NEW YORK – Rock and roll never dies; neither do rock and roll dreams, although sometimes they may take an extended hiatus while “adult responsibilities” are looked after. Such was the case for New York attorney Charles Bonfante. In the ’80s and early ’90s, the Long Island native was the drummer for a number of touring rock bands. Then adulthood happened; so did law school, followed by a successful career as an attorney. Now Bonfante has traveled full circle, forming a band and reliving his rock road warrior experience with help from something that wasn’t available back in the day: a collection of high-output lighting fixtures (primarily LEDs) from CHAUVET Professional.
Bonfante’s group, Reservoir Dogs, is a Pink tribute band that has been wowing audiences with a dynamic lighting rig consisting of 32 Rogues and a variety of other CHAUVET Professional fixtures supplied by The Design Oasis of Davie, Florida.
“Last go around, when I was touring the country, playing clubs in the late ’80s and early ’90s, we didn’t have a lighting rig… because basically there was no lighting by today’s standards,” he said. “When I decided to return to music, figuring I still had one more rodeo left in me, I wanted to do it with a killer show that included an over-the-top lightshow, because this is what people expect today. I had no interest whatsoever in returning to music with yet another forgettable band, especially since we are a tribute to Pink, who is such an incredibly energetic and visual artist.”
After visiting the LDI Show and touring the CHAUVET Professional booth, Bonfante contacted The Design Oasis, which provided him with a rig that includes six Rogue R1 Beams, 12 Rogue R1 Spots, four Rogue R2 Beams, 10 Rogue R2 Spots, six Vesuvio RGBA foggers, four Strike 324 par-style fixtures, three Strike 882 panels, 10 COLORdash Par-Quad 7 fixtures and two COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tours.
“We have a big rig,” said Bonfante, who still practices law, in addition to playing drums in Reservoir Dogs. “The lights are critical to our entertainment package as a tribute band. We put on a multi-media show and the lights are a huge part of what we offer.”
Typically, the COLORdash and COLORado fixtures on the Reservoir Dogs’ rig will be mounted on upstage truss along with most of the Rogue Spots and Beams to create excitement on stage and engage the crowd with audience lighting. The remainder of the Rogue fixtures and some of the Strike fixtures will be positioned on the stage deck to either side of the band.
“We like to immerse the band in light,” said Bonfante. “We do a lot with beams crossing the stage, and we also like to use the Rogues to spot different members of the band at different points in our performance. They deserve the attention, since they are all very talented and dedicated artists, and charismatic performers.”
In addition to Bonfante on drums, the band includes lead singer Charli Latoven, lead guitarist Steve Massa, guitarist/keyboardist Andy Putman, bass player Duane Lozada, and singer/keyboardist Lance Millard, as well as backup singers Jevonnah Mayo and Jillian Marie.
“We’ve been having a lot of fun as a group and are super excited to hit the club, theater and casino circuits,” said Bonfante, who notes that Reservoir Dogs recently performed at Long Island’s Pinktie.org fundraiser, which raised over $300,000 for breast cancer research. “It feels great to be out on stage again, and with the lighting rig that we have now, it’s even more exciting than it used to be.”