PILTON, UK – When the genre-hoping Grammy Award winning band, The Mavericks stopped at the Glastonbury Festival during their 30th Anniversary World Tour, their LD Landon Bloss did what he always does on fly dates: he walked over to look at the lighting rig that he would be running later that day.
Approaching the festival’s Acoustic Stage from a distance, Bloss was impressed with the looks the festival LD was conjuring up with some large spots. “I thought for sure, given how bright their output was, that they were 1700w arc lamp fixtures,” said the Nashville-based designer. “So, I was completely surprised when I learned that these fixtures actually had LED engines.”
Ironically, the fixtures that astonished Bloss shared the name of the band he lights. They were Mavericks, or more precisely 16 Maverick MK3 Spot and 18 Maverick MK3 Wash fixtures from CHAUVET Professional supplied by Fineline Lighting.
For Bloss, his first impression of the Maverick fixtures proved to be well-founded. This was evident as soon as he sat down at his console. “The challenges I encountered at Glastonbury were what any LD faces when walking into a festival on the day of the show,” he said. “You have very limited time on the console with the rig before the show starts. The only time I had to patch, clone, and focus positions was the two 30-minute set changes before we went on. The MK3s were easy fixtures to figure out. They cloned into my rig seamlessly.”
Having integrated the fixtures into his show, Bloss proceeded to rattle the Acoustic Stage with some ferociously powerful looks that mixed big beams, deep intense colors, a bold backdrop and well-placed audience lighting to pull the crowd into his clients’ hard-driving performance.
“With Glastonbury being such an important festival, I wanted to make the light show look as large as possible,” said Bloss. “It may have been called ‘The Acoustic Stage,’ but with The Mavericks being a 9-piece band full of rock n’ roll and screaming electric guitars, I had to make the lighting fit – so there was nothing “acoustic” about my show!”
Bloss credits his Maverick fixtures with helping him create an array looks during his client’s festival set, moving from “beautiful soft effects, then a few songs later strobing every fixture I have on dueling electric guitars.”
The 16 Maverick MK3 Spot fixtures in Bloss’ rig were flown six on the mid-stage truss, and six on the upstage truss, with four positioned on the floor for aerial looks. His 18 MK3 Wash units were flown six apiece on upstage, mid-stage and down-stage truss.
“What was most surprising to me about the MK3 was its power and output,” said Bloss. “But output isn’t that important if the fixtures you’re using aren’t backed with awesome effects and truly saturated colors. The MK3 Spot has great CMY and CTO color mixing, a CRI filter, and an impressively quick 9:1 zoom. On top of that, it delivers enough power to knock out any other fixture. All of this from a LED engine — so yes I was extremely impressed.”
Bloss relied on the Maverick MK3 Spot units in his rig to create some large gobo looks. “It was really a lot of fun to use these fixtures,” he said. “They have plenty of power, so when you put a gobo in and zoom it all the way to 54 degrees, you can create some really powerful larger than life beam looks. They also maintained a flat field of focus even when fully zoomed out. “
The MK3 Spot and MK3 Wash helped Bloss create color combinations that conveyed the deeper moods of his client’s music. “The spot gave me very nice saturated and full dark colors looked. Frankly, on lot of fixtures you lose most of the intensity when you put in full red. Not the case here – these fixtures had enough power to make even darker colors look very intense. The washes were also great for painting color on the band, the audience, and the backdrop.”
The backdrop itself played a key role in Bloss’ stage presentation. Created for The Mavericks’ 30th Anniversary World Tour, it features an impressive design made up of every instrument the band typically has on stage. These images are all tied into a sugar skull and a large marking of the number 30.
“It was important to make our backdrop pop,” said Bloss, “The MK3s did this and everything else I asked of them. As a designer, you never know what kind of fixtures you’re going to encounter on a world tour like this. Sometimes this results in some really great discoveries like it did for me at Glastonbury.”