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Kris Kristofferson Tribute

Kris Kristofferson Tribute
Kris Kristofferson Tribute

USA – It took almost six years of convincing, but the legendary Kris Kristofferson finally relented to a special show honouring his legacy of songwriting gravitas to country music. What followed was an evening as rich and epic as his prolific career.

The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson took place on March 16th at Bridgestone Arena, where the all-star line-up included Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, Jennifer Nettles, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Alison Krauss, Lady Antebellum, Lee Ann Womack, Buddy Miller, Jamey Johnson, Shooter Jennings, Darius Rucker and Hank Williams, Jr.

Lighting designer Paul Hoffman trusted Bandit Lites to provide the lighting package for the event, which included MAC Vipers, Bandit 5x5s, GLP X4-10 Strips, Eurolight strips, Robe Patt 2013 and MAC 2000 wash fixtures, all controlled by a grandMA 2 Full and grandMA 2 Lite console.

Hoffman took into account the two opposing mediums the show would be featured on, both the live audience and those who would later enjoy the feature on television.

“Those two types of lighting are diametrically opposed,” said Hoffman.

The Vipers provided effect lighting for the audience, while GLP X4-10 strips were placed on the floor to up-light the silver curtain, giving the cameras something to see behind the performers when shooting from the side, eliminating dead space.

Every aspect of the production looked to honour the spirit of Kristofferson, down to the zigzag pattern which Hoffman designed to recreate one of Kristofferson’s prized Native American bone bracelets, created with Eurolight strips on towers, and the Robe Patt 2013s on C stands behind the band, an ‘old standby’ to provide the warm wash light he needed for the show.

“The Mac 2k washes are both economical and they still are great lights for television. LED fixtures can be weird, both on television and for photography, so I didn’t even want to mess with that for this event.”

Just as Kristofferson’s most iconic songs evoke warm, sepia coloured memories, Hoffman looked to elicit the same feeling with the lighting, shaping the trusses to give the illusion of rafters in a barn and the tungsten glow of Eurolight Strips 2 lite DWE’s and Bandit 5x5s.

“From a lighting point of view, this was more of a country, old school look and less of a dynamic light show,” Hoffman explained. “The tungsten fixtures actually were the set, and we left them at a glow for the entire show, never turning them off.”

Bandit’s Dizzy Gosnell commented: “Paul contacted me about being involved in this show and we jumped at it. Knowing that it was going to be a benchmark concert for the music business with a who’s who of artists taking the stage. Paul’s approach was totally on task for the tone of the show, to capture the mood, keep the stage lit and interesting, to look classy, have depth and enable the video department to get the best possible images from any angle that they could; he nailed it.”

Hoffman shared the success of the show was impacted by both by his co-LD Mikey Cummings, whose contribution was significant both in design and operation, and the exceptional work by the Bandit Lites team.

“They were two long days but crew chief Jimmy Murray, Greg Ogne and Chase Bosworth did a great job. Bandit project manager Jimmy Hatten was extremely accommodating with many last minute, eleventh hour changes, and of course, the interminable Dizzy Gosnell was very helpful as always.”

22nd March 2016

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