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LMG Touring Brings “Rock Concert Feel” to The Killers’ Performances on The Late Show, BBC Radio 2 and Pandora Live

LAS VEGAS, NV – September 22, 2020 – LMG Touring recently supported two different performances for The Killers, providing a turnkey broadcast solution including audio, lighting and camera/switching in the LMG Las Vegas Studio, and executing a cinema-style shoot atop Caesars Palace with the iconic Las Vegas Strip as the backdrop.

Due to the global pandemic, the band sought creative ways to promote their new album, “Imploding the Mirage,” aside from a more traditional album tour. With the shoots taking place in two different venues and shot for different broadcast and streaming platforms, the LMG team took unique creative approaches to the shoots and technology.

According to Lighting Designer Steven Douglas, the goal was to ensure that the band’s new songs were in the spotlight. “The general concept was to present the band playing the songs as simply as we could,” says Douglas. “That way, people who were maybe hearing the new tracks for the first time were able to absorb the songs without being overwhelmed by production elements.”

Creating A “Rock Concert Feel”

For the shoots in the LMG Las Vegas Studio, the team sought to create a rock concert vibe in the homes of viewers through lighting and design.

“My approach to directing live music is always based off of the music itself. I like to say, ‘The music is the script. I follow the music,’” says Johnny Hayes, Video Director for the LMG Las Vegas Studio shoot.

With current COVID restrictions in place, there is limited capacity for rehearsals. Hayes takes a unique approach to directing, being mindful to obey safety guidelines and protocols without sacrificing on the end product.

“I want all involved to go from shot to shot and move to move as is they were live the entire time. I am following the music and taking shots in time, and if I come to any particular angle at any given time, prompted or not, the shot is completely usable and will come off without a glitch. This allows us to capture the ever-changing sentiment of live music in real time,” says Hayes.

LMG used Robe Esprites on the downstage truss to provide additional key light as well as a complement of Quantum Wash and Esprites on the sides to provide saturated color fills on the band. A mix of Robe LEDBeam 150s and Portman P2 Hexalines on the back wall provided a versatile wall of lighting providing movement, saturated colors, and an incandescent glow that could push through the band to create any atmosphere at a moment’s notice.

While the team aimed for both shoots to have a “big rock concert feel,” there were slight differences in execution between the Pandora and The Late Show shoots at the LMG Las Vegas Studio.

“For the Colbert shoot, we more closely had to monitor the correct lighting levels and color intensities along with camera engineering to ensure we fell within the correct specific color space for broadcast and the camera shots looked pristine,” says Josh Spodick, Lighting Programmer.

The Killers’ performances filmed in the LMG Las Vegas Studio aired on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on August 21 and Pandora Live on September 15.

“What I really appreciated from LMG on these projects was their ability to make everything happen and meet all requests and needs in a lightning fast manner,” says Hayes. “All of this really contributes to an end result that comes off as clean and fresh as possible the first and only time.”

Paying Homage to The Killers’ Hometown

For the BBC shoot on the Caesars Palace rooftop, the goal was to create a cinema-style performance with the iconic Vegas Strip as the backdrop utilizing a different camera package, lighting package and video direction.

“I mainly wanted to ensure the talent was correctly lit for camera without taking away from the incredible backdrop of the Vegas Strip,” says Spodick. “I thought the focus should be the band in their hometown, with the glittering lights of the strip behind them, and any lighting we included merely added to the sides of the shot and expand the frame, not to distract at all.”

“The rooftop shoot was just about harnessing the imagery of Vegas as it’s always been such an important factor in the personality of the band in one way or another,” says Douglas. “When you have a backdrop as good as that, its more about staying out of the way and allowing the cameras and the view dictate the performance.”

LMG provided an audio package including SSL L550, WAVES MGB, L-acoustics monitors and Shure IEM. In order to achieve the cinema-style look for this shoot, LMG’s video package included a variety of 4K cameras and cinema camera lenses.

With many travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic, several key team members were not able to make it to the shoot. “Thankfully, the crew and people at LMG went above and beyond the call of duty to get this going,” says Kenny Kaiser, FOH Engineer.

The Killers’ performance on top of Caesars Palace premiered on BBC Radio 2 on September 12.

Crew:
 
LMG Studio Shoot (Pandora/Colbert):

  • FOH Engineer: Kenny Kaiser
  • Audio Playback: Matt Breunig
  • Audio System Tech: Rob Durkee
  • Lighting Designer: Steven Douglas
  • Lighting Programmer: Josh Spodick
  • Video Director (LMG Pandora/Colbert): Johnny Hayes
  • Video EIC: Damien Gravois
  • Camera Ops: Monica Sepulveda
  • Shane Smith
  • Rhett Nelson
  • Andy Fernandez
  • Ryley Isakson
  • Account Executive: Juliana Stern
  • Technical Manager: Kevin Maas

Caesars Rooftop Shoot (BBC):

  • FOH Engineer: Kenny Kaiser
  • Audio Playback: Matt Breunig
  • Audio System Tech: Rob Durkee
  • Lighting Designer: Steven Douglas
  • Lighting Programmer: Josh Spodick
  • DP/Director (BBC): Wes Johnson
  • AD: Damien Gravois
  • Camera Ops: 
  • Shane Smith
  • Rhett Nelson
  • Ryley Isakson (Jib)
  • Video ACs: Andy Fernandez/Micah Oka
  • Account Executive: Juliana Stern
  • Technical Manager: Kevin Maas

About LMG: Founded in 1984, LMG is divided into multiple business segments – Show Technology, Systems Innovation, and Touring – each with a common mission of providing innovative video, audio, LED, lighting solutions, and technical expertise through personalized service, high quality technology, and a commitment to continuous improvement. LMG has offices in Orlando, Las Vegas, Dallas, Nashville, Seattle and San Jose. For more information, visit www.lmg.net.

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