SolaSpot 1500s Shine On Heartbreaker’s 40th Anniversary Tour

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SolaSpot 1500s Shine On Heartbreaker’s 40th Anniversary Tour

May 2017

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ 40th Anniversary Tour has been thrilling TP fans across the USA since April, and the show’s beautiful visuals are the handiwork of Lighting Designer / Director Stanley Green and co-visual designer Kevin Cassidy. To augment his potent arena lighting package, Green specified 30 High End Systems SolaSpot 1500s as the ‘workhorse’ hard edge fixtures for the tour.

Green prepared a total of six complete lighting and set designs for the 40th Anniversary Tour for Tom to choose from. He comments, “Our technical director Kevin Cassidy had lots of creative input, and was instrumental in bringing it all together. Also, Tom asked for some things which changed the original look somewhat. I'm using 30 SolaSpot 1500s sprinkled throughout the rig; in fact there are 1500s on every single truss. They are my work horse hard edge fixture for this tour. I use some as specials on the down stage trusses in lieu of follow spots - they are bright and crisp, brighter in fact than most follow spots we get from that distance.”   

The SolaSpot 1500s also serve as the LD’s main back light fixture. Green comments, “The 1500’s brightness holds up against every other fixture in the rig. I wanted an all LED rig to help reduce the heat on Tom, yet I needed punch to use in front of the big bright LED wall upstage. The SolaSpots are kicking ass. I can use gobos without losing a ton of light. I even use one to back light Mike Campbell during a big solo, and follow him manually, as they’re bright enough to look like a truss spot. I love the indigo Highlighter LEDs as well; I use them as an in-between song wash. The SolaSpots can all be in their preset positions, yet the indigo LEDs are bright enough to bathe the stage in that nice UV light. I also like to use their framing capabilities with my front fixtures. They’re perfect for framing off band gear like pianos, amps, etc., and for putting a nice strong light on the players.”  

Green first became aware of SolaSpot 1500s on a 2016 Mudcrutch tour. “Touring with Tom’s original band Mudcrutch, we played small theaters and clubs across the country. I spec’d a small floor package of lights, and used house stage lighting each day. Several of the theaters had 1500s, and I fell in love. I said, ‘those are LED?’ I had been looking for a good hard edge LED fixture for a while, and I couldn't believe these were LED - they were SO bright and white!”  

In closing, Green points out the reliability of the 1500s has been spot on, commenting “I have had every light working on every show and through two weeks of rehearsals prior to the tour.” Lighting equipment for the 40th Anniversary Tour is supplied through VER, with Kevin Forster managing the account rep duties. Joining Green on the lighting crew are Technical Director / Co-visual director Kevin Cassidy, power technician Armando (Mondo) Figueroa, head automation tech Oscar Canales, Blake (Flash) Rogers, and Austin Tower. 

An ETC Company, High End Systems is a leading manufacturer of automated lighting and control systems for the entertainment industry. For more information on High End Systems, visit www.highend.com.

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