Breaking Benjamin is one of the most beloved hard rock bands of the last two decades. Known for hits like “The Diary of Jane,” “I Will Not Bow,” “So Cold” and “Breath,” Breaking Benjamin has sold more than seven million albums in the United States alone. To support their sixth studio album, Ember, Breaking Benjamin embarked on a North American tour with fellow modern rock heavyweights Chevelle and Three Days Grace. The tour visited amphitheaters across the U.S. and Canada, kicking off July 21 in St. Louis, Missouri and running through September 25 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
To provide fans with an unforgettable concert experience, Breaking Benjamin hired Christie Lites to create an immersive lighting design that complements the band’s aesthetic. Christie Lites is the largest lighting company in North America and the premier provider of world-class stage lighting services. To deliver a variety of bold, colorful looks, Christie Lites teamed up with Adam Cowan, Production Designer and Lighting Programmer for Breaking Benjamin to design and deploy a state-of-the-art Martin lighting rig featuring MAC Viper Profile, MAC Axiom Hybrid and MAC Quantum Wash fixtures.
“We needed a big, heavy beam look because we don’t use any haze in our show,” said Cowan. “So we had to come up with a fixture that was punchy enough to cut through with no haze. One of the benefits I’ve seen when working with Martin lights, especially the Viper Profile, is that they’re very strong fixtures. They can cut through a big stage—I can pinpoint my guys anywhere they’re at on the stage with the iris function or the zoom function.”
Martin MAC Viper Profile fixtures are designed to meet the growing demand for a brighter, faster, smaller and more energy efficient 1200-watt fixture. Viper Profile fixtures feature 26,000 Lumens and 6000K color temperature, providing excellent light quality with a very flat and uniform field. With a 1:4 zoom and auto-linked focus, Viper Profile fixtures are fast and responsive, making them idea for exciting looks with lots of movement. Cowan relies on the Viper Profile fixture’s animation and gobos wheels to light up set designs and display the band’s logo throughout the venue.
“The Viper Profile is one of the best lights I’ve ever used,” said Cowan. “You see it in the U.S. and Europe on every major stage or festival—it’s always there. It’s got great gobos, prism functions and animations. It’s bright with great color mixing and fast strobes. It’s just a powerhouse lighting fixture.”
To complement the MAC Viper Profile fixtures with an array of versatile effects, Cowan and Christie Lites deployed 50 Martin MAC Axiom Hybrid fixtures. Combining beam, spot and wash functionality into one compact unit, Axiom Hybrid fixtures are highly flexible. Cowan uses the fixtures to break up his asymmetrical rig into different pieces, with spot looks downstage and beam looks upstage. Equipped with the same CMY color palette as the MAC Viper fixtures, the MAC Axiom Hybrid fixture gives designers an array of color choices from subtle pastel shades to deep and saturated colors. The high-precision optical system offers exceptional contrast and a surprisingly flat field, enabling tight, narrow beams or wide, soft washes.
“The Axiom is one of my favorite fixtures to use because of the beam spread,” said Cowan. “It goes from 2 degrees to 44 degrees so you can widen the whole stage out. With 30-foot trim you can get about a 30-foot circle on the ground with a 44-degree wide zoom. You can make it a beam fixture with really tight beams, or a spot or wash. We threw 50 of them in the air because we can do so many things with them and really break the rigs up to get the looks that we need. It’s a really versatile light.”
The lighting team selected Martin MAC Quantum Wash fixtures to illuminate the stage with brilliant, highly saturated colors. Featuring tight beams, beautiful wash fields and a class-leading color palette, MAC Quantum Wash fixtures provide a variety of exciting looks. With an impressive 750 watts of RGBW LED power and Martin’s market leading optical system, MAC Quantum Wash fixtures operate with maximum output and superior performance.
“The Quantum Wash is one of my favorite wash lights to use because it has three different beams so you can do an outer ring and an inner ring,” said Cowan. “It has a good twist function, so you get some cool looks in the air. You can twist the beams around and get really good eye candy looks. For a show that doesn’t use haze, we really rely on that kind of stuff.”
Not only did the MAC Viper Profile, MAC Axiom Hybrid and MAC Quantum Wash fixtures perform well during show time, the crew also loved them for their simple setup, rock-solid reliability and roadworthy design.
“My experience working with the Martin fixtures has been great,” said Nigel Allcorn, Lighting Technician for Breaking Benjamin. “I haven’t had to tech any lights, we’ve had to replace very few fixtures and Martin has always been a great lighting company to supply for a tour.”
“I’ve worked with Martin fixtures many times and they seem to be really reliable and roadworthy,” said BJ Smith, Crew Chief for Breaking Benjamin, Christie Lites. “I’m very familiar with the Quantum and the Viper fixtures, but the Axiom fixtures are new to me and so far they’ve been working out nicely.”“Working with the Axiom, Viper and Quantum fixtures has been great,” said Daniel Arnold, Dimmer Tech for Breaking Benjamin, Christie Lites. “They’re easy to trouble shoot and if we have any minor issues it’s usually fixed with a quick reset. My favorite to work with is the Viper fixture because it’s so modular.”
Although their tour with Chevelle and Three Days Grace came to a close at the end of September, Breaking Benjamin will be hitting the road to support nu-metal legends Korn on a North American tour kicking off at the PPL Center in Pennsylvania on January 23, and wrapping up at the Save Mart Center in California on March 1, 2020.
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