A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

The grandMA Hits The Road Again With Bon Jovi

Bon JoviOnce again Bon Jovi has taken grandMA on the road. The band’s 2006 Have A Nice Day tour, which was the first to carry an HD video system with it for the duration of the tour, employed a grandMA for lighting and video control. Now, Bon Jovi’s Lost Highway world tour is concluding with a pair of grandMAs in tow. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor of the grandMA.

The Lost Highway world tour launched last September and finished the bulk of its US run in May. It adjourned to Europe for a five-week stint then returned for a handful of dates in July — Ontario, Detroit, Boston and New York City — which will close out the tour. The band released its “Lost Highway? album in July 2007; it was followed by the DVD “Lost Highway: The Concert,? which documents the entire performance of the album in Chicago.

“The operation of the grandMA has been similar to the last tour, but we upgraded our equipment inventory with HD Hippotizers and a couple of new Control Freak servers with custom software,? reports lighting director and programmer Patrick Brannon. “Our video house rack remained the same.?

Brannon is convinced that “we couldn’t do what we do with any other console — simple stuff like line features and the ability to create DMX fixtures. As you learn and start adding bells and whistles on the outboard equipment you just add another parameter to the grandMA. grandMA enables you to build the system you need, because all the parameters are custom.?

If the grandMA’s operation recalled that of the last tour, the show’s lighting design was very different, Brannon points out. “We went with a hydraulic/pneumatic stage that moved up and down. We had new Martin LED panels and V9 panels that opened and closed similar to Venetian blinds: When they’re closed you have a 12×12-foot video surface, and when they’re open you get a surface 12 x 20 feet high.?

Prior to the tour Brannon and programmers Patrick Dierson and Corey Fitzgerald spent two weeks at Brannon’s house using three grandMAs to get basic cueing down. “By doing that programming before the tour began we had a lot less to do when we actually got on the road,? Brannon explains.

Spike and Justin of The Performance Environment Design Group served as lighting designers, with Brannon, on the Lost Highway tour. They previously handled production design and lighting and stage design for the Have a Nice Day tour.

“Just because Pat Brannon and The PEDG team have been working with Bon Jovi forever, it never means that the show will grow stale. They always hang out on the cutting edge of technology and find a way to push the grandMA to do even more. It is always an honor to be a part of this team. I look forward to enjoying their work on this tour,? comments A.C.T Lighting President and CEO Bob Gordon.

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients. For more information call 818-707-0884 or visit www.actlighting.com.

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