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LD Dan Lastovka with Foreigner

by Debi Moen • in
  • April 2018
  • On the Road
• Created: April 12, 2018

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DESIGN: “I have several plots as we’re doing different versions of shows: the 40th anniversary tour, the orchestra tour, and this summer the Juke Box Hero tour with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham. We’re not carrying gear on this one. I love having the ability to walk into a place and rent a couple dozen movers to make it a consistent show, or make full use of the in-house rig. Lead singer Kelly Hanson is not shy to give direction on lights. He and Mick Jones have the final say on production.”

HOME BASE: St. Louis.

INDUSTRY YEARS: 20.

WHAT I STARTED OUT TO DO: “I went to engineering college to be a metallurgist.”

CAREER FORK: “Playing bar bands in college, a friend and I talked about opening a bar and club. To learn how to run a venue, I began work with a band management company, doing office work in the daytime, being a local band roadie at night. I wanted to get into the guts of production, to see how it all works from load-in to gear, performance to load out. We never did open that bar and venue!”

FIRST ROAD GIG: “Guitar tech with local band Mesh. After six months, I worked for a local production company unloading a truck, doing shows Friday through Sunday, go fishing, then go back out again.”

FIRST LIGHTING TOUR: “In 2003, Little River Band needed a lighting guy. I also learned how to run monitors, so until 2009 my career was lighting and monitor mixing.”

Foreigner is touring through Nov. 2018. Photo by Sarah Schluesser

HEROES/MENTORS: “Brian Simon gave me all my fundamentals about audio and lighting. His lighting company had rigs in several places in St. Louis. He’s on this tour doing audio.”

A SHOUT OUT TO: “Foreigner’s longtime LD Cosmo Wilson was in high demand and asked me to go out for him in 2013. With his show file, I watched the video monitor of them playing live, and I played along on the console to rehearse. But this past 40th anniversary tour was the first show I ever designed and programmed from the ground up. Although I feel the soul of the show from Cosmo is still coming through.”

FIRST CONCERT ATTENDED: “Van Halen in 1990. I was an eighth grader, with my hand-built guitar, standing at the back fence at the top of the grass. I wanted Eddie Van Halen to sign it. Tour Manager Scotty Ross saw me; he was so nice. I had no idea what it was to be in production then.”

WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO: “Lighting lets me be creative and do things that thrill me and hopefully, the audience. Styx’s lighting director Libby Gray once told me how it’s the hourglass approach: the band is at the top of the hourglass, and it all has to filter down to what the audience receives at the base. We are responsible for those grains of sand.”

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