Band lighting profile: Robert BectonPosted on October 26, 2011
Robert Becton is lighting designer, front of house engineer and drummer in the Bruce and Panama City, Fla. and Nashville, Tenn. areas; head of production for the Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint Destin, Fla., Buck Wild Saloon in Nashville, Tenn., Geneva Rock’n’Ride band in Nashville, Tenn. Robert has also been involved in lighting design for shows featuring artists/bands such as Steven Adler, Great White, Drivin’ N Cryin’, Randy Houser, Colt Ford, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. John, Dr. Hook, Anders Osborne, Scott Holt, Bang Tango, Percy Sledge, and more.
1. How did you get into this field?
I got involved in lighting design while playing in bands. I started playing when I was in the 10th grade. If a major concert would come to town I would just volunteer to work, that’s how I was exposed to the industry and started learning a lot about lights. Also, I became drawn to this because my father was a DJ and he introduced me to the world of music and lights. I remember that Billie Ray Cyrus was my first concert. I helped with overall production, lighting and rigging. This was years ago, when I was a teenager, and it was such a huge thing for me. Furthermore, I am a drummer in this band and I know how important lights are in any show. We use a lot of lights in our concerts. I wish more bands did that, because there are so many bands that have weak productions. As far as what lights I use, I love CHAUVET®, which I have started using about 10 years ago, when I became aware of intelligent lighting. I love LED technology, I am so blown away by it, and it keeps getting better and better. With CHAUVET® products we really set up a show when we play.
2. What do you think is the next big thing in the lighting industry?
LEDs are becoming more powerful and brighter, which is a plus all the way.
3. Do you have a favorite fixture (and why)?
I would say my Q-Spot 200, even though I have Q-Spot 300 fixtures, and COLORtube 3.0 EQ lights. But with the Q-Spot 200 I just love the way that the bulb burns, the moves, the gobos, the UV light that it setts off, the colors. I have 10 scanners, a whole backline of COLORtube 3.0 EQ lights, but the Q-Spot 200 and 300 will position great around the stage, and with all that moving, they really get people’s attention.
4. What has been your favorite design/project?
My favorite project is the Buck Wild Saloon in Nashville, Tenn. It’s a four-story club, and the owner let me run wild on each floor. So I got LED PAR throughout, COLORtube 3.0 EQ, lasers–the majority being CHAUVET®. The first floor it’s for karaoke nights, the second floor is DJ music, and third and fourth floors are for band performances. We cut a hole in the third floor so you could see through the second floor. We put diamond plate all around the club, and when we used your lasers and hit the diamond plate, it was just awesome. Also, some of my favorite CHAUVET® products are your Hurricane hazers. They blow this haze that’s not as thick as fog, and they accent the light, I love them.
5. What was the biggest unforeseen obstacle that you’ve faced in one of your designs, and how did you overcome it?
I would probably say, working without a rig system and trying to get my moving heads above the band; and having to use some trussing stand straight up vertically. Also, sometimes it is difficult laying DMX cable; that’s something else I would like to see, wireless fixtures, so you wouldn’t have to cross cables.
6. Complete this thought: A show without light is like not having a show at all. Or a show without light is really boring. I don’t care how good a band is, it’s just not entertaining without lights.