Dan Michie Reflects Many Moods on Beartooth Tour with Compact CHAUVET Professional Floor Package

August 29, 2023

Photo credit Ben Zucker

Things never got “routine” for the Beartooth production crew this summer. The Loudwire and Metal Hammer award winners’ 37-city tour has included a wildly mixed bag of shows, as they’ve moved from headlining their own appearances, to supporting bands like Breaking Benjamin and Disturbed, with a healthy sprinkling of festivals thrown in. “It was just kind of all over the place on this run,” said the band’s Lighting Designer Dan Michie. “This made it critical to have a floor package that was not only very versatile, but could also be set up and torn down fast.”

Chauvet and Beartooth Photo credit Ben ZuckerMichie got what he wanted, and more, with a versatile, easy-to-work-with rig from Squeek Lights that featured a collection of compact, but powerful CHAUVET Professional fixtures. “The Squeek rig was so great for what we had to do,” he said. “It could be set up and torn down, and offstage in a matter of minutes. The first time we used this rig as a supporting act; the headliner’s crew was shocked at how fast we got off the deck. The fixtures themselves played a big part in the speed of the transition, since they’re all fairly lightweight and can be moved easily, yet they still pack a punch.”

Among those fixtures were eight Maverick Force S Spots, which Michie positioned two apiece of four carts arranged in a straight line in his timecoded show. Drawing on the fixture’s wide 4-to-43 degree zoom range and customized gobos; he wove an immersive web of patterns on the stage that added to the emotional power of the show. At times he covered a tightly defined area with gobos, while at others he immersed band members in his patterns. “I’m a big fan of gobos and the patterns they create,” said Michie. “I play around with having different fixtures set to different zooms and gobo speeds to give the illusion of depth, trying to make even the tiny venues look like an arena show, and adding an intriguing quality to any stage regardless of size.

Chauvet and Beartooth Photo credit Ben Zucker“Beartooth’s music has a lot of complex rhythms in their breakdowns and different patterns in their choruses,  so I really try to accent every single note and all those changes with the lights,” he continued.  “Not only do you feel and hear the breakdowns, you see them too.” Color played a pivotal role in conveying the moods evoked by those breakdowns. With 14 Rogue R1  BeamWashes in his compact rig, Michie was able to create a wide palette of redolent hues. He positioned BeamWashes between each set of Force S fixtures, as well as having one below the deck, two on the downstage corners of the drum risers, and two on  each corner of the stage for side lighting.

“The colors really evoked emotions,” he said. “A great example is in Beartooth’s newest song ‘Sunshine.’ The song is a super happy and positive with lots of yellows, and then it immediately goes into a dark and angry breakdown that is all reds and whites. The band also like to have the lights pay homage to whatever album the song comes from. So, for example, any songs that are off of their album ‘Below,’ are lit in shades of violet, while anything off of ‘Disease, is in orange/amber.”

Chauvet and Beartooth Photo credit Ben ZuckerGiven Beartooth’s extensive catalog, there was plenty of potent material for Michie to reflect in light. He did this with a design that was intricate and multi-faceted, and all with a floor package that could be set up and taken down, just like that.

Learn more about CHAUVET Professional, here.