From Phish to Floyd, the ten best light shows

From Phish to Floyd, the ten best light shows
Eric Gruneisen

For many bands, the light show is almost as integral to the live act as the music, so much so, in fact, that lighting directors are often heralded as an additional member of the group. These illumination wizards have the most open and creative space to work in, and as result, they're able to create some of the most complex lighting schemes. Keep reading for a list of the ten best light shows.

See also: The ten biggest jam-band scene stereotypes

10. Genesis - Abacab and Mama tours Pioneers of automated lighting, these tours are considered to be some of the top light shows ever. Many people saw lights move on their own for the first time on the Mama tour, all made possible by the Vari*Lite system created by the band's lighting guys and engineers, with Tom Littrell programming and operating. Listen to the crowd roar with approval at various lighting cues.

9. Pink Floyd - Division Bell Tour Any of Floyd's tours apply, really, but this 1995 tour was made famous by the band putting out excerpts from it as the double live album Pulse. The massive stage production encompassed three stages, with lasers, spotlights and two custom designed airships, all put together as elegantly as the music. Marc Brickman designing and Mark Fisher building the rig and set was a huge achievement for both.

8. Muse Veering close to a stage production rather than just a lightshow, these guys still make the cut for the amount of tricks they have, including three lighting guys dangling from the sky with spotlights to follow the musicians, and Oli Metcalfe's designs creating numerous different worlds. The stage is heavy on LED screens, but the star of the show is the lasers shooting directly into the audience during "Madness" with a special laser accompanying the guitar solo.

7. STS9 Longtime lighting designer Saxton Waller uses an LED pyramid combined with moving lights to create complex lightscapes that move impeccably with the improvisatory music. Very creative, Waller lights the music as if telling a story. The above video is a teaser video he created to show his talents.

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