KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE – Bandit Lites is on the road with American rock band, Needtobreathe on the second leg of their tour entitled “The Reckoning”. The tour began on April 2 and will continue through August 17.
The first leg of the tour featured a custom-made typewriter, an addition that, while elaborate and impressive, could be distracting for audience members. Fortunately, inspiration struck guitarist Bo Rineheart as he looked over at the fly rail system lit by back light.
Jay Waddell, Needtobreathe’s lighting designer of the last five years, drew upon that inspiration to create a unique but “less flashy” set production: 1800 feet of rope hang from a custom-built touring frame with a rope nail attached underneath, creating a look of a fly rail system. VL 2500s and Martin MAC Aura’s light the set from all angles, a task for which Waddell said the Auras were especially well suited.
“They really are the perfect fixture for this design,” Waddell said. “The zoom feature in it helps us light the ropes from any angle, including close or long range, and they provide a lot of power to wash the ropes from any direction. Also, I really like the color, as they produce a lot of good earthy tones, which are great. I really like the natural rope color.”
Another interesting aspect to the tour is the moving element, giving the tour a more theatrical look from shows in the past. With the full rig in, the show consists of four scene changes. The top of the show opens with a kabuki curtain hanging mid-stage. The band plays a stripped down performance with a two-piece drum kit and guitars. From there, the mid-stage curtain falls to reveal the stage and the full band. Burlap covers the ropes as four trusses hang upstage with a 12-foot trim. Following a few more songs, the burlap is torn away to reveal the ropes, still hanging at that 12 foot trim. Finally, at the pinnacle point in the show, the entire set expands as the ropes rise up to a 20-foot trim, giving the set a growing illusion.
“The whole show kind of paces itself to build and take,” Waddell said, “So we are growing new things and revealing the set to the max level. There’s a lot to it.”
While the design came together easily, with a plan in place to hang and transport all the rope, each venue presented its own set of challenges as the crew works to fit the set on the stage around permanent fixtures.
“Our production manager, Tyler Scott, gives a good amount of support with the advanced rigging,” explained Waddell, “and figuring out, you know what kind of room we have, and giving some ideas of things we can fit in a particular space.” Bandit technician Erich Hudgens and Taylor Chandler make up the additional lighting crew.
Photo by Joshua Drake.
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 insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.