LOS ANGELES – After 35 years of touring, George Thorogood is still bad to the bone, hammering out the gritty rock 'n blues tunes that fans have come to expect at his hard-charging shows. But even though classics from the '70s and '80s like “Move It On Over” still make up the bulk of his set list, the lighting on his current tour isn't a throwback to that era. Quite the contrary, George Thorogood and the Destroyers' 2010 Tour bears the distinction of being one of the first to use the newest cutting-edge light in the LED Impression series from Elation Professional, the Impression 120RZ “Zoom.”
Like the original award-winning Impression, the Impression 120RZ is an LED moving head with RGB color mixing and an innovative baseless design that makes it incredibly compact and lightweight. But the 120RZ version brings a new feature to the mix -- a 10° to 26° Automated Linear Zoom, which gives it greater flexibility to be used in more applications. The Impression 120RZ also features a new ultra-bright LED source – 120 high-power Luxeon Rebel LEDs (42 green, 36 blue, 42 red).
It was the Zoom feature that sold Robin Alvis of Toucan Lighting (Oklahoma City, OK), which has been supplying lighting to Thorogood for five years. “I saw the regular Impression at last year's LDI show and was really impressed by its brightness, compact size, light weight and the fact that there's no bulb replacement,” said Alvis. “I definitely wanted to step up to an LED moving head, but I also wanted something with a zoom. Then Joe Adams of Elation told me about the Impression 120RZ, and they brought them here for a demo – and I actually was blown away!”
Alvis said that the Zoom feature opens up so many more design options. “If you want a tight beam, you can get a tight beam without changing any lens. And then you can just zoom it up and get a bigger beam for a wash light.
Thorogood's lighting designer William Bennyhoff agrees that the Zoom is a great creative tool. He is using a total of 28 Impression 120RZ's on the tour set – 12 upstage, 10 downstage, and 6 on the floor for uplighting. “The lights in the back are all set to narrow (beam), and the 10 downstage are all wide. We were able to cover the whole 40' width of the stage with just those 10 fixtures.
“The brightness of the Impression 120RZ is phenomenal,” Bennyhoff added. “It's actually too bright for the floor lights, so we put a gel in front of it to diffuse it.” Smooth color mixing is another feature praised by Bennyhoff, who designed the Thorogood show around vivid, intense primary colors. “Blues, magentas, ambers – this is old school rock'n roll!”
Bennyhoff and Alvis are also pleased with the small size of the fixtures, which they say makes life much easier both onstage and on the road. “You're talking 17 lbs. as opposed to 50 lbs (for a conventional moving light),” said Alvis. “And you can get 6 (Impressions) in a case as opposed to 2.”
Added Bennyhoff, “We're using 12” truss upstage and downstage, and we've got only about 350 lbs. total on the rig. The compact size makes it real modular to pack up and transport them, too -- we can get 28 lights in 6' of truck”
Given George Thorogood's schedule of almost non-stop touring, the compact size of the Impression 120RZ has been a huge convenience. So too is its 50,000-hour LED lamp life. “Usually, with this type of wash, after 400 hours you're spending $150 per instrument on bulbs,” said Alvis, “but these just last and last.” Sort of like Thorogood himself!
For more information, call Elation Professional toll-free at 866-245-6726 or visit www.elationlighting.com
Toucan Lighting can be reached at 405-943-9036 or visit www.toucanlighting.com