Chauvet Lights Free Birds Lynyrd Skynyrd

Photo: Todd Kaplan

Designing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Last Of The Street Survivors Farewell Tour 2018, Lighting Designer and Director Jonny “Tosar” Tosarello wanted to create a look that was as big and bold as the story of Lynyrd Skynyrd itself.

The LD achieved this with a collection of 28 Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, supplied by Premier Global Productions.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s compelling history and profound influence on music were never far from the mind of their LD. “When you think of who Lynyrd Skynyrd is and what all the band has done over the years, you want to have a ‘big look,’ especially for their ‘farewell tour,’” said Tosarello.

“We wanted something that stood out and was unique but was also clean and simple. We have 180’ of silver truss spread out into six fingers that run up to downstage, and another 60’ for the downstage truss. Upstage there is a 40’ half circle truss that surrounds the video wall as an arch. Having rich, vibrant colours play off against the truss, using washes and toners, is definitely part of the look. Glowing set pieces.”

Tosarello, who has been working for Lynyrd Skynyrd since late 2009, relies on the compact Chauvet Rogue R2 Wash fixtures to help him meet the main goal.

“Always light the band! People are here to ‘see’ Skynyrd play their favourite Skynyrd songs so lights are just a bonus, really. Let the band play the music and the lights play the mood.”

Flying most of the RGBW movers on the downstage truss, he has them fill a dual role in his design, using them as front washes and key lights. “I was looking for a small wash light that had the punch and speed most LDs want in an LED wash fixture, but could also work well as a special or key light,” he said.

“With their output, colour quality and wide zoom range, the Rogues are perfect for both applications, and when you can count on a fixture to cover both roles, it makes life easier for everyone – especially the vendor and crew!”

The high output of the Chauvet Rogue R2 Washes also allowed them to stand up to the profile, beam and blinder fixtures Tosarello had in his rig.

“With Lynyrd Skynyrd you’ve got to have some punch in your rig for those big key moments!” he said. “I never have to worry about the Rogues being bright enough next to the other fixtures. They definitely hold their own!”

Tosarello also designed his rig to be flexible. “Most of our shows are in ‘A’ market venues, but even still there are those ‘more challenging’ places that could be a bit bigger or wider or whatever, but we know this, so best to be ready!” he said.

“Prior to 2007 I’d spent many years as a lighting crew chief and learned it’s really nice when a rig is designed with flexibility so – this one is! I made it a point to ensure everything will fit into any reasonable size venue despite most limitations!

“The rig consists of 6 mid-stage ‘fingers’ that spread offstage and rake up and downstage, and a 60’ downstage truss that’s broken into three sections, all of which are easily moved to accommodate any possible venue limitations. Basically, we can move a bunch of stuff around and still maintain ‘the look,’” continued Tosarello.

“No matter where we play, Lynyrd Skynyrd has every light, every night!”