Claypaky Sharpy X-Frames and Midi-B FX Hit the Road with Gary Clark, Jr. Tour

Photo: Gaston Jouany

Four-time Grammy Award-winning guitar player and singer/songwriter Gary Clark, Jr. has embarked on the North American leg of his 2024 world tour with Claypaky Sharpy X-Frames and Midi-B FX fixtures filling the lighting rig.

Lighting Designer John Adamo, who co-designed the show with Robert Fuller, selected the fixtures, which have been supplied by Bandit Lites the tour’s full-service lighting and effects provider.  Both designers have long histories with Clark and previously have used Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures for his shows.  The tour, in support of Clark’s new album, JPEG RAW, kicked off in Fort Worth, Texas on May 8 and will play more than two dozen dates, including such prestigious stops as Radio City Music Hall, Wolf Trap and Red Rocks.

“I view Gary’s music as complex and modern yet timeless and classic,” said Adamo. “We wanted the lighting rig and fixture choices to try and reflect that duality: a classic rock look with a modern edge that feels both futuristic and retro in the same glance. ”

Seventeen active Midi-B FX fixtures are mounted in the upstage and mid-stage trusses and back circle, where they frame the stage. “I’ve had my eye on Midi-Bs since late last year and thought they’d be a good match for us,” Adamo said. “They are a great workhorse wash that deliver wonderful eye candy with their five concentric rings and quality LEDs giving very rich color with no degradation at different intensities. Their ported snoot really adds a less-is-more, old PAR can feel with a cool futuristic vibe. Wherever we go that fixture is always the first thing commented on, it’s a real eyecatcher.”

Bandit Lites recently added Midi-Bs to its inventory, purchasing them for Adamo to use on the tour and recognizing the future in them with other designers. “I had seen Midi-Bs online then in person at LDI,” recalled Jake Tickle, Bandit’s Vice President of Business & Innovation. “The Midi-Bs seem to widen the stage and make everything look bigger.

We posted a video of them on Instagram and in a couple of days we had 80,000 views. No way had we expected that!”  Bandit has since placed a second order for Midi-Bs to meet the needs of other tours requesting them.

Bandit added X-Frames to its roster this year as well, making a heavy investment in the fixtures.  “They are the most feature-rich hybrid fixture in their class,” said Tickle. “They are really impressive as a beam, profile and wash.”

Bandit suggested that Adamo use 16 active Sharpy X-Frames on the rear towers, and “in hindsight, I prefer them over my original request,” said Adamo. “We have torms flanking the stage with 16 ladders that create a great wrap-around feel. The X-Frames wash the stage, frame the band and create aerial effects. Their output is quite remarkable, and I love the breakups, color and prisms.”

Adamo is no stranger to X-Frames, having deployed eight on DMX control lifts upstage for Clark’s New Year’s Eve show at Austin City Limits Live provided by Creative Production & Design, Austin.

“We will definitely use both the Midi-Bs and X-Frames for Gary again,” Adamo reported.  “They are both robust and travel well, and the Midi-Bs are a show stealer, for sure. I’m incredibly impressed by them: They have a good form factor, are a great wash and as eye candy they really glow. They just look so appetizing – they are eye candy in the most literal sense.”

Bringing their skills, hard work and dedication to the tour’s lighting team are Crew Chief Cody Cheatham and L2 Jeff Jann.

“This has been our first time working with John Adamo and Gary Clark, and it’s been an absolute pleasure,” said Tickle. “It’s a stunning show that everyone needs to see!”

Inner Circle Distribution (ICD) is Claypaky’s exclusive US distributor and service network partner.  ICD’s VP of Sales and Marketing Filippo Figeri concluded, “With products like the Midi-B FX and the Sharpy X-Frames, Claypaky is at the forefront of lighting innovation once again, consistently delivering cutting-edge technology. At ICD we are thrilled to support key clients like Bandit Lites and exceptional designers like John Adamo in bringing their creative visions to life. What they have managed to do with the Gary Clark, Jr. tour is truly spectacular!”