Two of the world’s biggest music stars, Usher and Blake Shelton, united the genres of R&B and country respectively in front of 35 000 people for a unique double-headline concert at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, US. The concert was part of a gala event celebrating the 90th anniversary of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Dallas-based lighting and show designer Eric Wade of FOHShow, who has worked with the artist for 15 years, was asked to develop a production design for this special collaboration, and specified 162 of Robe’s LEDBeam 100s and 50 x LEDWash 1200s as part of his lighting rig. Wade who also knows Blake Shelton’s production team, they were elated for him to co-ordinate the visual requirements for both multi-award winning stars for this epic performance. The design had to embrace some special collaboration between the two artists. The 125-foot wide stage was built in the middle of the field, and the set designed to allow both bands to remain onstage simultaneously.

The concert’s flow was further aided by custom-created VT content, which was commissioned and produced by Wade and shown on a massive upstage LED screen at the back which was flanked to the sides by two more large LED surfaces. The stadium’s impressive “house’ LED screen, measuring 160 feet wide by 72 feet high, hung up above and was also used to show video content and use IMAG. With so much LED, it was important for the lighting to have impact, so Wade chose his fixtures carefully.

Robe’s little LEDBeam 100s proved “small is beautiful’ once again, and were arranged in eight 9 x 9 matrixes each side of the stage, breaching the gap between the onstage and offstage LED screens. The LEDBeams were arranged on eighteen 10 x 10 foot truss frames, with nine of these positioned on each side. They were a huge visual element of the show. “They were used constantly, and I think they are amazing for such a tiny fixture,’ declares Wade. “The colours are really vibrant, they are super-fast and the punch of the fixture is incredible, nothing else would have been small or bright enough to do the job!’

Twenty-four of the LEDWash 1200s were positioned on the stage’s side ladders and used for powerful cross lighting on the bands and the main stage area. There were another 16 x LEDWash 1200s on one of the overhead trusses at the back, used for rear illumination on the band, plus another 10 on one of the downstage overhead trusses bathing the stage apron in a rich array of colours. The Robes were supplied by VER. He had been considering using both types of Robe fixtures for some time, and was blown-away with the results. “I’ll definitely be using these and other Robe products in future,’ he states.

The programing schedule was intense, with a very short time-frame; substantial parts of the show had to be pre-visualised. Wade worked alongside his FOH show team of Keith Hoagland, on a grandMA2 full size for Shelton’s show and John Lucksinger on another grandMA2 for Usher’s show. Wade called the show and was assisted throughout the entire show design process by his associates, Jason Winfree and Eric Marchwinski.