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Midland Brings Bandit Lites on Tour
USA – American country band Midland is back on the road bringing their steel guitar-driven country-rock sound on a headlining tour with a lighting system provided by Bandit Lites. The trio, consisting of Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson and Cam Duddy, just released their EP The Last Resort to critical acclaim.
Lighting director Keaton Lovell had worked with the band when they were touring as an opening act, but for this run, production manager Kris Heinold directed Lovell to focus on keeping the lighting ‘moody.’
“When I sat down to program, I intently and deeply listened to the songs to look for those moody moments while keeping it fun, energetic and entertaining on other upbeat songs,” said Lovell.
“With a wide array of headlining and support dates, Kris knew what he wanted as he started his 2021 advance for Midland,” explained Bandit Lites client representative Shawn Lear. “The lighting system had to be adaptable, easy to strike and provide a spectacular visual enhancement of Midland’s music.”
Bandit Lites supplied a lighting system comprised of Chauvet Rogue R2X placed downstage for side wash offer the moody vibes, as well as placed mid stage for eye candy and flash hits, Elation CuePix WW2 blinders, ROBE CycFX 8 for up lighting the backdrop, creating extra scenes and effects to generate some really cool looks over the bands head and backlight silhouettes, as well as Elation Smarty Hybrids for big looks with gobos and prisms as well as most of the beam looks.
“The entire rig has really neat fixtures,” Lovell shared. “The Smarty Hybrids are cool because they do big looks and beams; Rogue R2 and ROBE CycFX 8 and the way I created looks with them being instanced and able to create rings or use half the cells really helped to add another layer than a fixture just being on and one colour.”
Lovell had just one week to program the show and was proud of the end result, sharing, “My motto is, ‘If the guys are happy, I’m happy,’ because it is their show at the end of the night, not mine.”
Lovell took a floor package and transformed the lighting into an efficient design that could fit venues ranging from The Ryman to intimate clubs, rolling on and off stages with ease.
“We needed something that could adapt with the venues we were going into,” explained Heinold. “The best feature was Bandit Lites’ Shawn Lear and Don Lockridge coming together with us to design a wheel system for our stage poles, that way on festivals or direct support runs, we could roll the whole system off the stage in a very short amount of time.”
Lovell echoed Heinold’s praise of Bandit, specifically the staff’s friendly interactions and willingness to help with a tight deadline to program, including making the rig totally available and partnering Craig Richter with him on console support.
“Keaton spent a week at Bandit’s rehearsal facility, Venue One, with the lighting system completely set up to pre-program most of Midland’s catalogue of tunes,” said Lear. “This helped balance time on site between load-in and updating his pre-sets for show. His familiarity with the band and their music allowed for well-timed playback of both subtle cues and excitement during the performance.”
“I am grateful for everyone there,” said Lovell of Bandit. “I and am so glad to see our industry coming back, techs getting to go back to work and doing what we love. Shawn Lear and Don Lockridge have been excellent making sure we are taken care of and getting us what we need. They worked with me the week I programmed and made sure I was comfortable. The techs are always willing to help us load and unload our trailers in between breaks; I greatly appreciate them and the attention to the prep they do, not just on our tour, but every tour I see them prep when I’m there.”
“Kris was able to perceive the obvious trajectory of Midland’s growth and popularity, taking them to the next level all while staying disciplined in production for this year,” said Lear. “I am excited to see what everyone involved with this production does next!”
11th August 2021
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