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Toby Keith Hits Interstates and Tailgates with Bandit Lites
USA – County music superstar Toby Keith knows the power of music, whether he is travelling across the United States, or bringing the music of home to more than 250,000 troops in 17 countries. Bandit Lites provided the lighting package for the CMA Award winner on his Interstates & Tailgates Tour, as he made his way to the fair and festival circuit while still providing the same level of energy that has had his audience raising red solo cups for nearly two decades.
With a larger show heading into these customarily smaller venues, the production team had to carefully consider weight loads.
“The big part of this story is the genius of Bandit’s Mike Golden and Dizzy Gosnell,” said lighting designer Seth Jackson. “They gave me the idea they had about putting lifts into set carts; the lights and everything stayed in the cart. Roll the cart on and crank it up. This was the perfect solution in that this year, Toby had decided to forego the traditional summer amphitheatre run and go to the places that never get shows of his size.”
While other artists may greatly pare down their rig for a festival tour, Bandit supplied Toby Keith more than a hundred fixtures, including Martin MAC Viper Profiles, GLP X4, Claypaky Sharpys, Showline Nitro 510C and Ayrton MagicDot-R fixtures.
“The more you can do from the ground up, the better,” said Jackson. “The final look of the show is much larger than I expected when we got it all together in rehearsals, and the MagicDot pods are magical.”
Previous tours featured lighting director Eddie ‘Bones’ Connell programming the show and running the tour rig while the house technician would busk the venue’s rig, but the fluctuating nature of this run required each show to be original.
“We knew we would never use the same rig twice because we were cloning whatever the festivals and fairs provided along with our gear,” said Connell. “I needed someone very knowledgeable on the MA 2 to make each day go smoothly.”
Bandit’s crew is comprised Nikki Dotson, Cody Cheatham and Alex Gagnon, all of whom Connell describes as “awesome.”
“This year, Alex programmed our show and is extremely knowledgeable on the MA 2,” he said. “She clones all of our shows as well as running some lights with me when we have par cans, and extra 2, 4, 8 light moles at the venues. She really has been awesome to work with and I hope to keep her as long as I can.”
“This organisation is like a second family to me,” said Bandit’s vice president Mike Golden. “We have had the honour of working with Bones, the production team and of course Mr. Keith for many years and they never cease to amaze me with their attitude and professionalism. I especially want to thank Mark Sissel, Ashley Swann and David Milam for their continued faith in Bandit Lites through all these years.”
19th September 2017
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