NASHVILLE – Is it a concert; a theatrical performance; a college lecture; or a religious experience? In many ways a Tokens show defies easy categorization, by being “all of the above.” Since it debuted on February 27, 2008, this Christian faith-based show has been pleasing audiences with its unique blend of music, conversation and inspiration presented on a beautifully designed and vividly illuminated stage. The 2014 edition of Tokens was no exception, thanks in part to an immersive lighting design created by LD Greg Persinger with some help from CHAUVET DJ.
“Tokens is really a one-of-a-kind show that reaches people on many different levels,” said Persinger of Vivid Illumination (Nashville, TN). “We aren’t looking for big rock concert lighting, since this is a more personal and intimate experience. What we wanted was lighting that would enrich the stage and draw audiences into the total experience.”
Persinger used a variety of fixtures provided by Stonebrook Media of Nashville to create a richly textured and welcoming lightshow compatible with the philosophy of Tokens, which was created by Lee C. Camp, a professor of theology and ethics at Lipscomb University in Nashville. His rig for the 2014 Tokens season opening show, which took place at Collins Alumni Auditorium at Lipscomb University, consisted of eight SlimPAR Quad 12 IRC low profile LED pars and three ultra-thin SlimPAR 64 RGBA LED units from CHAUVET DJ, as well as linear bars and ellipsoidal fixtures.
“I used the SlimPAR Quad 12 fixtures on either side of the stage for side lighting, and the PAR 64s as washes from behind to match the house colors of amber, light blue, and magenta,” he said. “The fixtures provided smooth, even and accurate colors without distractive color shadows, which was important to creating the mood we wanted on stage.” With a 100% convection cooling system, there was also no fan noise on stage to distract the audience.
Since Tokens’ inception, music has been at the heart of the show. “I had been thinking a lot about the overlap of music and theology, the way a lot of good music raises perennial theological questions, but in a more succinct way than we theologians often do,” Camp once wrote to describe the concept behind Tokens. Persinger relied on the quick color changing capabilities of the lights in his rig to match the musical performances on stage.
“It is essentially an A-list cast of Nashville musicians on stage for Tokens, so it’s fun to approach the lighting design as if it’s a concert,” said Persinger. “There are different genres of music on stage, so it calls for creating different moods with lighting.”
Given the quality of the performers at Tokens, it isn’t surprising that Nashville Scene described it as the city’s “best local variety show,” and a “grass-kicking shredfest” that is a “huge success,” with “genre-bending creativity.” The reviewer might have added that this highly original and inspiration show also had a standout lighting design, courtesy of LD Greg Persinger.
To learn more about Tokens and see more pictures of Chauvet DJ gear in action visit www.tokensshow.com.