Past Press

Chris tomlin shines with bandit lites and forge designs

November 26, 2018 | Category: Print

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Grammy winning artist Chris Tomlin recently wrapped a fall Canadian tour with a lighting package crafted by Forge Designs and provided by Bandit Lites. The tour preceded the release of Tomlin’s newest album Holy Roar and, as with all his endeavors, worked to act as a conduit of worship to audiences, an effort the team at Forge Designs matched in their design process.

“How many times have you been to or seen a concert, TV performance or theatrical show and thought ‘man, that seems dark,’ or on the other side, ‘too bright’,” mused Forge Designs Lighting Designer Christian Hahn. “Personally, there is a fine line on how far you can take creativity without it being distracting. The minute you cross the line you immediately draw attention to your discipline. Forge’s view of production is it is there to support and enhance as well as be an additional medium for the artist to communicate through.”

In addition to the considerations given to the needs and vision for the artist and tour’s production, the team at Forge also emphasized a design for the attendees, working to ensure that they were transported from “the time they entered the building until the final downbeat of the last song.” The challenge would be accomplishing that vision while balancing the fact the venues for the fall tour would not allow a full production rig, would have to fit in a single truck, and take into account the flown light would vary each and every evening, depending on the venue’s capabilities.

“We wouldn’t have as much flexibility and the scenic design would need to be somewhat static due to the truck limitation,” explained Hahn. “With all the variables in place and the art/visual direction established, Forge was able to start working on the ground plan and lighting design to compliment the room, artist needs, and production wants. The final product we feel allowed for big looks, clean lines, smooth transitions and saturated colors, keeping the night dynamic and visually interesting.”

Hahn utilized a collection of fixtures that would complement Tomlin and the band as well as affording him the opportunity to not use all the units at the same time for the duration of show, giving a variety of looks.

“After our initial design we had to make a few adjustments to the equipment list to help the rig
not only fit within budget, but also load-in/out in a timely fashion,” said Hahn. “With this new information the Bandit team was extremely helpful in finding multiple solutions allowing us to pick the best route.”

GLP X4S fixtures supplied the rig’s sole wash, with Hahn emphasizing the fixtures size, zoom and dedicated White LED controllable from the console. Another dedicated equipment choice was the Claypaky Mythos 2 Hybrid as the only spot fixtures.

“Even with all the options the Mythos 2 offer, there were still times throughout the
evening when I didn’t want texture and needed them to complement the look more like a wash,
which meant I could drop in the frost allowing them to react and mix into the rig more like a
wash light,” he said.

Bandit Lites also supplied ProCan 2-Lites, supplying a warm tungsten source along with Robe PATT 2013 fixtures supported by various pipes on the back side of the stage, Elation COLOUR CHORUS 12 for front light on the band, and Showtec Sunstrip Active DMX fixtures lined up vertically, providing complex and interesting effects and energizing the rig.

“I think my favorite fixture within this particular design was the Showtec Sunstrip Active DMX,” shared Hahn. “I personally didn’t think that we would get as much use out of these as we did, but when paired with the GrandMA 2 MAtricks and effect engine, we realized quickly that anything was possible: Gradients, special selections, bitmapping, ramps and sparkles were just the beginning.”

Bandit Lites emphasis on client care was reflected in providing the tour with a smooth experience, from pre-production planning, prepping the gear for the road and support during the tour.

“It is always a pleasure for Forge to work alongside people that care about making things right and don’t mind putting the extra hours in when needed,” Hahn said of Bandit’s team. “Project Manager Matt King and Mike Golden were even able to shuffle things around at the eleventh hour so that we could Pre-Viz in at our office the week prior to rehearsals.”

“We have done multiple tours with Mr. Chris Tomlin and I am always delighted when they call to discuss plans for their next run,” said Bandit’s Vice President Mike Golden. “The entire production team is fantastic to work with each and Christian Hahn has a very clear vision of how he wants each run to look and feel. I thoroughly enjoy the interaction between Christian and myself as we work through the equipment needs and budget concerns; on every occasion that process has been short, simple and a pleasure. Christian knows exactly what he is looking for and he has a vast knowledge regarding the tools out there and how to achieve his vision without sacrificing their budget. It is our honor to be working with this organization anytime they hit the road.”

“It is a huge win as designer, when your account rep, Mike Golden, is not looking only out for Bandit, but the designer and artist as well,” finished Hahn. “Even with the changes and cuts no one felt like they were getting the B or C gear. This level of service is only possible due to the vast inventory that Bandit owns allowing them to support designs and designers on all various levels.”

Chris Tomlin has just announced a 2018 Christmas Tour, Chris Tomlin Christmas: Christmas Songs of Worship, scheduled to run November 30 to December 16, 2018. The twelve-city tour will offer audiences an up-close and personal concert experience as an intimate ‘evening with’ show, uniquely different from Chris’ large-scale arena tours. For more information about upcoming dates and tickets, visit

Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace.  From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.  More information available at



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