Usher has followed the release of his new album Versus with the OMG Tour, his first big-budget spectacle since 2004. Embarking on a 25-date tour of America, the platinum-selling artist remarked that his show would be ‘more technical’ and predicted his fans would be left blown away with gasps of ‘OMG’.
Behind the scenes, a few of those OMGs were the result of an impressive lighting rig featuring Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700 luminaires.
Usher’s futuristic, high-concept show presented a complex challenge for lighting designer Peter Morse and Associate LD Eric Wade. “We had to design around a lot of fly gags and moving set pieces,” notes Wade who heads FOHShow, a lighting services company. “The rig is designed to look big but not be completely massive; it’s large but not over the top. It fills two trucks and features between 160-200 fixtures.”
For the OMG Tour, the designers selected 24 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700s, supplied by production company Upstaging Inc. Compact and lightweight, the Alpha 700s are known for being able to punch well above their weight.
Wade commented: “The Alpha Beam 700s are great lights, and I wish I had more. As an effects and beam light they’re absolutely amazing. I had used them on Alicia Keyes and loved them. So I told Peter [Morse] about them. The 700s deliver all those beam effects and everything you need to get that extra layer that really punches through.”
Clay Paky fixtures are distributed in North America by both PRG and A.C.T Lighting.
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky US Manager said: “Our thanks go to LDs Peter Morse and Eric Wade, who put together such a fantastic show. We’re also proud to be working with Upstaging again on a major project. It follows the success we achieved on the AC/DC tour, which showcased the Alpha Beam concept for the first time to US audiences.”
Usher’s OMG Tour will continue to UK, Europe and the rest of the world in early 2011.