Rusted Root is one of those bands that hands out a set list to its production crew about five minutes before show time-and then, as often as not, ignores it. LD Don LoDico, who recently finished up a four-month tour with the band, admits this freewheeling musical style can present quite a lighting challenge. "The set list always changes, and they play songs differently from night to night. It's great for them as musicians, but we have to keep up with them," LoDico says. "I'm pretty musical myself, so I know what will work. I really like to light them."
The tour's lighting equipment included: one See Factor Light Coordinator console, 16 High End Systems Studio Colorª automated luminaires, 12 Clay Paky Golden Scan 3s, six High End Cyberlights¨, 16 PAR-64s, 16 Wybron PAR-64 Colorams, six Thomas 8-lights, six Wybron 8-light Colorams, six 6x12 profile spots, and two Reel EFX DF-50 diffusers.
LoDico chose a range of different instruments to adapt his design to the band's flexible style. "I chose the Studio Colors because I saw them on the H.O.R.D.E. tour last summer, and I wanted to give them a whirl," LoDico says. "I like that they're bright and you can fade colors as well as snap colors with color wheels and its moving head. Also, Cyberlights are probably one of the best moving-mirror lamps out there." The LD mainly used the Clay Paky Golden Scans for effects. "I wanted them for a fill-in-just a different type of lamp," he explains. "I use them more for spotting and beam patterns. The band is so kaleidoscopic in their music that I needed a lot of different tools to play with. I had a very limited amount of incandescents, and those gave me my warm looks for the songs that needed to be really pretty. But for the more rowdy songs, I had all the HMI and MSR lamps that would come through."
LoDico ran everything through the Light Coordinator. "It worked out really well to have everything compact and in one little desk," LoDico says. "If you build from scratch on that desk and put your groups together the right way, it's very easy to grab the lamps you want. A lot of their music is really mellow, but they have other songs that you could just rave on all night-and that was the really fun part for me."
The production team included lighting crew chief Ed Duda, electrician/rigger Brad Child, tour manager Andrew Sharp, production/stage manager Kenny Deranleau, production assistant Jill Goehringer, FOH sound Don "Turk" Schell, monitors engineer Jay Summers, and systems engineer Bob Bickleman. See Factor was the tour's main lighting contractor and the audio vendor was Clair Brothers Audio. The band will probably tour again later this year.