American singer Andy Grammer spread his refreshing brand of feel-good music across North America this spring on his “The Good Parts” tour, a club outing of mostly sold out shows in support of his latest release. Lighting design and programming was by Joshua Koffman of Interrobang, Inc., who used a combination of Elation ACL 360 Bar™ moving battens and Platinum Beam 5R™ moving head beams to light the show. Lighting vendor for the tour was RK Diversified Entertainment of Claremont, California.
Koffman, who has worked with Grammer on one-off shows in the past, says that the lighting rig’s flexibility was key as tour venues varied a great deal. “When we were planning the stage design for this tour we needed to accommodate a wide range of venues, both in stage size and height,” he explains. “Some places had existing rigs, some didn't. Some had high ceilings, some didn't. We needed something that would provide a consistent show from venue to venue.” What they ended up with was a ground-supported rig that adapted to changes in stage width and height based on five interconnected vertical truss towers.
The set up included an upstage wall of 25 Elation ACL 360 Bar fixtures with Platinum Beam 5Rs working from atop five sticks of truss, a rig the LD says was very pronounced in the show. “We had the ACL Bars on front of truss towers,” Koffman explains. “They created the main visual change between each song using color, position, and movement. Because they are a linear fixture, we could have them, say, vertical for one song, then horizontal for another. We experimented with them in different shapes and I was really surprised at how well it all worked.”
The ACL 360 Bar houses seven 15W RGBW LEDs and projects a narrow 4-degree beam from each lens. Combined with continuous 360° pan and tilt rotation, the fixture gives a variety of dynamic movement effects. “The fact that they are linear and not symmetrical was the most important thing, so we could achieve a number of different looks over the course of the show,” Koffman said before describing a special look. “For the song ‘Fresh Eyes’ the ACL Bars were in a sort of starburst pattern, and I used the bitmapping on the console to drive them. It was a neat look. As a bonus, we used the 360-degree rotation. Oh, and they're bright. The beams looked great in a hazy room.”
Koffman teamed the continuous rotation ACL Bar batten effects with dense beams from the Platinum 5R Beam fixtures, which he had located at the top of each truss tower. Koffman says the beam lights were used several times during the show as accents on choruses, etc., and were also used to great effect during the song "Civil War" as an impactful silhouette backlight for the three singers.
The lighting package for the tour was supplied by RK Diversified Entertainment, Inc., a company that Koffman was happy to work with. “Ray Woodbury at RK Diversified did an amazing job pulling this together. There's no way we could have gotten this far without him and Sean Coates at the shop,” Koffman said. “In addition, he gave us our lighting director, Daniel O'Brien, and our technician, Max Misemer. Both of these guys were working hard every day to get the rig into some challenging spots, and I was very thankful to have them.”
Grammer’s more optimistic, honest music has found a receptive audience and his star seems to be clearly on the rise. Koffman was pleased to again be working with Grammer and his crew, commenting, “Andy and his folks have always been great to work with, and I'm glad we could give him a touring show that supports his unique vibe. Everyone on stage is really out there performing, and while I truly believe we could just turn on the works and let them carry the show, having some cool lighting up there takes the experience to the next level. The tour manager, Welshie Chapman, is also deserving of thanks for allowing us to add a whole bunch of gear to the usual amount that they've been carrying, and everyone out there for adapting to the challenges it brought every day!” Grammer’s spring “The Good Parts” tour wrapped up in mid-April with a few more dates on the schedule for this summer.
Photos: Amanda Johnson
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