Toby Keith – back on the Vegas Strip
USA - Toby Keith recently returned to the Las Vegas stage with three sold out shows at Dolby Live at Park MGM this December. The two-hour performance featured a lighting system designed by The Darkroom Creative and provided in part by Bandit Lites. Keith was recently honoured with the Country Icon Award at the People’s Choice Awards and released his 100% Songwriter album in November to critical acclaim.
Lighting designer Seth Jackson of The Darkroom Creative shared the news of the performances was unveiled on a call with just 45 days to prepare, as well as instructions that load in would be the day of the show, with no rehearsal and no tech. None of this phased anyone, as all parties were ready to make this show happen.
“At the end of the day, the inspiration was Toby,” said Jackson. “He is fiercely loyal to all of us, and nobody hesitated for a moment to drop everything and come running.”
“We're exceptionally proud of the relationship we've built with Toby over the years,” said The Darkroom Creative lighting designer Nate Alves. “Not only because of the work we've made together, but because of the character of the organisation. From Toby and his management team to David Milam his tour manager, and on to Bones Connell and the rest of the road staff, along with the entire Bandit team both in the office and on the road, this is a first-rate group of partners to work with on a tour. That doesn't happen by accident, and we are humbled and grateful to be included in this team.”
To streamline the process, the team utilized the existing basics of the design for the side-lined Country Comes to Town Tour since it had only been seen by a handful of cities 19 months before.
“Next up, thanks to the great staff at the MGM Park, we used every piece of equipment they had in inventory,” explained Jackson. “This gave us a substantial amount of Robe Forte and Esprite fixtures to add into our Bandit system. Carter Hopkins took the reins and was able to integrate all the various pieces into the system and help us create a cohesive system that looked like we had been doing it for years this way.”
Bandit Lites supplied Tyler Truss, GLP JDC-1 Strobes, Elation CuePix WW4 Blinders, Chauvet Rogue R2X Washes, Chauvet Nexux 4x4, Chauvet Maverick MK3 Spots and ROBE Pointes.
With a challenging timeline, all the gear scattered and the pressure to deliver a flawless return to the stage to someone immensely cared about, Jackson revealed, “This was all about the Bandit team.”
“Everyone stepped up to the challenge,” he said. “Project manager Don Lockridge and VP of business and innovation Jake Tickle pulled all the original plots and plans and started getting it reassembled. Carter started cleaning the show file and adding the new elements. The shop coordinated with Toby’s team to get all the custom set carts reassembled, and Mike Golden was able to coordinate all the various gear elements into place.”
“Being at Toby’s first show back in years was an amazing moment for all of us.” said Bandit founder Michael T. Strickland Strickland. “Sammy Hagar, a long time Bandit client and dear friend of Toby showed up to introduce Toby as well as close out the show on guitar,” finished Strickland. “There is nothing better than hearing Toby and Sammy delivering a blistering version of Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold.

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