grandMAs played a key role in a series of recent eight, sold-out concerts in Kansas City featuring country music legend Garth Brooks. The concerts, which were staged from October 31 to November 15, 2007, included a simulcast to local cinemas which later aired on cable’s Great American Country network as the 90-minute special, Garth: One Artist, One City, One Night—his first televised concert since 2001.
“It was kind of family reunion,” reports Don Lockridge, project manager for grandMA supplier Bandit Lites http://www.banditlites.com/, who was on Brooks’ lighting crew back in the 1990s. “We had three active grandMAs and a grandMA light all networked together in a typical front-of-house set up with about 14 universes. There were three operators: lighting designer, Dave Butzler who wrote the cues for the key lights and performer-specific back lights; Kyle Russelberg, who controlled the audience rig; and programmer, Kevin Lawson. We use a lot of grandMAs at Bandit Lites, and for these concerts the grandMAs were Kevin’s choice, and Dave was interested in having them.”
“I’ve been using the grandMA for four years, and it’s become my primary board—I couldn’t imagine using anything else,” says Lawson. “I love it. It’s efficient, fast, and can be set up to accommodate anyone’s personal style.”
For the Garth Brooks concerts Lawson employed the grandMA’s multi-user function, which enabled him to provide individual control on three separate desks, all while running the same show file. “We couldn’t do that with any other console,” he notes. “I was able to set up the consoles for each user with what they needed.”
The shows “had a big rock feel,” he says, with “a lot of audience energy. The crowd reaction was intense. Because of the crowd we pushed a lot of the focus and lighting action out into the crowd so they felt part of Garth’s amazing show.”
Dave Butzler wasalso impressed by the grandMAs’ performance. “I like the desk and everything about it. You can set it up as simple or complex as you want. I’ll continue to use it.”
"Bandit Lites does a great job and they have given Dave Butzler, Kevin, and Kyle along with a very sophisticated grandMA network. This system gave them realtime control over a very large system and enabled them unparalleled flexibility. This is the key when lighting someone as dynamic as Garth Brooks," comments A.C .T Lighting's president and CEO, Bob Gordon.
To read about the Coemar lights used with the grandMA for this concert special, please check out Coemar Shines A Light On New Garth Brooks Concert Series.