Bandit backs Widespread Panic spectacle
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
wp-nola-timmermans-2Widespread Panic in New Orleans
USA - Audience members had no idea what they were in for as they entered the UNO Lakefront Arena of The University of New Orleans for the first of Widespread Panic’s three-night performance. Coupled with the Halloween tradition of the band playing songs that have never graced their stage before, everyone involved is on their toes, and none more so than long-time lighting designer Paul Hoffman.
“The band’s dynamic range is broad spanning hard rock to emotive ballads and stops at every station in between - so I need to be able to serve all those needs - often taking a more theatrical approach to the emotionally heavier music,” Hoffman says. “Because of the breadth here, flexibility and dynamic versatility are my best friends.”
For this year’s iteration where the stage was outfitted in an Andy Kaufman theme, complete with miniature wrestling ring, New York taxicab and office and Christmas tree. Hoffman utilized Robe BMFL Spots as the primary profile fixture, as well as GLP X4, X4S, X4 Bar 20, Martin Sceptrons and VL 500s.
“I consider these “best of breed” in their specific fixture categories and although many say the VL500s are reaching end of life, I still love them,” adds Hoffman.
“Paul’s love of the ‘heritage’ range of VL gear is pretty well known inside Bandit,” comments Bandit Lites production manager, Dizzy Gosnell. “Added to that we had another tour in the same time frame in 2019 also looking for VL500’s kind of made us smile.”
This year’s touring schedule was comprised of a series of one-offs, allowing the lighting rig to go back to the Bandit shop between weekends, giving Hoffman more opportunities to tailor the rig for each venue.
“This rig has been very flexible and fluid throughout this year, bolt on a bit here, saw off a bit there for the different legs, but the rig still looked huge and impressive and fit well under 53’ of truck,” concludes Gosnell.
(Jim Evans)

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