Bandit Lites Partners with Belmont’s Student-Run Pop Showcase

NASHVILLE, TN – The Belmont University Pop Showcase, an annual concert featuring Belmont’s best pop acts, returned to the Curb Event Center October 28th with a lighting system provided by Bandit Lites. The concert acts as a competition, with the artists who perform having underwent a rigorous evaluation including demo submissions and live auditions. The day of the event, the four finalist perform to both students and the public, and a panel of industry experts choose the winner.

The educational component is not simply surrounding the performers, but instead the entire production is helmed by students; from designing the stage set up to working with actual vendors to develop plans for the lighting, audio, LED walls and other show elements.

“It is a unique experience for our students to work side-by-side with professionals,” said Michael Janas, Belmont’s Chair of Audio Engineering Technology. “Many of these students aspire to be in the live event industry, and by working with professional production companies at Showcase, they are able to learn directly, on-the-job, from these partners. It allows students to also make new contacts and build a network for future employment. Many of our students in Showcase go on to work with production companies who are our partners in Showcase.”

Bandit Lites supplied the Showcase’s designer Dan Centeno, with Chauvet Nexus 4×4, Elation Smarty Hybrids, Elation SixBar 1000 IP65, Elation SixPar 200, Elation CuePix WW2 and grandMA2 Ultralite.

“Elation SixPars served as our key light / front wash and Chauvet Nexus 4x1s provided overhead stage wash and various pixel effects,” said Centeno. “We rigged Elation SixBar 1000IPs on the US towers for blinders, a few dramatic backlight silhouette looks, and a lot of the pixel effects used in the show. Elation Smarty Hybrids were the moving heads of the rig, utilized for beam and spot applications, band specials and gobos/prisms. Rounding out the rig were Elation Cuepix WW2s as Moles and Base Hazers for haze.”

“The Smarty Hybrids stood out as being the most versatile, managing everything from the punchy beam looks to the wide gobos projecting throughout the arena,” he added. “Having both color flags and a wheel were especially critical, being able to have the customization of the former and the punch/snap of the latter.”

Bandit Lites Client Representative Allen Deneau and Project Manager Matt King approached the student-run program the same way they would with all Bandit clients: with careful attention to detail and making sure the client’s goals were accomplished.

“Working through the design and quote process is an ever-evolving process,” said Deneau. “The student designers are great visionaries. They have a well thought out plan and then we go to work to find a rig that will do what they want and one that stays within budget. The designers are always open to ideas and suggestions, and they do their homework, they know what the gear does and if it will do what they need. If we have to make changes, they’re open and accepting to input and we work through the options.”

“I always felt that they were making the effort to hear me and keep the vision of the design in mind,” said Centeno. “The attitude of “How do you like this idea?” instead of “Here is what I am giving you.”

Bandit also led the Belmont team through all the different components of load-in, such as running cable, mounting fixtures and assembling truss.

“Bandit Lites has been a great partner with Showcase,” Janas finished. “Their crew bring a positive, professional atmosphere that helps our students LDs feel free to develop their creative ideas”

“The Showcase Series and Bandit really helped me understand and learn what goes into arena/touring lighting design on the front end,” said Centeno adding, “the process of workshopping an initial draft into a final design; not something that I could have learned in a classroom setting.”

“These are very talented and passionate newcomers to the industry, and I cannot wait to see their impact on the lighting world in years to come,” Deneau said. “It brings a smile to my face knowing we had a small part in helping them achieve their dreams.

About Bandit Lites, Inc.

Bandit Lites is a full-service design, management and producer of live events, theatrical productions, and live shows. Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of production needs. Bandit’s presence will ensure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you. More information available at