Garth Brooks continues his maverick “Man Against Machine” tour which started in fall 2014 and has been delighting his massive and loyal fan base. The immensely popular multi-million album selling rock / country superstar is known for his exciting live shows and amazing connection with his audiences, as well as for taking a very active interest in his production and stage presentation.
The pressure is on for lighting designer Dave “Gig” Butzler to keep the lighting rig constantly evolving to ensure that Brooks’ extended touring campaigns are constantly fresh and interesting for his enthusiastic public. Introducing Robe BMFL Spots to the visual equation was the latest ‘upgrade’
This move has enabled him to harness the intense power, throw distances and effects of the BMFL Spots to boost the impact of the lightshow even further, enabling everyone involved in the show to enjoy some new sensory experiences via the lighting.
Forty-four BMFL Spots replaced the previous hard-edged spot moving fixture of choice, and these are being supplied by Garth Brooks’ regular lighting vendor, Bandit Lites.
When the show changed mid-way through 2015 to include a much larger LED video screen – a cube measuring 40 ft. wide by 20 ft. deep on all four sides – they needed a brighter luminaire to register and hold its own … and the BMFL Spot – which Dave had had his eye on for some time - was an obvious choice.
The BMFL Spots are located on the upstage and downstage trusses along the cross-pieces of 10 x chevron-shaped triangular truss pods that move into different positions constantly throughout the show … with the balance of fixtures on the floor.
They are used for massive beam looks, for potent and memorable gobo sprays, fans, break-ups, etc., and for sweeping out into the audience and bathing them in good quality light plus multiple other great effects.
“I love the way you can open them up really wide when shooting right out into the audience – to the back of the arena - and still get excellent light levels across all of the crowd for the cameras,” states Dave.
Key lighting and ‘Painting’ the crowds with gobos, color and other effects are integral to the show as Garth also likes the cameras to pan around the audience so they can all see themselves on the screen and feel completely involved with the show.
Apart from the sheer brightness, the good range of standard gobos in the BMFL was another element convincing Dave that BMFL was THE right light!
“They have made a huge difference to how I can light the show.”
The pods are an ideal way of moving lights around the whole performance and audience environment, increasing their dynamics and scope dramatically than if they had been in fixed positions.
The show is played in 360 degrees, with audience behind the stage, which is also in the normal end-on position.
Robe products made their first appearance on Garth Brooks at the start of the ‘Man Against Machine’ tour when Dave specified 48 x LEDWash 1200s, to be his base stage wash units. He has been extremely happy with them, and when the BMFL Spots were added to the rig, also upped the LEDWash 1200 count to 72.
Dave is based in Nashville, Tennessee and has worked with Garth Brooks for 25 years, helping make his live high-impact performances some of the most colorful, memorable and popular.
Photo: Alex Perez