Boston Tour Carries Vari-Lite Gear
Published Wednesday, August 27, 2008
by Angelia Pinaga

DALLAS, TX – August 27, 2008 - The recordings started back in the 70s in the basement of guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer Tom Scholz. These recordings were the making of a legendary classic rock band that is now a staple of classic rock radio playlists. Today, Boston has one of the top 25 best selling albums of all time.

Boston is currently on its Greatest Hits Tour where many of the venues are sold out. The tour is carrying 30 VL3000™ Spot luminaires and 24 VL3500™ Wash luminaires.

Roll it in. Drop it down. Fly it out. Done. This is the philosophy of Boston Lighting Designer Gregg Maltby. Maltby’s team consists of two lighting technicians: Anthony Doorman and Shawn Gallen. Maltby is all in favor of a no nonsense rig. “I like the fact that the system is easy to get in and easy to put together,” said Maltby.  “I made the rig simple with three straight trusses.”

Maltby supports a rig that saves him time. “When you have to change out lights so often and repair luminaires it robs you of time during the day,” stated Maltby. “I need to put them up and I need for them to work or else the day will be long. VARI-LITE luminaires are really dependable and have worked well. I’ve had nothing but good experiences, no challenges with Vari-Lite products.”

“Occasionally the band enjoys being able to see the audience with sweeps and the smooth and quick pan and tilt functions on the VARI-LITE luminaires performed well for this,” said Maltby. “I used the VARI-LITE gobos in the VL3000 Spot luminaire to break up the light. I didn’t want to blind the audience nor did I want the light to be too harsh.”

The VL3500 Wash luminaires lit the audience. “The VL3500 luminaire is very bright and I need that. The brightness is more than enough and I really like this feature.” The VL3500 Wash luminaire is known for the intensity of light while in the VARI-BRITE™ mode.

Maltby pointed out several critical requirements needed to compose his lighting system. “Usability was definitely key,” said Maltby.

“Selecting a versatile system that I could use everywhere the band played was another concern. If we can’t use the lights everywhere then that lighting system would not work for us.”

The rigging needed to be flexible because Boston plays at a wide variety of venues. “The Vari-Lite luminaires offer flexibility and fit well in any venue,” said Maltby. “The flexibility is really important because our venue type is always changing. For example, we’ve had a few fairs on schedule for this tour. At one of the fairs on the tour schedule I hung eight VL3000 Spot luminaires and placed six on the floor.”

The set design for the tour featured a mock spaceship with working lights including two red LED lights placed on either side which were pseudo-activated by the touch of a band member for the song Cool The Engines. “We wanted the look and feel to appear as though the crowd was looking out from the dashboard of a spaceship,” said Maltby. Scholz is a pilot and MIT graduate so the spaceship idea was put into perspective with the tour’s space theme.

“I’ll definitely reuse this lighting system for our next tour because it is working really well,” said Maltby. “The Vari-Lite product line has the full package and for me it’s the full package that matters.”

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