FLAGSTAFF, AZ The 15-passenger van that Brothers Gow rolls with has logged a lot of miles of late, as the much-in-demand jam band has been playing to packed houses from San Diego to Seattle on its current “Bring The Heat” tour in support of its fourth studio album, Reflections. Fans aren’t flocking just to hear the quintet’s captivating blend of rock, funk, jazz and reggae, they’re coming to see it too, thanks to a quick moving light show that reflects the improvisational spirit of the music.
Lighting is so much a part of the Brothers Gow experience that their website refers to their LD Matt Collier as the sixth member of the band. Collier, who traverses the country with the well-traveled band (it’s been averaging over 80 shows a year), shares the group’s passion for taking the audience’s experience to the next level. This commitment led him to expand his lighting rig for the current tour by adding Rogue R1 Spot LEDs from CHAUVET Professional.
“I’ve been wanting to add Rogues to the rig for some time,” said Collier. “Their brightness and speed drew me to them, and they have a lot of special gobo features that I could use to create unique looks. This is important to us. We don’t want a Brothers Gow show to look like any other concert that you see at whatever club you find us at. That’s why we don’t rely on house lights for our rig.”
Collier is using four Rogue R1 Spots on the “Bring The Heat” tour. He’s hanging the moving fixtures evenly spaced on 20’ upstage truss flown 15’ in the air by stands. “I make the Rogues the focal point of my rig because they are so bright and have very crisp, good looking gobos. The band covers a very wide range of musical styles and is very improvisational, so they can veer off in a lot of different directions. My Rogues are great for this environment, because they can keep up.
“The Rogue’s color wheel and gobo wheel are very fast; so is the pan/tilt movement, which is great for the intense high impact songs,” continued the LD. “But the fixture is also very smooth on slow pan/tilt movements for the softer songs. Touring a lot, we also play in a variety of places with different size stages. In the short time since I added them to our rig, the Rogues have been excellent in every kind of venue.”
Joining the Rogues on the upstage truss are eight CHAUVET DJ SlimPAR 64 RGB LED color mixing fixtures. “I hang the Rogues from the truss and put the SlimPARs on top,” said Collier. “This creates some nice depth over the stage.”
Above the upstage truss, Collier positions two CHAUVET Professional Q-Spot 560-LED moving fixtures. He also flies two additional Q-Spots on downstage truss. Collier uses the upstage Q-Spots to “fill some negative space up top,” while the two downstage units are earmarked for front lighting. “They give me a cool look when viewing the rig from the audience’s perspective,” said the LD.
Also contributing to the eye searing look on the downstage truss are eight additional SlimPAR 64s and four Intimidator Wash Zoom 350 IRCs. “I really enjoy using the Wash Zoom 350 as front lighting because it allows me a large range of colors, and with seven LED’s at 20W apiece, it’s a very bright wash light,” said Collier. “Plus the zoom function lets me position and cover large areas very easily. Gotta light the money, and this fixtures does that very well!”
Rounding out Collier’s Brothers Gow rig are four CHAUVET Professional Q-Spot 260 LED moving fixtures positioned evenly apart on the drum riser and on cases that flank it on either side. The low perspective of these Q-Spots creates opportunities for Collier to mix their beams with those of the Rogues on the downstage truss to create a dynamic multi-dimensional look.
Outside his rig, Collier has positioned four Intimidator Beam LED 350 fixtures. This gives him a crisp border for his design. “Having these fixtures outside the rig kind of frames what is going on in the middle and directs attention to band,” he said. “Also the beams are very bright, so cutting through wash or spot lights is easily done and allows a wider array of design options. This is good for the creative flow.” And as anyone who has seen this jam band play knows, going with the creative flow is what the Brothers Gow experience is all about, whether it’s on a musical instrument or a console controlling an ever expanding and ever more versatile lighting rig.