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Bandit Brings Lights to Widespread Panic’s Halloween Bash
USA – Southern rock band Widespread Panic returned to the road for their annual Halloween extravaganza with a lighting package provided by Bandit Lites. The ten-day tour treated the jam band’s diehard fan base with both Widespread Panic’s own psychedelic songs and covers including Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” (complete with a confetti cannon) that hadn’t been played by the band since 1987.
Each show, long time lighting designer Paul Hoffman faces the daunting task of creating unique looks for a band whose set list is famously decided at the last minute, while still putting out recognisable looks that jive with the music and theme of the show.
“I really do it pulling from a decade of experience lighting them – knowing the music beat-by-beat and note-by-note,” Hoffman said. “I can use the equipment to compliment the mood of the music, being it hard and heavy or smooth and emotive. In recent years, adding video (which I also trigger simultaneously) has helped me underscore those changes.”
To aid with the video additions (a major component to Widespread Panic’s shows) Bandit also recently added Chauvet’s 6.9mm video panels to its touring inventory, allowing Hoffman to use the lighting to collaborate with the spooky theme adding, “Halloween is a great time to have fun with video content.”
While Hoffman didn’t deviate from the band’s fall design that utilised Martin MAC Vipers, Bandit 5x5s and Robe 600s, he did upgrade to GLP X4 fixtures for front light.
“Widespread Panic’s annual Halloween bash has become a fixture in their touring cycle and is always a major hit with their hardcore fans,” said Bandit Lites client representative Dizzy Gosnell. “You never know what songs are going to get thrown in on any given night. Their own catalogue is massive but you’re just as likely to hear songs by Bowie, Prince, Motorhead, Sabbath etc. which totally underscores their musical heritage and abilities.”
Bandit’s crew for the tour included Andy French, Wayne Lotoza and Chase Bosworth with additional support from Bandit project manager Don Lockridge.
“Paul has the very rare talent of being able to make a smaller sized system look massive and varied night by night,” added Gosnell. “His reputation is legendary in the Panic circles and he will often get: “Hey Paul, awesome man!” from punters as they pass by his riser. The three members of Bandit’s crew had the ins and outs for the lights and video trimmed down time-wise so that the load-out was but a mere interruption between: 'Thank you, goodnight!' from the band and a beer on the bus.”
Hoffman referred to working with Bandit as great saying: “My hat’s off to my crew and account reps; I could never do this without them.”
22nd November 2016
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