American rock band Alter Bridge recently wrapped a headlining winter tour with a lighting system from Bandit Lites.
The Florida quartet comprised of Myles Kennedy (vocals, guitar), Mark Tremonti (guitar, vocals), Brian Marshall (bass) and Scott Phillips (drums) recently released their sixth full length, WALK THE SKY (Napalm Records), an album that brought the band its first career No. 1 on the Top Current Albums Chart.
Lighting designer Joshua Light shared this tour’s system adopted key aspects of the band’s European Walk the Sky tour, designed by the late Joe Eager while evolving into a more compact package that would shine in the clubs and theatres on this leg of the North American tour.
With a limited truck pack, the video portion of the original design was scrapped, and Light sought versatile fixtures that would evoke the strong looks demanded by a rock show, as well as provide eye candy that video elements previously delivered.
Up first was choosing a Hybrid fixture that could function as both a profile and a beam as well as supply quick transitions between gobo looks and beams: the fixture had to replace both Claypaky Mythos 2s and Elation 5Rs in the programming.
“I originally drew the design with Robe Mega Pointes,” Light explained. “Michael Golden had the shop test fit this fixture and they found it was too large to ride the in the truss the way I needed it to. Michael suggested the Elation Smarty as a substitute, and while the Mega Pointe has some cool tricks and wins on output, I am thoroughly impressed with the Smarty. Its optical line is quick, and I found I could comfortably transition from a look with frost into a look with a gobo in it, all while the dimmer was open. This is a swap I tend to find jarring on other fixtures. The added cost savings over the Robe was a nice bonus.”
Bandit Lites supplied GLP JDC-1, Claypaky B-EYE K20, Elation Smartys, Chauvet Rogue R1 FX-B as well as a grandMA 2 Full console for control.
“Luckily, I was well served by two fixtures in the original design, the Chauvet Rogue R1 FXB and the Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20,” said Light. “Both fixtures have the ability to separate out their individual LED cells allowing for the ability to create a wide variety of looks. I added GLP JDC1s to the design because we needed a strobe and something that could offer more pixels to play with was welcome.”
By mounting FXBs on a pipe that would travel under GT truss and then hang between the same truss for the show, Light reduced the pack footprint while still creating a design that would deliver a massive stage presence. Once the logistics were figured out fixture-wise, Light was given free rein to program a jaw-dropping rock show.
“Programming for Alter Bridge is a pleasure because you get to go as big as you want to (think all the JDC1 firepower) while also having the space to enforce calmer moments with far more subtle looks. Focusing on the transitions between those moments is a fun challenge, both artistically and from a programming standpoint.”
“It has been a sincere pleasure working with Joey Brueckmann and Light in putting Alter Bridge on the road this spring,” said Bandit Lites Vice President Mike Golden. “Joshua sent us his design at the beginning of the year just two weeks later he was in our programming facility putting the finishing touches on his show file for the tour. Following the completion of this first leg we are preparing for a second leg to begin in May; I am excited to see what Alter Bridge and team come up with for the summer.”
“Working with Bandit has been great,” finished Light. “I was lucky enough to have Carter Fulghum (LD for Shinedown, who we toured with in Europe) pass my info on to Michael. I was pleasantly surprised to turn up to the shop and see Carter working on prep for me. Everyone at the shop was friendly and knowledgeable. Everyone also took our need for the whole lighting package to be as trim as possible very seriously.”