POMFRET, VERMONT – Twiddle has come a long way since the free-flowing jam band formed at Castleton State College fifteen years ago. Nurturing the quartet’s growth on its trek to national prominence were frequent stops at Vermont’s legendary live music venues. Often tucked away in small mountain towns and seasonal resorts, these intimate spots, where the line between stage and audience blurs into a happy communion, served as perfect incubators for young musicians looking to develop their improvisational chops.
With live shows on hold because of COVID-19 restrictions, Twiddle decided to honor these venues with an aptly named Roots Tour. Over the course of this summer, the band visited venues that played an important role in their career. Although the only people physically in the venue were the band and crew, Twiddle played their heart out knowing they were still able to bring something special to the table for their fans.
“So this was really a virtual online streaming tour,“ said Evan Antal, who designed and ran the lightshow when the band stopped at the iconic clubs Nectars and The Pickle Barrel. “It ended up being a huge success. Twiddle was able to give the fans an experience they probably wouldn’t have gotten without the pandemic, and the guys enjoyed getting back to the small venues that have meant so much to them. Doing the Roots tour didn’t just feel like a pandemic compromise. It was a neat chapter in their history.“
Also adding the emotional power of the show were Antal’s colorful, quick-moving light shows, which were anchored by CHAUVET DJ Intimidator 250 Spot fixtures. Using 10 of the 50-watt LED units at The Pickle Barrel and four at Nectars, he relied on them to create a series of punchy looks for the band.
“I‘ve always felt the 250s are amazing,” said Antal. “The optics are great. Having a prism helps give the look a boost when you need everything to get bigger. They pan and tilt quickly because of their size, and all the mechanisms inside are quick to respond.”
“For a band like Twiddle, where the goal of the lighting is to interpret the emotion of the moment, color is a particularly important element,” continued Antal. “In addition to the standard colors, the 250 has orange, light green, and light blue – some of which are missing on spot fixtures at higher price points. It also does split colors, making it really easy to punt a show with them on any console and get deeper colorful looks with ease.”
The Roots tour took on a special meaning for Antal where the Intimidators are concerned.
“The fixtures in the Pickle Barrel used to be mine – my first lighting rig! I bought them because Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s LD Manny Newman owned some when we worked together lighting festival stages the summer before. I highly recommend them for young LDs just starting out and looking to buy a rig. That rig saw hundreds of gigs with no issues whatsoever. They’re also perfect for adding big stage production value to small club stages on a very reasonable budget.”
Drawing on the power of his rig, creating color and movement, Antal was able to endow the livestream with images of earlier shows that launched Twiddle on their career. Set against the backdrop of familiar rigs that echo evocatively with images of the band’s memorable early years, the virtual tour provided fans with a chance to recapture the special connection they feel with this band. It was a welcome reprieve from the pressures of living in 2020 – and a reminder that better days lay ahead.
Photo Credit: Dave Decrescente Photography
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Chauvet, headquartered in the USA, is a leading global manufacturer of professional luminaires, truss and related equipment, fulfilling the needs of various industry sectors. Chauvet has four main brands: CHAUVET DJ, CHAUVET Professional, ILUMINARC and TRUSST. They share Chauvet’ s unified strategy to pursue every market segment where it has a competitive advantage in terms of value, innovation and performance, with an emphasis on LED technology. For more information, please visit www.chauvetlighting.com