Touring can be tough on the crew and equipment but selecting the right lighting gear sure helps ease the challenges of life on the road.
Just ask Chad Stewart, who started Stewart Sound, a family-run production company. Stewart travels with the A1A Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band as well as Buffett band member Peter Mayer, who has a group of his own. The A1A band holds the distinction of being the only tribute show sanctioned by Jimmy Buffett himself.
Stewart uses an all-CHAUVET rig including 24 COLORado 3 LED wash bank fixtures with an IP66 rating, PAR 64's, Vue III LED moonflower effect lights and two Hurricane foggers. “I've had a lot of success,” he said.
When packing up the gear, Stewart said he uses four travel cases for the COLORado 3 units. He divides the case into eight sections and packs six lights in separate compartments, laying them sideways so each COLORado 3 rides vertically. He packs adapters and cables and other equipment in the remaining sections.
The COLORado 3's durability is tested time and time again, he said. “We did one show and literally 30 minutes before the start, terrible weather broke out with heavy rain,” he said. “It is so nice not to worry about the COLORado's being damaged by the weather.”
At another stop along the road, the A1A band learned they were going to perform in a mud pit, the type used for a monster truck show. “We said there was no way we could pull our stage out there so they bulldozed and flattened the dirt and packed it down,” he said.
But the ground remained bumpy and uneven and when Stewart hung 12 COLORado 3 lights on a truss, they swayed back and forth. Before the show two fell about 8 feet to the stage, Stewart said. “We put them back up and they worked great,” he said, adding that there wasn't even a scratch on the lights.
“Yeah, they've seen some hard use on the road,” he said.