NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band recently wrapped up the Son of a Son of a Sailor Tour with a lighting system supplied by Bandit Lites. The Margaritaville singer-songwriter has been entertaining his devoted fans for decades with his songs of laid-back island life and escaping the 9-5 grind, a sentiment that even those who count the tour as work can relate to.
“In my entire career I can say that I have never had as much fun as I have sitting at the lighting desk for a Jimmy Buffett concert,” said Lighting Designer Steve Hoover. “The camaraderie between the fans and Jimmy and the band is unlike anything else in the world.
Hoover said this amity is one that is apparent throughout the tour as well, thanks to the leadership of Production Manager Tim Lamb, with the entire production working together seamlessly, from the sound team to the lighting crew to the video staff. The harmonious, feel-good vibes translate into an experience that even the audience can find tangible, which in turn enthuses the artist.
“Jimmy needs to be able to see the audience,” said Lighting Designer Steve Hoover adding, “it is just as important as the audience seeing Jimmy. When he sees them going off, he goes off! It builds. It is my job to find a way for him to see the crowd without blinding everyone all night long. The audience is as much as part of that show as anyone on stage.”
Hoover credits Bandit Lites Director of Technical Services Jake Tickle and Production Manager Dizzy Gosnell with keeping him up to date on the latest lighting innovations.
“With the technology in lighting, the gear doesn’t have to be so big and so heavy; it can be bright, and still be reasonable sized,” explained Hoover. “We went to an all LED rig apart from six lights. The ways the LED project and are so even-field has really been nice. The all LED rig makes it easier for the video component as well, makes it easier for everyone, really.”
Bandit Lites supplied more than one hundred lighting fixtures for the tour including 3500 Spots, GLP X4S, Ayrton Mistral TC Spots, Elation SixBar 1000, Elation SixPar 100, Elation Paladin IP 65, Chauvet Rogue R3 Washes and Shownline Nitro 510 C with a grandMA2 Full console for control.
The Buffett lighting crew, comprised of Eric Shafferman, Rick Munroe, Mike Stehr and Steve Hoover have more than 150 years of combined touring experience.
“There is no situation that we run into on tour that we haven’t seen; we are prepared for everything, and if we haven’t seen it before, no one has seen it before!”
“Jimmy Buffet, more than 30 years on with Bandit, is a blast,” said Bandit Lites Chair Michael T. Strickland. “The people, top to bottom, make it an experience rather than a job. Whenever you say Jimmy Buffet, you need say no more. It conjures up a lifestyle, which is so much more than the music. Charlie Fernandez, a 40 plus year friend, and Tim Lamb make the entire time professional and pleasurable. I wish all tours were like Jimmy!”
“I feel we get a great deal of support from Michael Strickland, but that is how it is for every single gig of Bandit’s,” finished Hoover. “It doesn’t matter how big or how small you are, you get the same service from Strickland and the Bandit team.”
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 ensure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you. More information available at www.BanditLites.com