Lighting Designer Ian MacDonald utilized a large complement of Xtylos fixtures, Claypaky’s compact beam moving light with a tailor-made RGB laser source, for the recently concluded US arena tour of multi-platinum powerhouse, Five Finger Death Punch (5FDP).
Five Finger Death Punch teamed up with Megadeth for the summer Ampitheater run and Brantley Gilbert for the fall/winter Arena run. The tour reunited the hard rock and country rock artists who had previously partnered on the global hit, “Blue on Black,” in 2019.
Ottawa-based MacDonald, formerly Lead Lighting Director for Moment Factory in Montreal and the Lighting Designer for Suicide Boys, got involved with 5FDP before the COVID pandemic when he did a design that he was able to reprise for the band’s summer 2022 amphitheater tour.
“Initially, that design featured a different laser fixture, but we decided to use Xtylos instead, and they did great,” MacDonald reports. “So when we changed the design for the arena tour this fall we added more Xtylos.”
Christie Lites provided the fixtures having made a significant investment in Xtylos for their rental inventory. “We’ve been introducing clients to Xtylos, and Ian was the among the first to jump in and really see what the light can do: It can create very grand looks that put other lights to shame,” says Cory Wilson, Vegas-based Christie Lites’ Rental Rep who primarily works on tours. “Ian and his designs are very easy to work with, and he did a great job utilizing Xtylos for his latest tour.”
“My objective is to create different looks for each song with layering and eye candy for fans,” MacDonald explains. 5FDP’s arena show linked their legacy and new music opening with a giant, inflatable figure-eight snake – representing the band’s eighth album cover art – as a backdrop behind the band and ending with a kabuki drop that revealed their just released ninth album, “AfterLife,” as the band performed the new cut, Welcome To The Circus. Pyro and smoke effects contributed to the dynamic mix onstage.
“We hung 18 Xtylos above the band and had 10 on an eight-foot riser upstage of the band,” says MacDonald. “I used them strategically to get the most out of them, sprinkling them into songs to create impact and deliver a real wow factor. I think they had the biggest impact in the intro to ‘Sham Pain’ and in a keyboard patch where they worked really well for accents.”
He notes that “the Xtylos’s colors are really good: Some fixtures lose their effect when you’re shooting for distance. But these had a continuous beam with impressive deep blue, red and green saturated colors. They really had a lot of punch.”
MacDonald says that he’s enjoyed a relationship with Christie Lites for more than 20 years and has always found them “very supportive, especially Cory who’s taken good care of me through the pandemic and for the arena tour.
“The Xtylos performed really well, and we had no issues with regard to maintenance. I plan to continue to use Xtylos for 5FDP and will consider putting them into the designs I do for other artists.”
“Ian really understands the place for Xtylos in arena tours and has been very successful with them,” says Wilson. Christie Lites holds its own variance for the use of the laser-source fixtures so they can provide a technician for projects, such as 5FDP’s arena tour, which “makes things very easy for clients,” he points out.
“Claypaky was wonderful to work with on the tour, with Julie Smith right there 24/7 to answer any questions; she’s been a big help to Ian and myself,” Wilson adds.
“Christie Lites jumped in at the beginning of the Xtylos introduction and have been a huge supporter of the technology and processes. From management to the inside technical staff, they get it. It has been a pleasure working with them,” concludes Julie Smith, Managing Director, Group 1440/Claypaky U.S..