Haken Takes Bandit Lites on North American Tour

NASHVILLE, TN – English progressive metal band Haken recently wrapped their North American tour with a lighting package provided by Bandit Lites. “An Evening with Haken” featured the band playing their recent record Fauna in its entirety as well as fan favorites. Lighting designer Harry Merrison of HAZZMO sought to formulate a new lighting design that would be simple yet memorable as well as compact and easily constructed.

“We wanted to create something that could match the versatility of Haken’s music,” explained Merrison. “With the Progressive Rock/Metal genre Haken write, there’s a lot of ebbs and flows, lots of opportunity to create different looks and lighting styles. With the music bouncing between heavy metal riffs, classic rock, big ballad, electronic, and everything in-between, the rig needed to be capable of matching every energy and pace that was thrown at it.”

The production sought a vendor that could both meet their equipment requirements while boasting a solid reputation.

“Bandit Lites always comes to mind,” shared Merrison. “It is a name many know and respect, and they did not let down. Bandit were fantastic from the on-set, taking the design and making suggestions on where the design could be stream-lined and made as efficient as possible. Their suggestion and design of using their ‘FlexRaxs’ created a system that meant much of the design could stay pre-rigged, and that which did need to be dismantled could store within the carts. This meant that a design of 40 lighting fixtures, a host of rigging, and power/network distribution could be rolled into the venue in a surprisingly low number of trips from the truck. It also meant assembling the design could be achieved with a small team.”

“When we partner up with a client, we become part of their team and they become part of our team,” said Bandit Lites Client Representative Allen Deneau. “The only goal is to make them happy and successful in this venture together. We want them to know we are here for them, and they can always count on us to help them in any way we can. It truly was a real pleasure to work with the Haken team, from top to bottom and from the very beginning. They were always receptive to our ideas to help our gear fit into their vision. Once Ryan got plugged in, we really started getting the design dialed in for him so that each night, life wasn’t consumed by loading in, setting up the updating with house rigs.”

The showcase of the design was the new compact and lightweight ADJ Jolt Bar FX. Two lines of its pixel controllable RGB strips enveloped the band while a central white pixel strobe element could hammer intensity home in way that harkened back to the usual strobe look found in metal music.

“With these being such a new fixture, their availability across the States for hire was not easy to locate,” said Merrison. “Thankfully Bandit and their attentiveness to what’s new on the market meant they were one of the very few to stock this fixture.”

With the ADJ Jolts at the back crafting silhouettes of the band, the next element of the design was side lighting to bring about more depth, more fill and shadow and more angels to harness. Bandit supplied Chauvet COLORado Quad Zooms which were placed downstage and midstage where their strobe and flicker effects formed bouncing shadows to make some mind-bending depth effects.

For the moving heads of the system, Merrison explained they needed something incredibly flexible to produce a variety of looks.

“We needed something fast and punchy that could keep up with the chuggy parts of Haken, but also provide big euphoric looks on those big ballad parts of Haken,” he said. “Bandit suggested their Elation Smarty Hybrids, and they did just this. Tight punchy beams for that typical rock metal look, all the way up to huge breakup looks for slow vocal ballads. The color mixing meant for smooth transitions, the speed meant for fast movements when needed and the impressive zoom range meant this fixture could play many roles within the show.”

And for the ever-necessary audience blinders, Bandit provided CuePix WW2 Blinders.  

“Bandit Lites’ experience and expertise really showed through their assistance and guidance; they were far more than just a hire house looking to get their kit out the door, they cared about the whole production and the team involved. They had far more than just their own interests, and that was clear from the beginning of working with them.”

“I got to see the band perform live and was thrilled to see the lighting did just the job they expected,” praised Deneau. “Hazzmo (Harry) and Ryan did a killer job accenting the work the band was doing while delivering a very dynamic part of the entire show. This was the first time I saw the ADJ Jolt Bar FX in person and I was impressed as well. It is quite capable and best of all, it’s an affordable piece of gear that can really give off a wow factor.”

“Bandit played a fantastic role in assisting and supplying for the execution of a successful lighting production on Haken’s Fauna US Tour,” finished Merrison. “They would be used again in a heart-beat.”

This sentiment was echoed by Bandit’s Deneau as well saying, “The entire team of Haken, from the band, management, production staff to merch and beyond are consummate professionals. I sincerely hope we have the opportunity to work with any and all of them again.”

For more information about Haken’s upcoming tour dates, visit https://hakenmusic.com/tour/.

Lighting Designer / Time-Code Programmer: Harry Merrison // HAZZMO

Touring Programmer / Operator: Ryan Folden

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 www.BanditLites.com