LD Dan Lastovka’s old-school look for iconic rock band evolves with Rayzor 360Z™
Last year’s 40th Anniversary Tour was by no means a farewell tour for iconic 70’s/80’s rock band Foreigner. It’s now been 41 years since their debut album and the band behind some of rock’s most classic songs hit the road again in June, kicking off a 30-show “Juke Box Heroes” U.S. tour that has proved to be one of the hottest outings of the summer.
Lighting Designer/Director Dan Lastovka has kept the old-school look design from last year’s anniversary tour but with significant updates such as Elation Rayzor 360Z™ LED beam moving effects replacing Arena Par Zoom™ LED wash lights and a redesigned truss layout. New York rental house See Factor has again collaborated with Foreigner on lighting supply. Foreigner production manager is Steve Croxford.
“This year’s design is an evolution from last year’s design,” explains Lastovka, who has been with the band now for five years. “We split our three longest trusses into six smaller pieces, and turned them 90 degrees into what we call ‘fingers’ that are hung front to back vs left to right. Last year’s design relied heavily on 108 Elation Arena Par Zooms to emulate a classic par can show, both in look and function. The 2018 design had the added challenge of moving truss positions from completely flat to nearly vertical and all orientations in between so we had to switch to a moving head vs a static par but still maintain a rich feature set and high fixture density to preserve the original concept.”
Lastovka chose the Elation Rayzor 360Z, a compact yet powerful beam/wash luminaire with three 60W RGBW LEDs and 5° to 50° zoom that packs plenty of punch. Seventy-two of the fixtures hang from the six, bendable 30-foot finger trusses.
Foreigner’s hit list covers everything from ballads to rockin’ classics and Lastovka varies the lighting throughout the show to match the moment. “My favorite look is still the ‘northern lights’ cue from the second verse of “Starrider,” he says. “There are dimmer, color, and zoom effects that comprise the look, and the Rayzor fixtures are fanned out in tight arcs. An honorable mention has to go to the bridge of “Feels Like The First Time” where I was able to use the fixture’s 360-degree tilt to splash deep blue light everywhere to accentuate the dreamscape feel of that passage.”
Consistent with the show’s old school look, two Elation Pro FS 15R followspots complete with followspot operators are positioned high in the upstage truss and used as truss spots to follow the musicians around the stage. The high-output, medium-throw followspots with Platinum 15R source project effectively up to 150', plenty of headroom for this application. Further to the design are Elation SixPar 100s, an LED Par light with six-color LED chip, used to add color to the set up and for truss toning, including on the band’s iconic "4" logo which is fashioned as a circular truss that emerges toward the end of the show. Finally, 6-foot Colour Chorus 72™ LED batten wash lights (RGBA) hung from the backdrop truss provide the backdrop wash.
The 2018 summer tour is the second Foreigner outing for See Factor, who carry a wide cross section of Elation fixtures. Mark Friedman of See Factor comments, “Like last year’s anniversary tour, this tour has been a big success. The Rayzors really dominate in the rig and between the effects we get out of it and the price point, it’s been a nice addition to our inventory. The Elation followspots are very effective and bright and look great. They are way brighter than all the movers on the stage, so it really accents the looks.”
The designer / rental company relationship is key to a smooth running tour and LD Lastovka expresses his gratification in having partnered with See Factor the last two years. “See Factor's role has been pivotal in bringing our tours to life,” he says. “They have the unenviable task of putting together exactly what I need within the budget they have to work with. See Factor has hit the mark two years running using Elation.”
72 x Rayzor 360Z™
60 x SixPar 100™
2 x Pro FS Follow spots™
8 x Colour Chorus 72™
Photos: Todd Kaplan