Kenny Rogers Bids Farewell with Bandit Lites
It was an evening of memories, music, and celebration as Kenny Rogers celebrated his retirement from an incredibly illustrious career. Bandit Lites provided the lighting for Blackbird Presents, "All In for the Gambler: Kenny Rogers' Farewell Concert Celebration," a one-night only send-off to one of music's most successful artists of all time.
In a recorded production to be televised at a later date, the music industry's finest, including Kris Kristofferson, Chris Stapleton, Alison Krauss, Lady Antebellum, Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Lionel Richie, Idina Menzel, The Flaming Lips, and Little Big Town performed the hits of Rogers, before the evening culminated in legendary duet partner Dolly Parton taking the stage with Rogers himself.
Lighting designer Mark Carver crafted a lighting look that would match the Gambler's classic style while creating looks that would translate the feel of the live show to those who would eventually view the production at on television.
"The producers were looking for a contemporary yet classy look to go along with the feel of the evening," Carver explained. "The creative team used a LED video wall to provide content and themes for each song. It was our job to be in sync with both our color palette and attention to tempo."
Carver utilized Claypaky B-EYE K20 fixtures for color toning, with Martin by Harman MAC Viper providing texture and Sharpys giving the hard edge beam looks.
"The Robe Patt 2017 and truss tower fixtures were used for video camera cross shot eye-candy," said Carver. "The goal was to translate the audience experience of the event to the video product."
Bandit Lites supplied Robe PATT 2017, Martin MAC Viper Profiles, VL 3500 Spots, GLP X4S luminaires, Claypaky B-EYE K20, Claypaky Sharpys, Robe Pointes, Martin MAC Auras, SunStrips along with Bandit's exclusive GRNLite Moving Washes and both an MA Lighting grandMA2 Full and grandMA2 lite consoles for control.
"The Kenny Rogers Farewell has a special meaning to me, as Bandit and I personally started out with Kenny Rogers as a client when he moved into country music in 1976. Bandit was only eight years old then," said Bandit chair and founder, Michael T. Strickland. "I met Kenny as he played a small showroom in Las Vegas, and he assured me he would go onto be a major star."
"The late Keith Fowler, the biggest country promoter in those days, also met Kenny and believed in him. Shortly thereafter Kenny was indeed the biggest artist in the world and Bandit and I were a proud part of his show. I traveled many years with Kenny and was his lighting director and provided his lighting, staging, and trucking. Kenny has been a client over the last 41 years, and to be able to close out the book with Jeff Metter, his current and longtime lighting designer, was a treat. Working with Mark Carver as the television lighting director was the final piece of the puzzle. Kenny was the first worldwide act Bandit worked with, and our history would have been very different without Kenny as a friend and a client. The 'big time' journey began in 1976 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Tarrant County Convention Center, and we completed the journey at Bridgestone Arena with this show. Keith Fowler, Keith Bugos, CK Spurlock, Garth Shaw, Debbie Cross, Ken Kragen, Gene and Gerald Roy, and a number of other people were all involved in the early days, and I simply want to thank all of them for the friendship and opportunity. I am not sure they would have given us that chance had they all known I was only 20 years old! I had the pleasure of spending the day with Kenny and crew in April of this year and it was a magic day. Thank you, Kenny and company, for a great, long run my friend!"
Carver credits the success of the show to the phenomenal team, including board op/lighting director Andre Petrus, gaffer George "Buddy" Lunn, and Bandit's crew comprised of John Lucksinger, Andy French, Adam McIntosh, Michelle Saintey, Brenna Rae, Cody Cheatham, Vanessa Sexton, and Gabe Hodge.
"Bandit's team of techs, along with Michael Golden and project manager Matt King, did an amazing job on prep and delivering the show," said Carver. "The techs on site were able to get a huge show installed in a short amount of time; I praise them for pulling off this incredible feat."