NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE- The Moody Blues, the world famous English rock band, are continuing their five decades of celestial sound with a tour across the United States. The legendary band consisting of Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and racked up over a dozen platinum and gold discs.
Lighting designer Mick Thornton worked with Bandit Lites to illuminate the psychedelic band using VL2500s, GRN Moving Washes, 2 Lite Moles, Source 4's, Clay Paky Mirage LED Panels and a Grand MA console.
“The design, like most shows, is controlled by budget and truck space,” explained Thornton. “We are limited to two trucks for the entire production (half a truck for lights). My aim is to make the design look bigger than it actually is by creative focuses and creative architectural influences.”
While some lighting designers may balk at creating a unique lighting design for such a longstanding production, Thornton crafts distinctive designs for each tour with different screen configurations and by utilizing different fixtures.
“I update the media content each tour and create new content prior to rehearsals,” said Thornton. “The Moody Blues are a very graphic band and have a host of interesting art work related to their career. Certain tracks involve old vintage photographs of the band and album artwork plays a part.”
In regards to the differing fixtures, this tour marked his first experience with the GRN Moving Wash.
“I am very pleased with look,” said Thornton of the fixture. “A great beam and color saturation makes all the difference. One gets a solid color throughout as opposed to balancing certain colors in the 2K's.”
Bandit Lites is proud to provide continual support to The Moody Blues and Mick Thornton. Steve Comer acts as crew chief and Matt King is the project manager.
“Bandit always provides me with great service, since I brought Alice Cooper to Bandit in 2000,” said Thornton. “They provide a great crew and great equipment. Steve Comer has been a great touring partner with great knowledge and a great attitude.”
“Mick and Mark Hogue, the production manager, know the act and the market for the Moody Blues so well it’s just instinctive for them to know what works, and what doesn’t work production-wise for their tours,” said Dizzy Gosnell, Bandit’s Production Director. “They have never shied away from carrying production in times when others decided to, and their fans, (who are extremely loyal and knowledgeable about the band) appreciate and comment on that, too. This is a finely tuned version of ‘more bang for your buck’ design, tweaked and updated over the years. Our LED video has been with them for three tours I believe, and has given them a bigger range of options for video content and dynamics. Some of the content that Mick has created to work with the lighting looks, and not fight them, really immerses the fans in the show. Then, when the band rocks it up, (and they really do kick it hard), the lights and video can jump into a higher gear. Mick’s timing was one of the first things that Mike Golden at Bandit and I both commented to each other on with the Alice Cooper Brutal Planet Tour. Mick is also not afraid to bring it down and sit on a look if the song demands it. It’s a great show all round and just a pleasure to work with Mark and Mick. I joke sometimes that we could do our deal with Mark on a Post-It Note as we have such a good shorthand together.”
“I will always come back to Bandit,” added Thornton. “Dizzy is a good friend and always gives me a great deal.”
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.