Bandit Lites UK is supplying lighting production for the UK and European leg of the legendary Moody Blues’ 2004 world tour; Bandit Lites Inc. also services the band’s lengthy annual American tours. The pioneers of 1960s classic "progressive rock" are still going strong after 30 years on the road.
Lighting designer Mick Thornton has worked with the band for the last five years, each time turning the stage into a completely different and eye-catching visual environment for the performance. Keeping to a basic front and back truss format for his primary building blocks, this year Thornton added three overhead triangular trusses that move and four vertical upstage towers.
Thorton devised the stage with a clean, white look to allow the projection of large, vibrant pictures and classic "moody blues" scenes across it. The upstage cyc is white – with a 4-channel starcloth behind it–and the triangles’ centers have white scrim stretched across them. The towers are clad in the same material as the triangles, and there is a white carpet across the stage.
The white materials take the light beautifully, resulting in a strong and dynamic array of color, looks, and mood changes–from the subtle to pure rock ‘n’ roll. Those watching from a balcony or above the stage can also enjoy the full effect of the gobo work on the floor and on the cyc.
On the front and upstage truss are six bars of 6 PARs, four 2-lites, Martin MAC 2000 Performances, and four 2K Source Four® Profiles, plus, six Source Fours and.
On the front truss are six bars of 6 PARs and four 2K Source Four Profiles, plus four Martin MAC 2000 Performances, 6 Source Fours and four 2-lites. The upstage truss features another six bars of 6 PARs, four 2-lites, 6 MAC 2000 Profiles, and the vertical towers have a MAC 2000 on the top and a 2-lite per tower rigged slightly lower. The three triangles all feature 3 MAC 250s– one at each corner. The picture is completed with four 4-cell ground rows for infill on the cyc.
Bandit is also supplying three Lycian 1.2K HMI followspots, two DF50 smoke machines and all 22 points of rigging, motors, and control. Thornton is using an Avolites Diamond 4 to run the show.
Thornton utilizes the PARs to produce a solid base of color with additional, complementary and secondary colors mixed in from various angles via the MACs. The result of separating the fixtures out across the rig adds depth and dimension to the stage, even in the more intimate venues.
Bandit’s UK project manager is Lester Cobrin, the US project manager is Richard Willis.
"It’s really good to have complete continuity and the same level of service across continents," says Thornton. His UK crew are Nigel Julian (crew chief) and Johnny "Hotpants" Ashton.