Stubbs Bar-B-Q, a storied Austin hangout, has added something new to its lighting menu. Out in the backyard amphitheatre, under a white-tented shelter, 24 High End Systems ColorCommandÂ® units are spicing up the rig formerly dominated by PAR cans. ColorCommand, part of a new line of products in High End's dichroic theatre line, is a dichroic CMY color mixing incandescent par/washlight, which fits easily into any dimmer system.
Steve Winwood, Robert Cray, John Hiatt, George Clinton, Ween, String Cheese Incident, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and other popular touring artists have performed under ColorCommands since their September installation.
Stubbs' in-house LD Ryan Brummell says the ColorCommands replaced most of the PAR cans one-to-one and are a welcome addition to the rig. "It's been great for us. I started out with a PAR can rig, so to have a lot more versatility in the color mixing really helps," Brummell says. "I can do a lot more, being able to change color more easily than with a few PAR cans. It's really widened the palette. When touring shows come through, they usually carry moving lights, so, to get a lot of saturated color with ColorCommands and cut that with the moving lights is really nice. The LDs are really loving it. Even when it's just me running the shows with no additional gear, I'm able to do a lot more with ColorCommand."
Says Robert Cray's LD, Robbie Zuuring, "It was a treat working with ColorCommands at Stubbs." The band doesn't carry its own production, preferring to use house lights or local production. As a result, Zuuring says he uses all sorts of equipment night to night, allowing him experience with most lighting manufacturers' products.
"ColorCommand is versatile and flexible in terms of replacing that redundant PAR can and loud scroller," Zuuring says. "It would definitely simplify any lighting rig with its compactness and the power that it gives you with its unlimited color range. Never having to replace color gels is a bigger bonus. The saturation was unbelievable. Robert Cray doesn't use a set list, so that was really great about using ColorCommand with the open range-palette, and it was great being able to call up a color on command and having it seamlessly crossed. With ColorCommand, I don't need a 120-light rig to get eight colors, and I like that. It's a very cool fixture."
Working with ColorCommand is easy, Brummell says. "We change focus every show, but still, not having to worry about gel changes is very convenient. They're very bright. I'm amazed at how hearty these fixtures are. As Stubbs is an outdoor venue, I deal with a lot of adverse weather conditions, both with moisture and dust. We had Insane Clown Posse here and they threw soda all over the place, and the ColorCommands made it through that, too!"
A HogÂ® 1000 lighting console controls the ColorCommands. Brummel has programmed it so that different touring LDs are easily able to create a show on-the-fly. "ColorCommand has definitely widened our range here at Stubbs," Brummell notes.