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Elation DARTZ™ mayhem to mellow on Beartooth “Disease” tour

Squeek Lights supplies new narrow-beam LED beam/spot for 45-date headlining tour

Victor Zeiser of Squeek Lights is using Elation Professional’s new DARTZ 360™ LED moving head along with Elation Protron 3K Color™ LED strobes to support the diverse sounds of hardcore rock band Beartooth on their current North American tour. The headlining tour, in support of the band’s new studio album “Disease,” kicked off Sept. 14 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and plays a packed schedule of dates, concluding Nov. 17 in Columbus, Ohio.

Zeiser, who first met the dynamic hardcore rockers when they were an opening act for one of his other clients, Silverstein, and had put together a small timecoded show for the Ohio-based group’s last headliner tour, was well familiar with the band. So when Beartooth frontman Caleb Shomo and company came looking for a designer for their fall “Disease” tour, Zeiser jumped at the opportunity. “The band wanted to get more serious about their lighting and because they were familiar with my work they came to us looking for full service,” said Zeiser, founder of New York-based rental company Squeek Lights, lighting vendor for the tour.


Beartooth is a band with a message that they deliver with a style of music that is aggressive and raw yet dynamic and diverse. Zeiser put together an artistic and impactful lighting design that captures the emotion of the songs and reflects the energy in the hard-driving music. “It’s not only up to 11 all the time,” he explains, underlining the point that the band is more than just aggressive music. “The music is hard but it also has its more vocal points where you can paint pictures with themes,” more subtle moments that allow the designer to delve deeper into a fixture’s color and feature set.

“I was waiting for an LED beam fixture with good color mixing and intensity and found it in the DARTZ and its narrow beamy look,” said Zieser, who uses the fixture’s 3-degree aperture to create classic ACL beam looks. When the tempo slows he accesses the fixture’s effects package of gobos and prisms to create big looks. “They are bright enough to stack a prism, gobo and color and it maintains its power and still cuts through,” he said.

The design covers a broad extreme of tempos, a balance of big, powerful movements mixed with mellower moments in a refreshing array of primary colors you don’t necessarily see that often on a rock show. “It’s a show that has a constrained color palette. We use orange a lot, which matches with the Disease album and its cover, and I like to use green and light green,” Zeiser says, adding that the green is a holdover from the last touring cycle and goes well with the bright orange. “It’s a unique color combination that works.” The designer describes one of his favorite looks as an X pattern behind the band in pale green. Another favorite look, and what Zeiser calls the signature look of the show, is created by fanning the DARTZ fixtures up frosted in orange.


The setup comprises four truss towers, each with four DARTZ fixtures clustered together for a total of 16 units. Each tower also houses a moving head, 2-lites and an LED wash fixture. At the bottom of each tower sits a Protron 3K Color LED strobe that gives both big moment impact and added color. A pair of compact Antari Z350 Fazer™ haze/fog machines is used to create a dry haze mid-air projection canopy. “I only run them at 20% and they really sip the fluid,” Zeiser says of the efficient, water-based effect. “Two weeks into the tour and I haven’t finished the first bottle of fluid yet!”

The LD designed the show using Capture™ lighting design software, something he says he does for all his clients so he can give them a clear idea of what the show will look like. “Capture is an amazing design tool and cost effective at the same time,” he said. “It is quick to draw with and super realistic.” Popular with lighting professionals around the globe and universally regarded as easy-to-use visualization software with a fast learning curve, Capture allows users to virtually design the lighting, truss, stage and scenery in a 3D environment.