Toby Keith and Bandit Lites Hammer Down on Tour


NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE– Twenty years after Toby Keith’s debut album hit the stands, the country music superstar is raising his Red Solo Cup and calling for Drinks After Work for his Hammer Down Tour. Bandit Lites supplied the gear for Keith’s tour, which started in June and continues into October.

Lighting designer Seth Jackson took a new direction with the design of the show with the help of co-designer, Nathan W. Scheuer, telling him not to study or look at any of Keith’s past shows, but instead rely on the music.

“We decided to play on vertical elements, virtually no set (after years of over-the-top sets including a 24' tall jukebox the year prior), and to reduce the visual to smaller profile lighting fixtures in greater quantity following a more linear plane,” explained Jackson. “During the design phase the camp suffered the tragic loss of Toby's longtime bass player, Chuck Goff, which then led to a drastically different band layout.  We were adjusting up until the last minute.”

Scheuer and Jackson also had to take into account the variety of places that Keith was going to perform, including outdoor festivals. The result was a design that could fit anywhere without compromising the integrity of lighting; one that could stretch wide, narrow down, gain height or squeeze down without the look changing.

The majority of the lighting design is made up of GLP X4S fixtures, an LED product that made its debut on the Toby Keith tour.

“These lights are the core of the show,” Jackson said. “They are the most striking visual element; in fact, they are the "set" if you will.  What Eddie ‘Bones’ Connell (the lighting director) is doing with them is amazing. We are getting such giant looks out of this relatively small rig, and such energy from their speed and response. The other thing was power. What we have been able to save having 83 of these guys instead of more traditional fixtures is extraordinary.”

Another new feature of the tour includes the GoGo Truss, which was inspired by Scheuer’s idea of a truss where all the lights are riding inside, almost touching one another. Dizzy Gosnell and Mike Golden converted a 20.5” truss into something that could carry the smaller LED fixtures.

“It is a huge help with us on truck space,” added Jackson. “And by the lights being inside the truss, it keeps the weight of the fixtures centered; therefore, the towers are much easier to manage and much safer.”

Additional equipment includes VL 3000 spots, GRNLite Moving Wash 3-120’s, GRN Par 3-36’s, Clay Paky Sharpys and two GrandMA consoles. Bandit crew included crew chief Chuck Hastings, Carter Harris and Cody Stoltz.

Photo by Kaleigh Rose.

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.