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4Wall Provides LD Alex Kay with High Class Lighting for MGK "No Class" Tour

By Wes Bailey on Oct 21, 2014
Posted in Press Releases

Los Angeles, CA- Lighting Designer Alex Kay is no stranger to bringing big lighting looks to small venues.  As the LD for budding rap superstar Machine Gun Kelly since 2012, Alex has worked with the artist known as "MGK" since he was doing local shows in his hometown of Cleveland. 

After heading out on tour with big names such as Rick Ross and Wale though, MGK's popularity greatly increased, forcing Alex to up the ante for this fall's "No Class Tour".  With a variety of venues on tap, the designer turned to 4Wall Los Angeles for a lighting package that could get the crowd going in any size of venue.

"The biggest challenge from a design perspective is always having a rig that is scalable to fit an 800 capacity smaller ballroom, yet large enough to not get swallowed up in a 4,800 capacity ballroom," said Alex.  "On previous tours we've brought strictly floor packages with a smaller number of intelligent fixtures.  For the 'No Class' Tour I decided to bring truss uprights of differing heights and load them with some pretty diverse fixtures."

The diverse fixtures he mentioned included GLP Impression X4S LEDs, Elation Platinum Beam 5R Extremes, and Chauvet Nexus 4x4 Panels and more.  In designing for MGK, Alex keeps in mind crowd interaction, an important component of the show.

"There is a ton of interaction throughout, so being able to appropriately light the crowd is important.  The Chauvet Nexus 4x4 panels do a great job of that.  I run them at 10% during the show except when I use them as blinders just to give a little colored backlight.  One of the songs performed, 'Warning Shot', begins and ends with gunshots, so having Martin Atomic strobes for that was also a must."

He went on to explain the use of the moving lights included on the rig.

"I have 10 GLP Impression X4S fixtures that I keep zoomed in to a tighter beam to make some cross patterns and wave in and out. The Elation Platinum Beam 5r Extremes are great to have, very quick and punchy, and their ability to throw gobos up really helps to break up the looks." With his rig now in place and on the road, Alex hopes those in attendance can directly relate the look of the show's lighting to the music.

"I believe that certain sounds should look a certain way - for example powerful claps/snare hits sound like strobe lights to me; quick and punchy, or a deep bass rumble might be the Chauvet Geysers going off and creating a different atmosphere. It's a very energetic and crowd oriented show so I do my best to match the lighting to MGK's actions/mood."

One thing that put the LD in a good mood was his experience with 4Wall LA.

"They were fantastic from the first time I called them.  I cold called the office, explained my situation and what I was looking for, and was provided with an all-inclusive solution.  When my hazer stopped heating a few weeks into the tour, they sent me out a replacement overnight.  Customer service is clearly a high priority."

For more information on MGK's No Class Tour, visit www.machinegunkelly.com

Follow Alex Kay on twitter @DJAlexKay