Production Insight – Delicate Productions & Tool


WRITTEN BY: Michael S. Eddy


The Los Angeles-based alt-metal rockers, Tool set out on the road last October and November bringing their unparalleled sonic and visual experience to fans across the United States and Canada. Supporting their record, Fear Inoculum, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 upon its release in Aug. 2019, Tool is back performing more shows this month and next across the U.S. with support from metal band Elder. The creative team for Tool’s tour, which has been with the band for decades, includes Lighting Designer/Director Mark “Junior” Jacobson, Video Designer/Director Breckinridge “Breck” Haggerty, and Laser Designer/Programmer/ Operator Scott Wilson from Production Design International (PDI). The three graciously took time out of prepping for the next tour leg to speak with PLSN magazine about their work on the dynamic design supporting the well-respected hard-rocking band.


LD Jacobson, who has been with Tool for 27 years, begins by saying, “This design dates back a bit, we’ve altered it some for this year, but the core of it goes back to when we started in 2019 before we had to park it for a couple of years. Now, when we went back out, we kept the same core because are playing a lot of places we hadn’t gone to yet. We have altered a few things; however, the lasers have changed as Scott has found some new positions that opened things up.” While playing arenas, on the recent legs of the tour, the design has flexibility built into it to deal with some venues that have height restrictions. “It’s one of our biggest challenges; fitting into different sized and shaped places this run. We don’t always have the height we want,” explains Jacobson, “We’re playing some places where we’re not going to get 50’ at trim height. We can shrink the video wall as Breck has some side panels that are optional. Lighting-wise, we try to get the whole rig up, it’s more about seeing what height it’s going to be in each venue.” Providing that rig of gear is Delicate Productions, part of the Live Events house of brands, who has been supporting Tool’s lighting needs going back to the earliest days of the band. In fact, Jacobson notes, “Delicate has been the lighting vendor longer than I’ve worked with Tool and it’s really been a good two-way relationship for sure.”


The rig has a lot of Ayrton lights, which Jacobson has been a fan of for some time, in addition to Robe and GLP gear. “Ayrton caught my eye in 2015 when we did a redesign,” he recalls. “It was the first time I used the MagicRing-R9s, which are now kind of a unicorn; they’re hard to find and they’re huge. That’s both a plus and a minus. It’s hard to find parts for them, but Delicate has been doing a pretty good job of sourcing as many spare MagicRings and parts as they can find. We only have a dozen of them in the rig, but they really stand out and have become a signature piece. We’ve got the Khamsin, which is a great profile fixture. Even when they’re up at a 50’ trim height, they’re still good as back keys and cutting through all the other stuff. I know there are some newer, maybe brighter things, but they’ve worked really well, so we haven’t found a reason to move from them. I am also using a few [Robe] MegaPointes and Pointes. Those are always good to have, as they do a really good job cutting through the air and making themselves seen.” Jacobson doesn’t use any followspots for key lighting. “It’s more about the show,” states the designer. “We’ve got a singer that doesn’t like being lit all that much and they don’t move around that much. He’s got two performance areas, left and right of the drums up on the platform. We have only a portion of it that’s lit, so if he wants to be lit, he’s in it; if he doesn’t feel like it, he can back out of it. The key lights we’ve mostly been using are the [Martin] MAC Aura XIPs. They work really well and provide a good skin tone. Now, we’ve gone more towards a warm white for a key light. It used to be a lot of color, more psychedelic.” Jacobson’s design also uses GLP JDC1s and impression X-Bars. “We use them under the drum riser that is Plexiglass, so it’s all clear underneath him,” describes Jacobson. “He likes having a lot of light, so we have 10 X-Bars under the drum riser alone to provide some uplight on his kit. Across the front of the riser are [High End Systems] TurboRays that let me get fingers of light patterns instead of just a light curtain. They’re good for a few other tricks, as well. I keep  finding new ways to incorporate them.” Jacobson has been running the show on a grandMA3 as of October 2023. “There aren’t that many arena tours using it, and I think we are a good example that it is ready for the task,” he explains. “The extra executor configurations, and the knob executors in particular, have opened up a whole new way to access the inhibitive controls for my key lights that almost remind me of the ‘trim pots’ on the old Celco Gold consoles.” To increase the number of looks, much of the lighting rig is automated with trusses that can be repositioned throughout the show. “We have 16 short moving trusses with 10’ truss sections,” comments Jacobson. “Each one has one MagicRing, two Auras, and three Geminis. These 12 pods can be repositioned to get some different angles and different looks. Then we have four more on the sides that have WildSuns on them so we can bring those up and down to get more of a cross wash or higher wash. They let us keep things different, though we don’t do a whole lot with them, we are careful about when we use them, because they’re all moving in front of the video, and we don’t want to have trusses hanging in front of the video for the entire show. We also have seven-sided stars on a moving track that can be raised, lowered, and brought up and downstage. All the automation is done by Show SDT out of Montreal.”

About Delicate

Delicate Productions,  is a full-service event production company providing superior lighting, audio, and video in high-energy live settings for top names in music and touring, sports, corporate events and beyond since 1980. Located in Thousand Oaks, CA,  Delicate offers integrated, multi-media services providing clients with a single source for all of their event production needs. Delicate is part of the Live Events house of brands. Learn more at and



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