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CAN: Soundbox Delivers Agile Elation Package for Billy Talent Canadian Tour

When Canadian rock band Billy Talent found themselves with a tight schedule of European and Canadian dates that made it impractical and prohibitively expensive to ship their integrated set back and forth across the pond, LD Colin Moore recreated the signature effects for the Canadian shows using Elation Cuepix Batten and ACL 360 Bar fixtures provided by Ontario’s Soundbox Productions.

For 15 years, Soundbox has steadily added to their lighting inventory with technology that provides a wide range of clients with affordable and flexible options, among them a significant complement of Elation products. Soundbox began investing in Elation gear from SFM in 2015 and has continued to add to their inventory of Elation product ever since, a decision based largely on the products’ rich feature sets and competitive price point.

Moore, who filled in for the band’s regular lighting operator Mike ‘Herk’ Herkimer for this run, knew he’d need to find a solution that allowed the band to replicate their show as closely as possible without the set, but also one he could set up quickly and without an assistant. To speak to that, Soundbox provided an integrated pre-rigged lighting kit comprised of three lengths of truss fitted with 32 Elation Cuepix Battens and a variety of other moving lights, essentially recreating the layout of the band’s more elaborate set in a more compact and easily transportable package.

Additionally, Moore says, “The stages we were playing here were smaller – roughly 40-feet wide – the actual set is 50-plus feet wide, so every light had to live on those three 10-foot sticks of truss. Soundbox’s Head of Lighting, Colin Tomlinson, is an absolute brain at putting things together and making them work easily, and he was a huge part of figuring out how to do this. In total there were eight connections I had to make to get the Cuepix Battens and other moving lights working, addressed and ready to go. From the time the truss came out of the truck, to me going back to the console to start work on that end, it was never more than 40 minutes. The Cuepix Battens easily slotted into the role we needed and it worked out really well.”

Elation ACL 360 Bar lights were also used in the Canadian package. The same fixtures were a part of the set in Europe and provide a similar effect. “I think that speaks to the whole budget vs. look and feel issue and how well Elation fixtures operate,” Moorse said. “And, again, in Canada with Soundbox’s Cuepix Battens and stock of ACL 360s, that played into keeping the look and the feel the same.”

“The ACL 360s have been used in every rendition of the design,” Herk puts in, “and were used in an identical application here and in Europe. Twelve ACL 360 Bars on the set and 12 hung above under the fascia in a mirror image create this ‘mouth’ that was able to turn on and whip open. No matter who was providing the gear, it was always Elation. We never deviated from that.”

The most important thing, Moore sums up, was the fact that the band loved the results as evidenced at a benefit show following their Canadian festival run at The Danforth Music Hall. “All the acts donated their time and Soundbox kept the package together longer for that show. We barely got it into the Danforth, but by the time the band got there it was all set up and they were just floored that they could put on the same show in a smaller venue.”