Elation Smarty lights Alter Bridge US tour
Friday, 20 March 2020
Alter Bridge completed their latest US tour in February (photo: Chuck Brueckmann)
USA - Rock band Alter Bridge wrapped up a four-week tour of U.S. cities in late February with lighting designer Joshua Light directing a Bandit Lites-supplied lighting system that included Elation’s Smarty Hybrid moving head.
Light adopted key aspects of a design created by the late Joe Eager for the band’s 2019 European tour, a large five-truck show that included profile and beam fixtures.
For the US tour’s trimmed set-up however (the band has always been more popular in Europe), Light needed a more compact package and combining fixture types in a single hybrid fixture was the way to go.
“I was looking for something that could replace the profile and beam fixtures of the earlier tour,” Light said, “a hybrid light that could handle all the work of those two fixtures yet didn’t have the hotspot that other hybrids on the market have. My original fixture choice was too large to ride in the truss so Bandit suggested the Smarty’s, which are a more compact fixture. I took a look at the specs and decided to give them a go.”
The CMY Smarty’s spot/beam/wash capabilities with zoom ability in all three modes makes for a versatile unit. “The main requirement was to get beam and profile looks out of the same fixture,” Light explains. “As I got to playing with them at Bandit, I discovered I could get a lot of nice eye candy looks out of them so I ended up flipping them into the audience a lot to get some cool profile looks that weren’t just pure backlight.” The ability to create those eye-candy looks was a key visual boost to the design as LED video was cut from the spec after the European tour.
Working from four 10ft truss towers with additional Smartys on the floor across the backline and on the drum riser, Light utilised the fixture’s multiple modes with quick transitions between gobos, beams or frost wash looks to keep the looks dynamic.
“There were a couple of moments where I went from backlight with the frost in to flipping over to a gobo with clean focus, or switched from gobo breakups to beam looks,” he said. “When I went from a gobo look to a beam look it faded out nice and smooth, which I was impressed with.” To keep things fresh, Light accessed other features of the fixture like the multi-facet prisms. “I did some of the audience looks with the prism in, which kept it pretty without being quite as intense as the gobos and added to the variety of looks.”
The LD says that along with its compact size and multi-functionality, the Smarty was also a good fit for the budget. “It was a happy coincidence that all those factors came together and I ended up with a fixture that I really enjoyed. I was totally happy with them.”
(Jim Evans)

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