Luminous Mastery: Stage Design by Sooner Rae and Trevor Ahlstrand for Paramore's "This is Why" Tour  

As Paramore embarks on a world tour in celebration of their sixth studio album, This is Why, the focal point extends beyond the musical spectrum to unveil a captivating collaboration between esteemed lighting designer Sooner Routhier of Sooner Rae Creative and accomplished production designer Trevor Ahlstrand


The result of this dynamic partnership is an aesthetically captivating spectacle, drawing inspiration from cinematic motifs to fabricate a stage design redolent of a 1970s sci-fi opus. Incorporating stucco, red carpeting, blocky trapezoids, and a distinctive shadowbox with fins, the design encapsulates an otherworldly ambiance. Complemented by the visually arresting content curated by Creative Director and Video Content Designer Mike Kluge of Cour Content, the visual narrative is elegantly captured through the lenses of Todd Moffses and Zachary Gray. 


The genesis of this collaboration occurred in the autumn of 2022 when Tour Manager Andrew Weiss sought the expertise of Sooner Rae for the band's current tour. The resultant manifestation from this collaboration transcends conventional concert lighting, serving as a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and visionary foresight of the designers. 


Sooner and Trevor approached their creative process with precision, commencing with a comprehensive set and production concept. The subsequent layering of the lighting design, undertaken as the show's thematic vision matured, yielded a symbiotic marriage of light and form. 


Chad Peters, assuming the role of Associate LD and Lighting Director on the tour, brings forth his considerable experience, marking the initiation of a collaborative venture with Sooner and Trevor. His illustrious 16-year tenure with Paramore adds a layer of seasoned expertise to the production. Lighting programmers Chris Smith, Kyle Lovan, Nikita Jakovlev, and Bobby Grey, in tandem with Video Programmer Ciara Hegli and Live Video Director Adam Peck, harmoniously contributed to the realization of the design. 


The North American leg of the tour saw the procurement of lighting equipment from LMG Touring, ensuring the flawless execution of Sooner Rae's innovative design. The lighting rig features ROBE lighting with 67 ESPRITE luminaires, 3 BMFL FollowSpots, and six BMFL FollowSpot LT luminaires operating on a 3-way RoboSpot system, complemented by six iFORTE luminaires. 


Upon delving into the intricacies of the behind-the-scenes artistry and technical prowess, it becomes apparent that the This is Why tour transcends the conventional bounds of a musical performance. It is, instead, a visual odyssey—an eloquent testament to the brilliance of Sooner Rae's design and the collaborative spirit that brings it to fruition. 

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