Middleton, WI – While there is some debate over the precise spelling of “hoopty” (some have it as hooptie), there is no argument over its definition. The Cambridge dictionary primly calls it “an old vehicle in bad condition,” while the Urban dictionary does not mince words with “a piece of s*** vehicle.” Josh Peikert, founder of Hoopty Lights in Wharton Texas, tells the story of the first band he worked for telling him to “Bring your hoopty truck and your hoopty lights over here and do the show next week,” and the name stuck.
“We probably would have picked a better name had I known it would ever be in print somewhere. However, it gives us a benchmark that we must stay well above,” he adds with a laugh. Modestly describing the company as “a little company doing what we know how to do,” Hoopty has evolved from supplying lighting floor packages for Texas bar bands to a national tour with rising country star Parker McCollum. While the company still designs and builds their own lighting, distro, and set carts for speed and efficiency, a visit to last year’s LDI led them to adding 12 Halcyon Titanium fixtures to their inventory.
“I’ve followed the High End brand for years,” says Peikert. “Cyberlights, Studio Spots, AF 100s and Hogs have been in all my rigs – I’m now happy to supply and promote the product.”
Given the bewildering choices in today’s market, the Halcyon Titanium was the compact unit with the size, output, and features that Hoopty needed. “My requirements were that it had to be manageable by one person if need be, and it had to be able to shop-test inside of pre-rig truss with legs on. The big kicker was that the Halcyons had the ‘Whisper Home’ feature with minimum pan and tilt movement, so I knew we could test our fixtures in the shop without them slamming into the truss legs.”
After an Austin in-house demo, the fixtures quickly got the nod from Alex Sanchez (Lighting Director / Programmer for Parker) and Jarrett “Squirrel” Reynolds (Production Manager for Parker). Lighting and Set Designer Chris Lisle, also no stranger to High End legacy products, was equally impressed by the Halcyons. “This was a first time for me,” he says, “and they certainly gave me that clean, hard-edged look that Parker wanted.” The artist gave Lisle a brief to provide clean lines and geometric shapes – no curves or weird angles. “I’m a big fan of placing beam fixtures in groups for maximum effect,” says Lisle, “that might be a throwback to the old days of aircraft landing lights.” (Also known as PAR fixtures, for the uninitiated.) Strobes and blinders also feature heavily in the rig.
The Halcyons are used as key backlight on the tour and give full coverage to the six onstage band members. The stock gobo selection receives high praise from Lisle and Peikert. Lisle gives full credit to Alex Sanchez and the rest of Parker’s longstanding production team, adding “They are super professional, and I am certain we are going to be seeing a lot of Parker McCollum for a long time to come.”
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