While boy bands are on the wane in the US, Irish boy band Westlife is bucking that trend and performing to screaming capacity crowds throughout the UK and Europe on its 2004 "Turnaround" tour. Bandit Lites UK is supplying all lighting equipment and crew and is once again working with the Production North team led by Steve Levitt, Jason Danter, and Karen Ringland. Conceived by the band members themselves along with lighting and set designer Peter Barnes and production manager Steve Levitt, the show is themed with a slightly edgy, retro, clubby, downtown vibe.
Peter Barnes worked closely with lighting operator/director Dave Lee who stepped in when Westlife’s long-term LD Baz Halpin was unavailable. Not to worry, the lighting reflects the show’s myriad dynamics: from bold and brassy rock to subtle and moody ballads, beams and bold colors ensure that there is never a dull moment.
The front truss is split into two lengths to allow the central walkway for the "in the crowd" section to lower out of the roof, and onstage are seven gently angled "finger" trusses running upstage to downstage. Six of these trusses feature white silk kabuki banner drops that descend for the "unplugged" section, and are lit with a mesh of colored gobos. Upstage is a 50’ arched truss, and at the very back is a drapes truss complete with LED star-cloth.
The mainstay fixtures of the rig are Martin MAC 2000 profiles and MAC 2000 washes. High End Studio Colors on the front truss are used to light the six-piece band. There are also 4-lite Moles, Coemar Supercyc 2.4Ks and truss toners in all the fingers. Upstage of the band is a row of Pulsar Chroma Bank strips used as fillers. The rear LED screen is framed by an elliptical truss onto which is rigged a series of Raylites, arranged in 6 channels, which is highly effective for zappy chases and blinding effects. There are also four old fashioned street lights also controlled via the WholeHog II console and wing run by Lee. The underside of the catwalk is lit with MAC 600s, and two 3Kw Synchrolites either side of stage also act as searchlight effects shooting out across the catwalk when it’s in the down position..