OMAHA – A really good thing about touring with a band like Lettuce is that you never quite know what to expect. Masters of weaving influences from jazz and funk into their own distinctive sound, the chart-topping sextet takes off on a joyful musical romp every show, pulling in sounds from all sorts of directions, and providing their Fall Tour LD with an incredible busking opportunity in the process.
Tucker Wilde, the LD for Lettuce on their current fall tour, values the creative challenge of keeping up with the band’s free-wheeling style. He also appreciates another benefit that comes from working with an iconic group that plays at prime live music venues: the opportunity to work with some great house rigs.
This point was driven home to Wilde recently when Lettuce appeared at Omaha’s Slowdown club, and he encountered CHAUVET Professional Rogue R3 Spot fixtures for the first time. “I really enjoyed walking into a room with some new fixtures to try,” he said. “We have a great touring floor package, but I really rely on festival/house rigs for flown spots and profile fixtures. This was the first time I have had an opportunity to use the Rogue R3 Spot, and I really enjoyed them.”
Wilde made full use of the six Rogue R3 Spot units that were flown on center stage truss at the club, relying on the 300W LED fixture’s static and rotating gobos, along with its split colors, to serve up a variety of different looks. “Per my general style, I really like to punt shows and build color and FX cues with the band as I learn the music,” he said. “The power and versatility of the R3 had a great impact on my show!
“I was also pleasantly surprised with the strength of the R3,” continued Wilde. “I could tell immediately that its vivid focus and colors were going to work well with my tour package. It filled the gap perfectly for me, as I rely on houses/festivals for spot fixtures above the band. I liked the gobo wheel, and a prism is always a nice feature to discover.”
Color played a key role in helping Wilde change the mood of his lightshow. Aiding him in this regard were the color-rendering capabilities of the six Rogue R2 Wash fixtures that were also in the house rig. He used Rogue R2 Wash units to wash the stage in a variety of hues, sometimes monochromatically, to evoke different associations for his client’s music.
“I got the opportunity to light Lettuce this fall, and one of the things that has really impressed me about these guys is the level of pure musicianship and care they put into their work,” said Wilde. “The amount of time these guys have spent together creating amazing music has made it a fun, but challenging, opportunity learning their sound. Personally, I love funk, jazz etc., so it’s a real treat for me that way too. The look or feel of Lettuce can be summed up in one word, ‘vibey,’ which means color and intensity are paramount. The guys prefer a darker stage, are super engaged and like to feel like they’re really a part of the audience. As an LD it is a rewarding challenge for me, and maintaining a darker stage opens up different opportunities to introduce light for a visual effect to match that of the music.”
Meeting this challenge was especially fun for Wilde at Slowdown in Omaha. “I was really happy with how this show went,” he said. “The house and the crew there were great.” Apparently, he was pretty happy with the rig too.