Dave Hale, production manager for promoter Kilimanjaro Live, explained that the Hammersmith performance was treated a little differently to the other UK dates. “While the remainder of the shows we promoted were at venues that could offer full production, we needed additional lighting at the Apollo and that’s why we approached Entec,” he said. “Previously, the band have hired fire-eaters and dwarves, and included multiple special effects, for London shows that have been filmed for commercial DVDs. For this tour, however, the Devin Townsend Project [DTP] are tightening their focus on the music whilst retaining their high production values.”
What distinguishes the DTP from many of their contemporaries is the sheer amount of active control they maintain over presentation. In addition to touring with their own LED-heavy floor lighting package, they possess a ‘secret weapon’ in the shape of Mike St. Jean who, as well as playing keyboards for the band since 2010, occupies the role of resident audio-visual guru.
Responsible for the lighting design and video content production, St. Jean runs the lights from a small ChamSys MagicQ MiniWing in line with his MacBook, both of which are set up as part of his keyboard rig. Entec’s Will Wright explained: “The idea is that while all the lighting is tied into the Avolites Tiger Touch II console we’ve provided at front of house, he is actually controlling the entire light show remotely on stage, triggering all the moves via MIDI.”