G3 guitar heroes Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, joined by Dream Theater's John Petrucci is on the road. Lighting designer/director Chris Varrin has been working with Satriani since the Flying in a Blue Dream tour in 1990.

"G3 is a three-part show, and we designed it so each act has a different look. We have an interchangeable backdrop system, and there's also a low truss that flies across the middle of your field of vision for the first act, John Petrucci. That truss lowers for the next two acts, and backdrops take its place. Steve Vai has a backdrop of banners that are sewn out of the flags of countries in which he recorded his latest live CD. For Joe we have an aluminum mesh backdrop that really looks great.

"Ken Delvo is the crew chief on the tour, as well as LD for John Petrucci. He is typically the LD for one of the three acts on our G3 tours, and we have a great history with all the work we've done over the years.

"LSD/Fourth Phase is the lighting company. It's a mostly automated rig with LSD Icons® and WashLights™, and High End Studio Colors®. I don't see the WashLights used too much, and they happen to be one of my favorites. I think it's kind of a misunderstood fixture people don't realize how good it is so I always load up on them. I also use the Icon Console™ because it's my favorite. I feel fervent about it nothing else feels as good to use when I operate a show.

"With Joe's shows I've previously had a lot of stuff on the ground, including the entire rig for the Crystal Planet tour in 1998, but I was challenged this year to get as much as possible off the ground. We do have that low truss behind the drum riser that trims at about 5', so that's still low enough to hit your head. The large-diameter curved truss is also a nice bit of hardware; it was custom built and provided by LSD. For overall design, I want to reveal to people what a great show you can have with a small rig."

G3

Lighting Designer
Chris Varrin

Equipment Supplier
Light & Sound Design/Fourth Phase

Lighting Equipment

20

Light & Sound Design Icon WashLights

6

LSD Icons

6

High End Systems Studio Colors

6

Mini-Moles with ACLs and custom ring baffles

6

2xFBE Moles

3

8' MR-16 striplights

6

ETC Source Four PARs

6

Columbus McKinnon motors

2

Reel EFX DF-50 hazers

72'

12" box truss

LSD Icon Console/distro rack

ETC Sensor dimmer

Clear-Com 2-channel system

40'-100' diameter curved A-type truss

Custom flag drops

Custom mesh panels