Westley Palmer Creates Unifying Looks for Mammoth WVH and Alter Bridge with CHAUVET Professional

Posted on March 16, 2023

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OCALA, FL – When Mammoth WVH, the rock band formed by Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang Van Halen, released their debut album in June 2021, their sound was hailed by critics as being, fresh, original and unique. Or, as one scribe described it, “no two tracks feel the same.” Around the same time, “Pawns and Kings,” the seventh LP from Alter Bridge was released, earning praise for its consistently thunderous metal power with “every song standing tall.”

Creating unique looks for two distinctly different coheadliners, sharing the stage on a two-year, two-continent tour, can present a challenge for a lighting designer, but it is one that Westley Palmer relishes.

“With the music from the two bands being so different stylistically, the lightshows differ greatly in timing and feel,” said Palmer. “At the same time, though, the two bands share a common vibe, which is why their tours have been so successful. My goal is to reflect the personality of each band, while keeping that Rock’n’roll brotherhood vibe alive.”

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Helping Palmer achieve this goal on the current coast-to-coast 30 city leg of the US tour is a floor package made up of 36 CHAUVET Professional fixtures, including 12 Color STRIKE M motorized strobes, 12 STRIKE 4 multi formatted units, and 12 Storm 1 Washes, supplied by AVL of Jacksonville, FL.

The versatility of this floor package helps Palmer remain true to his design vision, despite the variations in different house rigs he has to deal with on the tour, which began January 25th at the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa and concludes April 1st at the Yaamava Casino Resort in California, with stops like Ryman Auditorium and Detroit’s Filmore along the way.

“Every house rig is different,” said Palmer, “So, the thing I have to watch for is to make sure that the house lights match our needs in terms of our original design. But our floor package and a fairly simple clone every day helps in that regard, making things nice and smooth.”

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Palmer positioned his CHAUVET Professional fixtures on carts with the Color STRIKE M units on top. Below them are the STRIKE 4 blinders, which are used for chases and also tilted for “some fun looks as well.” Below the STRIKE units are the Maverick Storm 1 Wash fixtures.

“I use the Maverick Storms to add some nice back light saturation to the bands,” said Palmer. “I also count on them for some cool beamy color finger looks from behind the back line to create another layer with the spots top and bottom. Plus, they give me a little tasty movement from time to time. I love the feel of breaking up the stage with layers, especially when I have something like the carts we are using, and everything basically sits on the same plane.”

Palmer credits Mathias Kuhn, the lighting designer for Pappa Roach, with creating the original concept for this joint Mammoth WVH- Alter Bridge tour during its European run. “He handed me off a really good solid file to start with and develop,” said Palmer. “Building on what he did, we treat each band individually, but in the end pull them together into a single show experience for fans.”