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LD Jef Benjamin with Earth, Wind & Fire

Debi Moen • May 2019On the Road • May 3, 2019

TOUR DATES: Las Vegas residency May 2-12 at The Venetian; U.S. tour through September 25.

EWF DESIGN APPROACH: “It had to be versatile enough to look big and fit the design concept, but also fit into smaller locations without major changes. Regarding the residency, it does provide opportunities that you don’t get on the road. During our recent March residency, by having the ‘sit down’ [Wed., Fri. & Sat., two weeks in a row], we were able look at the recordings of the previous shows and build on what worked on accident and fix the mistakes. J. Bradley [the lighting programmer/operator] and I found the little nuances that take extra time to find.”

BACKSTORY

HOME BASE: Bremerton, WA

INDUSTRY YEARS: 27

CAREER SPARK: “Nepotism. Or, as my friend Dennis says, ‘We are all here because we’re not all there.’ When I was going to college to be a geologist, I wasn’t ‘all there’ with my life decisions. One day I got a call from my brother, Mark (ex-guitar tech to the rock gods). He said I was about to get into unseen trouble. He got me a plane ticket, a couch to sleep on and a job pushing a broom in a warehouse for RA Roth. The next day, I flew to Atlanta to start pushing that broom. When I arrived, they had me help a gentleman who was wiring up the KISS sign! He taught me the difference between series and parallel circuits, and I never looked back.”

HEROES/MENTORS: “People in the Seattle industry, who taught me that all I need is two monkeys and one Maglite to make a rock show! Robert Margoshish from the Seattle Theater Group; Sammy Raphael, Greg Scott and Stan Green all worked with me at Seattle Stage Lighting; Mike McDonald, owner of Seattle Stage Lighting; and Bob Camp, co-creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show.”

ARTISTS YOU’VE WORKED WITH: “MxPx, Julio Iglesias, Lyle Lovett, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Neutralboy.”

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? “The opportunity to create.”

YOUR DREAM CONCERT TO LIGHT: “This band, and the tours we have done in the last three years, is going to be hard to top.”

Earth, Wind & Fire perform. Photo: Jef Benjamin

 

 

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