NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – When lighting designer Steve Comer began working with Jackson Browne in 2008, the goal was to create a 100 percent LED system, and with the help of Bandit Lites, that goal is coming closer and closer to fruition.
Comer tackled the project with production designer Dennis Scrimo and chose a design that would be flexible enough for a 2000 seat theatre and a 10000 seat amphitheater in addition to being cost effective, efficient on space, and load in and out times.
“I have smaller profile fixtures so they can mostly fit inside Bandit's Go-Go Truss, which has cut down time considerably in hanging fixtures or needed to have cases of fixtures in a truck or on a stage,” explained Comer. “Once we decided on an idea we liked, I got with Dizzy Gosnell and we talked about how to streamline some things to make it work. The design has gone through a couple of modifications through a couple of tour legs to get where we are now, which has been great.”
The tour began indoors in black box theaters, allowing Comer to control the environment with GLP Spot Ones cutting through the other layers of X4S fixtures on the downstage truss for key lighting on band members.
“The zoom gets so tight that it's the same as having a Source 4 for specials,” said Comer. “This has helped in load in times as there isn't any reason necessary to climb and focus anything.”
Additional X4S fixtures in the rig are utilized for eye candy and beam looks while Mac Auras and Spot fixtures provide the majority of the stage wash. GRN Moving Washes layer in side light with some beam looks from the floor, giving Comer’s looks big wide streams of light.
“This rig works really great indoors with a nice even haze, and once we started going outside I had to adjust some of the focus positions and color palettes to get a little bit more out of it,” said Comer. “The one thing that I've noticed with the LED's is that you don't get the beams out of the lights in the daytime as easily as an arc source; the intensity is there but just not the beams.”
With Jackson Browne’s vast song collection, Comer knew that programming time was going to be invaluable. Recognizing this, Bandit hung the rig at their Nashville shop, giving Comer time get ahead of the curve.
“It's so good to have a company that will go the extra mile to get you some programming time when there is no production time on the tour,” said Comer. “I went into my programming time wanting to get 35 songs programmed and a couple of good punt pages. I think I ended up with about 22 programmed and have been slowly adding to that number as I get time. With the nature of the music there aren't a lot of giant movements or strobe cues that have to be spot on, so if I follow the music and just stick to some smooth big builds we end up okay.”
“There is not a lot of movement from the fixtures within songs due to Jacksons’ request, as well as trying to give some big rock looks or small intimate moments to accent the music,” he added. “I tend to light the music and let the music lead and try not to distract from what's happening on the stage.”
Comer calls his experience with Bandit fantastic, sharing that Dizzy was available with ideas and suggestions to make the design a success, and once out on the road, the crew and gear performed to the incredibly well known Bandit Standard.
“Everything has been great on the road,” Comer said. “Always a very professional and knowledgeable crew who get the job done every day. Our rig is usually trimmed and focused in 3 hours every day. Gear has been working great and there are always enough spares and support from the shop to keep everything running smoothly.”
About Bandit Lites, Inc.
Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace. From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.