Illuminating Incubus


For those intrigued by the occult world, the word incubus has a rather dark connotation. But the band Incubus is anything but dark; in fact, it could be termed the latest pop sensation.

Its current tour, re-designed for the second leg, is a showcase for Martin gear and the lighting design of Joe Paradise and Dizzy Gosnell. “Dizzy worked on the truss layout and the set design for this leg,” Paradise explains. “I programmed it myself, and I'm out with the tour as the operator,” he adds.

Paradise and Incubus also have Bandit Lites of Nashville along with them on tour. “Bandit is always ahead of the game during the planning stages of every tour I've done with them,” Paradise notes. “Their documentation is unlike anything I've ever seen, and I always get trained and hard-working techs I can really count on.”

The show isn't the sole province of Paradise and Gosnell; Incubus had its say in the lighting design as well. “The band is very involved in the show,” admits Paradise. “I'll take all their thoughts and ideas into consideration and try the ones I think are good. There are some ideas of theirs that I absolutely love that, frankly, I wouldn't have ever thought of, but they turned out great,” the designer adds. Of course, as with any collaboration, there are always ideas that aren't quite so great: “I do listen to them, but there have been times that I've said, ‘We can't do that, it's too cheesy,’” Paradise says. “Then I'll show the look to them and they'll agree.”

The tour is heavily dependent on Martin gear. “So far, the Martin instruments have been the most reliable I've used,” confides the designer. “This is the fifth tour I've used them on and they're great — in the past, I've absolutely punished them, and they've always worked,” he comments. This time out, the rig consists of 22 Martin MAC 250s, 12 MAC 300s, 24 MAC 600s, and 17 MAC 2000s. “I just can't say enough about the 250s,” Paradise says. “They're punchy little fellas and the color temperature is just fantastic. They're not the main part of the show, but they're the spice of the show and they really do come through for me.”

Paradise also makes ample use of the non-automated Maxi Brute. “I have six Thomas Maxi Brutes [four on the truss, two on the stage] with Wybron Monster Ram [large-format Coloram] scrollers on them,” Paradise notes. “I use them for different little punchy bits — we also have each individual bulb circuited so we can do some different chases.”

The truss configuration is fairly simple — an oval nearly 60' (18m) wide that matches the contours of Gosnell's set, along with a midstage truss. “I basically took the show we had last fall and put it in the middle of this rig and expanded it,” Paradise explains. To complete the rig, Gosnell added a 40' (12m) T-shaped truss with four High End Cyberlights used as spotlights.

The color palette is varied, with an emphasis on thick colors and black light. “A lot of the show is saturated, and I use a lot of UV,” Paradise states. There are also a few songs done in a single color and the designer admits he eschews the fruit salad look. “I really try to stay away from having too many different colors,” he says. “If you put a certain number of colors in one space, you end up with gray.”