Alternative folk singer Ani DiFranco is touring US clubs and theatres until late October with her double album Revelling/Reckoning. Lighting designer/director Phil Karatz first met DiFranco when he was programmer and crew chief for Bob Dylan and she was touring with him; Karatz has been her LD for more than two years now. Some of his other credits include 10,000 Maniacs, The The, Better than Ezra, and Dido.

“What's cool about Ani is she just lets me go with it,” Karatz says. “She wants her show to be spontaneous. She doesn't want to set too many guidelines, so I tend to run things on-the-fly instead of cue-to-cue. I don't get a set list until right before the show, so I have about 20 songs programmed, and about 200 cues that will set me up for anything. I'll make a mental note of what I'm going to use for each song that night. If it changes during the show, I just go with it. I've been in sync with her, and our system works. I like being on the edge.

“See Factor has been great,” Karatz continues. “They've given me a lot of exposure, working with bands like Rush. Elliott Krowe in sales and Ed Duda and Mario Corsi in production are great to deal with. I've been using them for all the Ani shows.

“I've been using High End Systems gear. I have about 50 moving lights and I've only had to swap one out in five weeks. I use Studio Colors® for wash lights because I need rich, saturated colors, such as indigo. I use the Studio Spots® for my hard-edge units; I've had a lot of luck with those too. The rotating gobos have been nice, plus I have some custom ones in there. And I'm using 2kW fresnels with scrollers for some punch.”

Karatz concludes, “It's a two-truck tour; I had to come up with a rig that fits into 27' of a truck. Between reliability, packing, and performance, High End has been really good. Next tour I'm going to get x.Spots and Studio Beam PCs. I'm excited about those — something new for me.”


Phil Karatz

Ed Duda

Steve Schrems

See Factor

25 High End Systems100 Studio Color 575s
25 High End Systems Studio Spot 575s
4 High End Systems Cyberlight Lithos
6 4-light Molefays
6 Wybron101 Coloram scrollers for 4-lights
14 ETC102 Source Fours 26°
24 ETC Source Four PAR MFLs
2 See Factor103 Light Coordinator consoles
1 LMI104 48×2.4kW dimmer rack
1 60-way 208V moving-light distro
12 Thomas105 20" A-type 10' truss sections
12 Columbus McKinnon106 1-ton motors
4 10'×20' white polysilk panels
1 60'×30' black drape

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