CARMEL, Ind — Last year he was on tour with Bob Seger, now a Carmel man is turning his talents into a Christmas light extravaganza at his parents home.
“The event industry pretty much stopped in March. Pretty soon after that I got furloughed. To save money, I moved back in with my parents,” said event and concert lighting specialist Nick Metken. “I was watching some YouTube videos, and figured this would be the year to [create a Christmas light show] if I was going to do it.”
His parents’ home is now flush with LED lights that move to the beat of five songs that he has programmed across an 18-minute show that loops every twenty minutes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The matching music can be heard on 100.1 FM, and is broadcast from a transmitter in his parents’ home in the 900 block of Hawthorne Drive in Carmel.
“I primarily do concert touring, so I will go and travel from city to city with an artist or a band. It’s the same concept, same sort of equipment,” said Metken. “I started at the end of September, beginning of October, planning it all out. Through the month of October into November I was working a few hours every night on the software side of programming it.”
He says he and his brother constructed the lights in a day once programming was finished. Since the entire setup is LED lighting, he says it doesn’t cost his parents much to keep it going.
So far, the display has garnered viewers from all around the Indy area who come to check it out.
“I’ve seen as many as ten on the street,” laughs Metken.
“We were just looking at Christmas lights, and pulled over,” said an older couple named Phil and Meg with a laugh as they held out a cell phone. “We FaceTimed our grandchildren in Charlottesville, Virginia to show them what we found. We have been staying really close to home, and doing exactly what we’ve been asked to do. We haven’t seen our family, or our grandchildren, so we FaceTime a lot.”
While the light show is keeping his skills sharp, Metken longs to go back to work, but admits he doesn’t know when the pandemic will let him do so.
“Nothing compares to that time when all the lights get turned off, and the crowds starts screaming,” he said.
He is hopeful he can return to work next year, and says his industry is seeing a lot of concerts scheduled for 2021.