LD Benoit Richard with Matchbox Twenty

by Debi Moen
in On the Road
Benoit Richard photo by Debi Moen
Benoit Richard photo by Debi Moen

TOUR: July 12 to Oct. 7, U.S. and Canada. “A Brief History of Everything Tour 2017” with co-headliners Counting Crows

DESIGN: “The band didn’t want a giant video screen behind them. As this tour did not support a new record and was a short 13-week duration, the band asked for a modern way to tip our hat to the big Queen light shows from the late 70’s, early 80’s. That’s how I came up with the morphing lighting design using a reliable servo winch system, custom lighting pods and 198 LED fixtures, which looked like rows of small par cans. Changing the physicality of the structural design during the show is something we had done successfully over the years, but I believe we topped ourselves.”

BACK STORY

HOME BASE: Los Angeles

YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 29

WITH THE BAND: “I started with Matchbox Twenty in late 2000 when the band was promoting their second album, Mad Season. Then I was involved with their third and fourth tours (2003 and 2008), but missed the North tour in 2012 before coming back this summer.”

CAREER SPARK: “I’ve always been a fan of progressive rock, and Genesis was my favorite band. I was also a fan of their LDs Tom Littrell and Alan Owen, who were at the forefront of moving light technology when they used the first moving light fixtures in 1981…As the technical director at my college, I produced many types of shows while overseeing all the different positions required to make it happen.”

FIRST INDUSTRY GIG: “The first band I toured with (as an LD) was a Genesis tribute band, Over the Garden Wall. We performed in clubs, theaters and small arenas along the Canadian/U.S. Border from 1990-1994. I had a different house lighting rig to deal with every day and also learned to program on any console that I would encounter.”

OTHER ARTISTS: “April Wine, Metallica, Yes, Dream Theater, Jewel, Aerosmith and George Michael.”

HEROES/MENTORS: “Without a doubt: Tom Littrell and Alan Owen, although I never had a chance to meet them. I have also looked up to Howard Ungerleider for his incredible designs with Rush, and he has been a longtime friend. And I have been blessed to work with some of the best lighting designers in the industry such as John Broderick, Marc Brickman and Chaz Herrington.”

WHOSE SHOW DESIGNS CATCH YOUR EYE? “Patrick Woodroffe never ceases to amaze me. I saw the Adele tour last year. It looked so clean, and everything was well thought out. And of course, Willie Williams always does great things with U2.”

BEST ADVICE? “To quote my friend John Broderick: ‘You must listen to a song over and over until you tap into the subconscious mind and discover how to light it.’”

Matchbox Twenty on tour, photo courtesy Matchbox Twenty

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