NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – As the nights grow shorter and the holidays approach, the music of the holiday season becomes the soundtrack of most people’s lives, and for over two decades, platinum-selling artist Dave Koz has provided that sound to millions of fans. Bandit Lites provided the lighting for his newest tour featuring Jonathan Butler, Melissa Manchester, Michael Lington and Chris Walker. Koz’s tour and newest album, Gifts of the Season, features a smorgasbord of styles, ranging from an electronic rendition of “Winter Wonderland,” a whimsical “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” as well as an emotional “Mary Did You Know” and powerful original song from Koz, “A Prayer for Peace.”
“As we sat down to begin concepting the production design, we knew that it needed to be versatile in creating moments for each of the emotions that the band is creating audibly,” explained lighting designer Erik Parker of Chris Lisle Lighting Design.
To create the moments, Parker knew the rig would need to be outfitted with well-rounded lighting fixtures that would also integrate with the video elements as they would all share a truss. Coupled with that flexibility would be the need to fit the entire production into a single truck and bus trailer.
“There’s the expression, ‘My eyes were bigger than my stomach,’ when you put too much on your plate at Christmas Dinner, but truly my eyes were almost bigger than a one-truck tour on this one,” he said.
In the end, Parker crafted an expansive look utilizing just three lighting fixtures: The GLP X4S on the upstage and downstage edge lighting the backdrop, the band and some extra flash, Martin MAC Auras on the side to light the band and the main workhorse of the rig, the Elation Smarty Hybrid.
“I cannot say enough about how much the Smarty Hybrid impressed me,” began Parker, “the versatility of the light, the sharpness of the beams, the brightness to cut through LED video panels, the precision of the focuses, the colors that came from it… I had a great time programming with this one! (And didn’t get paid to say that either!).”
Parker and the Chris Lisle Lighting Design Team have worked with this production for several years, but with the new album and new tour, they wanted to create a show with an updated, pop impression. The Venue One rehearsal space at Bandit Lites provided the team with the ability to program the show and feel out the looks of the show.
“The band is some of the best musicians, the artists were incredible, and I think we were able to truly bring the music to life,” Parker said. “We programmed as a team; I programmed a few songs along with Chris Lisle, Terese Fensler (Dave Koz Christmas’ Lighting Director) and Landon Bloss (Dave Koz Christmas’ Lighting and Video Tech). I think by opening it up for interpretation from all of us, we were able to get the most from the overall design.”
“The crew and band are all great people and we look very forward to each and every year they come to Bandit to rehearse,” said Bandit Lites Vice President Mike Golden. “I speak for everyone that works in our rehearsal/programming facility in saying we love having Dave Koz rehearse his Christmas tour in our building. Hearing the music filter through the building has become our official kick off to the holiday season and we could not ask for a better start.”
“As always, Bandit killed the lighting,” praised Parker. “The team helped bring to life the vision we had from the get-go and followed through by creating a super clean, classy look that we were going for. The prep was on point, and the use of Bandit’s Venue One for programming and full-band production rehearsals was super awesome and welcoming. The service has continued to be great through the tour.”
“Erik Parker and Chris Lisle designed a beautiful rig and the programming Erik and Terese put together is absolutely stunning,” finished Golden. “I encouraged Erik to try the Elation Smarty for this tour and every time I walked by during the programming I was impressed with the distinct looks and colors on display. Brian Foisy handles production and his attitude and demeanor reflects that of the entire organization.”
For more information about tickets and upcoming dates, visit www.davekoz.com.
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