulk of the system off the other.” Both men are veteran Stones lighting directors with Hill having programmed every tour since Steel Wheels. And both are veteran MA users.

“We both spent a few years on the grandMA,” Weber says. “I switched over to the grandMA2 last year for Green Day, and found it a very fluid changeover. The grandMA2 has a good feel and look to it-a mature version of the 1. I very much like the way it programs and operates-the bigger screens make for quicker access, the effects engine is much improved, more functional macros, etc. And I’m very appreciative that the command syntax is close to that of the 1. It seems like it can be hit or miss with updated/re-designed consoles, but think MA got it right with the 2

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