American Singer-Songwriter Ray LaMontagne is on tour with his sixth studio album, Ouroboros. The new album features the single “No Pressure” and attributes production from Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The 2016 North American Tour travels throughout 45 cities, some including Los Angeles, Nashville, and Brooklyn. LMG Touring is providing LED, AI Media Server package and custom circular structure for the tour.
Ray LaMontagne’s vision was to create a concert experience that would take his listeners on a journey, connecting his past material to his present. “Ray wanted to present a full-length concert experience that connected the intimacy of a solo set, the presentation of the new music from Ouroboros with My Morning Jacket, and a third, more psychedelic set featuring older material,” explains Deborah Johnson, Lighting Designer for Ray LaMontagne.
The concept for the tour design was inspired by the Super Moon Eclipse in 2015. “For the Ouroboros design, he (Ray) wanted to recreate an experience he had watching the blood moon eclipse the year before, wishing he could have released the album that night, playing it in real time with the moon. So we did the next best thing,” says Johnson.
“I knew we needed a big moon from the start. However, I wanted it to be augmented with a secondary, dynamic element that could be revealed during different parts of the show,” explains Johnson. “I immediately started sketching ideas around a circle and the concept of light rays seemed very immediate, elegant and natural.”
LMG Touring’s team worked to provide a creative solution for the vision of the moon’s light rays. “Once I saw a video of the LightSlice’s I knew that was the solution I wanted to go with, a low profile, elegant and modular solution to add something dynamic to the space around the ‘moon’ and would translate the light rays concept into the physical realm.”
To bring LaMontagne’s concept to reality, LMG Touring created a custom circular structure which featured LMG’s Roe 7.5MM LED tiles, 1MM, and 1.5MM LED LightSlices. “We needed a big, sublime Super Moon, and we got it,” states Johnson. “The LightSlices were the perfect element to translate the ‘light rays’ design element into the physical realm.”
LMG’s AI Media Server was chosen for the elements it contributes. “The ease of integrating media onto the LED structure and having the circular content perfectly mapped onto the radiating LightSlices was extremely important, and that was accomplished beautifully,” says Johnson.
The three-part performance features visual content that transitions between a full moon to a blood moon eclipse, and ends in a psychedelic liquid light show. “The set is around forty minutes long and has two main parts. We start with a bright full moon that appears behind the band. As ‘part one’ plays, it slowly goes into eclipse. Halfway through the set, a vocal climb begins to build, here a corona (as seen on the record art) also appears with the moon and expands onto the radiating light slices to added effect, ushering in a full red moon,” explains Johnson.
“In part two we slowly come out of the blood moon, completing the cycle to end bright full moon we started with. We thought it could be very beautiful, and that the audience would appreciate the simple tranquility of the Super Moon behind the band,” says Johnson.
The final part of the show highlights songs from Ray’s previous albums. “For the third and final part of the show, Ray and the band seamlessly go into songs from Supernova and his previous records. For this set, we wanted to create and ever evolving, slow-motion liquid light shows to take the show from the natural to the psychedelia realm, leaving the audience in a state of transcendence,” states Johnson.
“Deborah came up with a brilliant design that enhances Ray’s performance while never distracting from it,” Craig Mitchell, LMG’s Director of Touring, recaps. “The end result is quite beautiful.”