Stage Lighting Explained

Professional Lighting

Concert Lighting: An important aspect of live music

Having the correct mix on your live sound is of course the most important aspect of a live show, with lighting being the next most important. You’ve been to a national touring performers concert, and know how amazing it felt having the lighting match up with the music. It’s a perfect match to the changes, the drum fills, the musical breaks, and of course, the ending of each song. The energy is there complimenting the music. It’s a must-have for any live concert!

The birth of stage lighting

Stage lighting was first introduced in theater back in the late 1500′s in Italy. Believe it or not, they were all lit by candles with reflectors behind the candlelight, and aimed onto the stage. As more theater lighting evolved, England invented the gas powered stage light, and as electricity was created, The first electric stage lighting fixture hit the market in the late 1800′s. By 1882 The first American theater installed a stage lighting rig at Boston’s Bijou’s Theater, and by 1970′s it was introduced as part of live concert production. Genesis was the first band to ever tour with automated stage lights, which were created by a Texas company SHOWCO, who later changed their name to VARI-LITE. Genesis had 50+ moving lights on their “Abacab” World Tour, and was known as the most hi-tech stage lighting demonstration ever. In a couple years, ZZ Top was the second band to tour with moving light fixtures, and the rest is history.

The concept of stage lighting

If you’ve been to a big concert, then you probably already understand the basic concept of stage lighting. It’s that part of music you cannot experience by listening to the recording, or turning on the radio. Lighting is a musical experience only obtainable by being a part of the live show, and accompanies all the musical changes as they happen. Music creates an emotional bond with the listener, but with stage lighting, It creates an energy which connects the fans in a physical sense.

Creating a look on stage

As a performer, you may not know what’s available on the market for your music, or how to distinguish the right look to go with the presentation. Ask a lighting design professional what they recommend within your budget. There may be ideas available which include props, creative design work, Focused spots, DMX control, and special effect lighting. Make sure you acquire someone who pays attention to detail rather than just the cheapest price. You do get what you pay for in this industry, and your reputation in front of your fans and future fans is more important than a mediocre presentation.

Hope you enjoyed these tips for stage lighting, with a little bit of history mixed in. Thank you for reading and good luck with your next live performance! Call or write us if you have any questions about stage lighting or rentals for your next event…. We’re here to help!

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