NEW YORK – Multi-Grammy Award winner Keith Urban has carved out a unique niche in the country music genre since he arrived on the scene in the 1990s by combing raw musical power with sweet uplifting lyrics. Urban was his usual open, carefree and engaging self when he appeared on The Today Show Summer Concert Series recently, showing an uncanny ability to connect with his audience and even surprising an ecstatic young fan from Chicago by giving her his guitar.
Urban’s generosity and upbeat music weren’t the only things engaging fans during his Today Show performance. Also captivating the audience at Rockefeller Center and watching at home on television was a sparkling, bright and colorful lightshow created by designer Peter Greenbaum that featured a collection of CHAUVET Professional Nexus 4×4 LED panels and Next NXT-1 moving LED fixtures supplied by WorldStage of New York.
Greenbaum gave the stage a magic box look by speckling it in the jewel-like rich colors of the Nexus 4×4 LED panels. To keep his design from looking “too linear,” he hung the panels in diamond shapes rather than squares. “I like the way the diamonds split the empty space, adding an extra dimension to it, whether you’re seeing it live or on TV,” he said. “I think the diamonds also kind of match the sparkling upbeat nature of a Keith Urban performance.”
The Nexus 4×4 panels were hung three each on the downstage truss. Greenbaum also flew the panels in pairs from mid-stage and upstage truss structures. “Having the diamond panels repeat themselves at every position on the stage created a nice sense of continuity,” said the Today Show lighting designer.
Contributing to this sense of continuity were the Next NXT-1 moving LED panels that masked the drum riser. Greenbaum positioned six NXT-1s on the deck in front of the drum riser that flanked Keith Urban’s amplifier.
“Given the energy level of Keith’s performance, we wanted every area of the stage to look alive, not just to the people gathered at the plaza here, but to all the people watching on TV as well,” said Greenbaum. “We didn’t want to have a plain drum riser staring out at you from the middle of the stage or from your TV screen. The NXT-1s did a great job covering this area. Not just because they’re bright and colorful, but because they added movement to the design as well.
“A nice thing I always really liked about the Nexus is that they show up really very well on television,” continued the LD. “They really help define space when you see them on a TV screen, and now the NXT-1s are doing the same thing.”