Features

Two Designers, One Stage
Lighting Designers Share the Stage on the Diverse City Worldwide Tour
 
Published Wednesday, August 17, 2005
by Bryan Matthews

It’s the sold-out DIVERSE CITY WORLDWIDE TOUR with two premier headlining musical acts, but only one stage and two lighting designers with two separate visions. For this uplifting nationwide tour featuring the multi-award winning combination of Audio Adrenaline and tobyMac, lighting designers Jeff Lava and Matt Waldner had to develop a unified lighting design that would be effective for both performances. Utilizing a complete lighting package from Bandit Lites, the two worked superbly together to bring this inspirational tour to life.

"Matt and I had to put our heads together and come up with a design that would work for the both of us," said Audio Adrenaline lighting designer Jeff Lava. "We had to pack everything in one truck, so we were very limited, but the fun part of it is we had to think outside the box."

"It was a challenging project," stated tobyMac lighting designer Matt Waldner. "We needed to have a lighting rig that could fit into small venues and not look small in bigger venues. We ended up with five revisions of the design before we found one that could fulfill both of our needs and budgets."

The VARI*LITE portion of the complete lighting package, supplied by Bandit Lites, for the Diverse City Worldwide Tour, consisted of 10 - VL2500™ spot luminaires.

"Working with Jeff Lava and Matt Waldner was a great pleasure," said Bandit Lites vice president Richard Willis. "We had never worked with Matt before, and in my experience working with Jeff, he always pushes the envelope on design with his ability to constantly think outside the box. He is a specialist at making a few select lights look huge. His talent lies in unusual light placement, odd angles, and the surprise "wow" factor."

With a complete lighting package and stock hang now in place, Lava and Waldner had to develop their own unique designs for the performances. Audio Adrenaline is a dynamic rock-n-roll band, while hip-hop and rap influence the illustrious tobyMac. The lighting designs had to be able to showcase the different styles while utilizing the same gear.

"Audio Adrenaline is a great rock band and they love it bright with lots of colors. The band also loves to see the crowd during the show. So I was looking for bright spot fixtures with fantastic color mixing abilities." said Lava.

"tobyMac is a very high energy act. I try to keep the energy moving with the lighting as well," continued Waldner. "There are many different points throughout the show where we use lighting to highlight or emphasize particular portions of the show. The show is constantly changing. It’s important for me to keep up with all the changes."

Since the designers would be using the same lights to achieve different looks and feels of the concerts, the lighting instruments for the tour had to be flexible and diverse in their capabilities. They needed to be able to capture and fulfill the individualized intricacies that both designers were looking for, so choosing the correct lights to accomplish these nuances was an important task that both designers took seriously.

"Bandit Lites offered me the VL2500™ spot luminaire for the tour. When I saw it in action I was floored," confessed Lava. "So we are using the VL2500™ spot luminaire for its great optics. In the venues that we play they pack a great punch. "

"There are a lot of different types of lighting on the market. They all have different strengths and weaknesses," added Waldner. I generally need fast moving fixtures to keep up with the show, and I find the VL2500™ spot to be one of the fastest moving fixtures in its class. Not only the head movement but the color mixing and gobo wheels as well."

Lava continued, "Going from churches to arenas to festivals the VL2500™ spot is a great output light. When you want it to hit a cue in the dark they make their mark. It is the perfect fixture

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