The European leg kicks off on 28 April in Barcelona
USA - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band kicked off their 2023 World Tour in February in Tampa, Florida, with lighting design by long-time collaborator and Emmy-winning designer Jeff Ravitz.
Ravitz, who has been with Springsteen since the Born in the USA tour in 1984/85, chose a selection of Elation Professional lights for the current tour, including luminaires from the company’s IP65 Proteus series. Lighting supply is by Christie Lites.
The 2023 tour marks the first time since 2017 that Springsteen & the E Street Band have toured together. As part of an overall lighting system, Ravitz is using Elation’s Proteus Hybrid moving heads and newly released Proteus Rayzor 1960 LED wash/mid-air/specialty effect lights, along with Proteus Rayzor 760 for stadium shows. The rig also features Elation Cuepix 16 IP LED matrix blinder and effect panels, and compact Smarty Hybrid moving heads.
According to Ravitz, a Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band concert must be crafted with both maximum power and maximum flexibility in mind. “There is a lot of creative territory to cover, considering Bruce’s broad catalogue of songs,” he comments with reference to the artist’s 50+ years in music, 21 studio albums and legion of hits. “But the fundamental approach is to create impactful stage pictures that carry the audience through the music, lyrics, and Bruce’s and the band’s high energy performance.
“The aesthetic is driven by the idea that we sculpt each band member out of the darkness in a way that’s right for every song, and then surround them with a strong color statement that is my/our impression of what feels in alignment with the sounds, words and rhythms. All of this is punctuated by keeping pace with the tempo and musical hits. Finally, a healthy dose of fun slathered over the top of it all.”
Ravitz says there were many features he was looking for when choosing his lighting rig but that his search started with the need for IP65-rated fixtures. “I knew the show was moving outdoors and I wanted to plan for that even though we didn’t need that capability for the arena shows played at the start of the tour,” he said. “The Proteus line was appealing because I knew we would be subjected to lots of rain during the stadium tour. And the fact that they’re terrific lights didn’t hurt!” The designer says this is his first use of Proteus lights in an outdoor setting, although he says he has used them indoors on a couple of TV shows.
The lighting over the stage consists of three primary trusses - upstage, mid-stage, downstage - plus a truss further downstage and a follow spot truss that hangs about thirty feet from the downstage edge. There are also side trusses right and left. For the arena shows, four trusses, each at a 45-degree angle to the room, hang from the four corners of the venue.
Ravitz has the Proteus Rayzor 1960s with their 19 x 60W RGBW LEDs trimmed high over the audience on the four corner trusses. “They are used to duplicate and extend our over-stage washes to the farthest reaches of the building - to stretch the look of the stage and lighting to the walls,” he said. “I like the 1960s because of their larger size—a good look for high trims and stadiums - substantial output, and good color. A bit less of a priority for this specific show, but still important were the effects it can do, both with individual LED pixel control and the SparkLED.”
Since the show is sold in a 360-degree configuration, there is audience everywhere - front, behind and to the sides of the stage. Ravitz comments, “To highlight them and bring the entire crowd into the performance space, we have Cuepix 16 IPs on every truss that has a clean shot to the audience: back, sides, front and the four corner trusses. That gives us a lot of coverage.” He says he landed on the Cuepix 16 IP after an exhaustive search for the right audience light for the show. “Their smooth field, clean look, good colour and fun pixel effects convinced me.”
Eight Proteus Hybrids on the floor, offstage - four per side - are used to provide accents and strong beamage and air graphics from a normally dark corner of the stage area. “This, like the 1960s, also widens the appearance of the stage,” Ravitz said. “The Proteus Hybrids are true beasts with enough output to cut through any amount of ambient light, even if gobo’d, or in deep colour.”
Finally, four Smarty Hybrids work from on the offstage corners of the far downstage runway, which is a full cross-stage run that drops down one foot below the main stage. Ravitz remarks that he needed a smaller light to work in harmony with the Proteus Hybrids to do air fans and moves, “but not be a big, bulky fixture.”
The European leg, which kicks off on 28 April in Barcelona, marks the start of the outdoor stadium tour and according to Ravitz the show grows substantially. The European package mirrors the North American with the addition of several more Proteus Hybrids, Rayzor 1960s and Cuepixes, and the introduction of the Proteus Rayzor 760s to the setup.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s 2023 tour plays U.S. dates through 14 April followed by European shows until 25 July before returning to North America for a fall leg. The tour is scheduled to conclude on 10 December, 2023, in San Francisco.

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