Friday, May 4, 2012

The 6th Man {In A Band}

On Saturday night, I went to the BOK Center and saw the Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys.  I'm not the biggest fan of AM - they had a few good songs but most of them sounded the same to me. The Black Keys, on the other hand, were sensational. Loved them. I especially loved it when Patrick and Dan {THE Black Keys} played just the two of them. Here's a few pics from the night:

Arctic Monkeys  
The Black Keys
The Black Keys
The Black Keys - Encore

The Black Keys - Finale

During one of the songs, I noticed that the lights were super in sync with the drum beat. My immediate thought was “that’s some spot-on programming.” Then I realized, it’s not like a loop or click track you follow. So, I looked down at the sound booth and started watching their lighting technician/producer guy. The part of the song that I’d noticed the light synchronization came up and sure enough, he was basically “playing” along with the music. 

My first “realization” of what a lighting technician did was when we had THE ADDAMS FAMILY at the Tulsa PAC. Part of my job has to do with press and promotions. On opening night of each show when the curtain goes up, I walk station cameras in and we stand in the back so they can shoot stills for an article or broll for TV interviews. They typically can shoot for the first 30 minutes so I get a little antsy standing with them {because I’m usually in heels}.

Watching THE ADDAMS FAMILY in
NYC with my coworkers

I had already seen THE ADDAMS FAMILY in NYC {with Nathan Lane & Bebe Neuwirth, see pic above} so I wasn’t really paying close attention to the show when I noticed the lighting guy was really working during the first scene. I guess I’d thought they only turned the house lights down, stage lights up, and then just sat back and relaxed for the rest of the show. Boy, was I wrong. The lighting guy functioned not only as a member of the orchestra bringing the lights up as the music crescendo, but also as a member of the cast “setting the mood,” quite literally, as the stage danced with colored lights following the movements of the characters. 

So, as I watched this "hidden" member of the band play along with The Black Key and I remembered the lighting technician for THE ADDAMS FAMILY, I thought to myself here’s the “sixth man” in a band, like the movie. This may not be the greatest example but I think you get the gist. This is my shout-out to all the lighting technicians: thanks for making concerts, plays, musicals, etc. be that much better and add to our experience in ways we may not always fully comprehend.  

Props lighting guy, big props.

The Black Keys Lighting Technician
{apologize for the fuzzy picture}

Calli

Listening to
Pulling Back The Veil 

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