Imagine Dragons 2018
Todd Kaplan

Elation Lighting for Imagine Dragons “Evolve” World Tour

Mitchell Schellenger puts unique mark on show that has thrilled audiences worldwide for over a year

Lighting and production designer Mitchell Schellenger has been using an Elation lighting rig to put a unique mark on the Imagine Dragons worldwide “Evolve” tour throughout 2018. Schellenger, who joined the tour early in 2018 in time for the first European leg, has been lighting several legs of the tour using Platinum Beam 5R Extreme™ moving heads, ZW19™ LED wash lights, and Protron 3K Color™ strobes supplied by Christie Lites.


Inspired by artist Beeple’s colorful “Evolve” album art,” Schellenger’s setup features eight angled video screens of varying sizes, five high res upstage and three blow-through screens on the floor. Lined vertically along the sides of the upstage video screens, on finger trusses, on wings and on a free standing B-stage used for an acoustic set are Platinum Beam 5R Extremes, which Schellenger calls the workhorse of the gear. “They are a great base for the lighting design and formed the structure of the lighting looks,” he said. “The prism is sharp and the frost is one of my favorite features. With the prism and frost engaged we get a nice wash type look out of them.”

The designer uses ZW19 LED moving head beam/wash effects from a number of positions, which he says gives him lots of ways to light the stage. For the opening, for example, he lights the band as they come on stage using the ZW19s and in another application creates a nice moment with them in red for a piano number. Positioned between video screens, lined on the floor and masked behind the scenic blow-through screens on the floor are Protron 3K Color strobes, which the designer says he uses as both a blitzing effect and atmospheric low glow effect.

“It may not be the latest Elation gear we’re using but it has worked really well and was a good choice for the budget. It’s been effective for the looks we wanted to achieve and the quality has been excellent,” says Schellenger, who designed the set and lighting while also taking on the new role of creative director. “The creative direction role has allowed me to work closely with the band in other ways like directing the performance and being involved with aspects like determining the set list, content decisions, musical changes, etc. It was nice to work with all those elements along with the lighting to put together a cohesive show.”

The “Evolve” tour has been on the road for over a year and with meaning behind the music and a storyline in their show, growing worldwide enthusiasm for Imagine Dragons was apparent at virtually every stop along the tour.