Designer Chris Lisle depends upon 45 VL3000 Spot luminaires supplied by Bandit Lites
Published Thursday, April 18, 2013
by Philips Vari-Lite

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As the reigning CMA and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year award-winner Miranda Lambert’s “Locked and Reloaded” Tour set out across North America, it was her 4th headlining tour to date and her largest ever produced. So when the production meetings began, lighting designer Chris Lisle was asked to create a dynamic design to compliment the fiery personality of one of the hottest acts in Country Music today. To accomplish this, Lisle turned to trusted tour vendor Bandit Lites who supplied him with 45 high-powered VL3000 Spot luminaires from Philips Vari-Lite.

“I started working with Miranda in 2005 and the show has definitely grown over all the previous tours which has allowed me to have a great toy box with more lighting tools at my disposal,” began Lisle. “Creatively my main goal is to always compliment her performance with the visuals and she is a very active performer who likes to go out there and have a lot of fun. For ‘Locked and Reloaded’ I had to design a rig that could keep up with her, that she can have fun with, that would have movement to it, and a rig that could go big. That’s why I chose the VL3000 Spot luminaires.”

During the nine months of the production design, Lisle encountered a few new twists and turns. The new set was comprised of a 60’ x 40’ stage with a custom-made plexiglas guitar thrust out in front of the main stage. While overall it would be a mostly front light rig with curved truss, they also created three sets of “chandeliers”. The “chandeliers” were constructed of 10’ circle truss inside 15’ circle truss with a mirror ball in the middle of both, and they would hang across the upstage area flying in at different times and at varying heights. Arch truss was then hung downstage to frame the new video screen and create depth in the design. So when looking at which lighting instruments to place into the design to help him overcome the new challenges, Lisle knew that power would be the key.

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“The main characteristic I needed from the lighting was punch,” Lisle explained. “I had to find instruments that could punch through at 35 feet because we have a lot of video and being able to cut through that with light is very important to me. I knew I wanted spot fixtures both above and behind the band and then I also knew that I wanted to incorporate some sort of distinct beam light that could give us great aerial visuals. Our long-time vendor for Miranda is Bandit Lites so we looked at their fixtures that could meet my needs and we decided upon 45 VL3000 Spot luminaires.”

“I am very proud to be associated with the Miranda Lambert organization,” added Mike Golden, Bandit Lites Vice President. “I have known Chris and production manager Todd Ortmeier for over 20 years, and I am very much honored to work with these great people. The design, planning and operation of that tour are beyond stunning. My hat’s off to the entire team.”

The VL3000 Spot luminaire features CYM color mixing, variable CTO color temperature correction, a six-position color wheel, three gobo/effects wheels, a beam size iris and separate dimmer and ultra-fast strobe mechanisms. With its 20,000 lumens of output and 6:1 zoom optics, the VL3000 Spot has undeniably become an industry favorite that has set new standards for imagery, beam control, color and brightness in automated spot luminaires.

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“This is the main fixture that I really count on for this tour,” concluded Lisle. “The VL3000 Spot always has great optics to really cut through video walls, the zoom is amazing, and the color mixing is very nice with rich and saturated colors. I have the fixtures spread out across the entire stage and they are all very reliable so we can count on them out on the road. Our lighting crew headed by lighting director Craig Richter and crew chief Dave Butzler works very hard to get the show up-and-down, night-after-night, and the last thing they want to do is fix lights during their downtime. With the VL3000 Spot we don’t have to worry about that and they make the show look great.”

Photo Credit: Blu Sanders

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