Midland – on the road again
USA - Country music group Midland is out on the road with a lighting system provided by Bandit Lites. Comprised of Mark Wystrach (lead vocals, guitar), Jess Carson (guitar, vocals), and Cameron Duddy (bass guitar, vocals), Midland’s neotraditional country sound has led to their three studio albums resulting in seven singles landing on the Billboard country chart.
With two years of touring with Midland under his belt, lighting designer Drew Lombana was confident in his ability to both create something that was as unique as the trailblazing country band as well as his aptitude to ascertain their lighting preferences: avoid fixture pixels, pointless eye candy and instead focus on using lights to compliment the story within the music, and not simply the music itself.
“We determined a design that hid itself well was crucial, with the exception of the Circa Scoops,” he said. “I knew the Scoops weren’t just a light source; they are a set piece in and of themselves. Due to their bold design and size, I was able to get away with a static forward-facing fixture while allowing every other fixture to disappear into the truss and pipe.”
Bandit Lites provided a system composed of Chauvet Maverick MK 3 Spots, Martin Sceptron VDO 10-1000mm, Martin Sceptron VDO 10-320mm, Martin Atomic Bold, Mega Lite Circa Scoop LED, Mega Lite Circa Scoop XL LED and TMB Solaris Flare Q+Rayzr as well as a grandMA2 full-console for control.
“The Circa Scoop XL’s allowed me to have a ton of fun and create an enormous variety of looks; it was like being taught how to play a different instrument,” said Lombana.
On seeing the Rayzr Q+ on the Bandit lit Carrie Underwood tour, Lombana was eager to harness it within his own design. With its slim profile and powerful punch, it can go undetected within the system until he turns them on. “They are fun to programme, bright and were used for some texture, blinds, and general audience abuse,” he shared. “They were always utilised in the biggest moments I could make.”
Bandit Lites client representative Mike Stanley spec’d Atomic Bolds in response to Lombana’s request for a simple RGBW PAR that could be used for back and side lighting, and while Lombana was initially hesitant due to their weight, he soon found himself won over due to their functionality and unmatched quality.
“I ended up being able to use them for so much more,” he said. “Due to budget and space constraints, I never spec’d strobes for Midland because they’re not the kind of band that would benefit from a dedicated strobe fixture because the songs necessitating it were few and far between. Being able to use the strobe cluster as a genuine hard white flash was a sweet bonus feature from these fixtures that allowed the songs that strobe was appropriate for to reach that level of having all the bells and whistles on your rig.
“The biggest game changer was being able to keep the Rayzrs on their pipes and clamp them to the top of the GT truss caps, using the caps as makeshift meat racks. Scott Wesson was also enormously helpful with finding us the proper hardware to utilize to get everything on a 2” pipe and in a box that could be clamped, stacked and packed any way we liked.”

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