Motley on the road with KISS

Posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009


If any of you are wondering why you haven’t seen Australia’s renown lighting crew chief Motley recently it’s because he’s been living a childhood dream – working for KISS!

“I filled in for Bryan Hartley (KISS’s long time LD)on some KISS shown in the USA and Europe {07 & 08} after doing the Paul Stanley tour as LD in Australia,” Motley explained. “Bryan was / is busy with Aerosmith and Trans Siberian Orchestra so Patrick Whitley sent an email “Need KISS LD what you up to for 18month off and on?”. My reply “touring with KISS I guess”.

Motley has been getting great feedback from all industry types.

“I had Lenny Kravitz in NYC at FOH and I nearly got nervous but once the first 30 seconds of the show are over, I am in the groove and don’t realise what is going on around me until just before the encore.”

The rig is 64′ wide and made up of 7 trusses wit 2 x 8′ side trusses to give it a wider look. The stage is 106′ with scaff wings built in the seats at most arenas. The set and backline is set up at FOH on a rolling stage. Lights include 7k Syncro Lite x7, V*L3000 Spot x24, V*L3500 Wash x82, 4Lite DWE {Inline} x26 {Audience}, 4Lite DWE {square} x18 {Stage}, Atomic Strobe x34, CB12 LED Truss Toner x58, ETC Source4 Par NSP x4 {Gene Blood Gag}, Red Police Beacon x10 – all controlled by a grandMA.

All air lights are in prerig truss except Syncrolites and inline Audience 8lites so not many cases to store. Lighting is supplied by Epic based in LA. Crew Chief Sean Kohl, Andy Figueroa is the KISS sign tech. 13 trucks 6 tour busses all pretty full up.

“The show design started with the band saying they want a set full of video and a big video screen {60′ by 20′),” said Motley. “We went to do a bunch of Festival shows in Canada and two in the USA so it was different lighting vendors and systems everywhere. The VL3500 with the beam blaster in was the only fixture that would cut over all the video. We took the big screen and the old set to see what would stick and ended up with the show.

“Then Patrick sent me a hand drawing and asked me to draw it up in 3D after a few bounces back and forth he went to the set company All Access and got it turned in to a reality.

“The strait truss look fitted with the big square set and video so I kept it simple. The joke is you can tell it was designed by a crew chief! The only thing I was asked was the band want Syncrolites, the rest it up to me.

“There are a few cues in a KISS show that must be done the rest is what I call a 80’s Ozzie pub rock rig on steroids. There is not a lot of movement in the rig until the end of the show. Drum riser goes up to 16′ and rotates, Paul flies to FOH and Gene flys up to the front truss.

“Its been a good buzz as I went to KISS in 1980 in Sydney and came home and told Mum I am going to be a roadie and make big rock shows. Somehow I have now gone full circle. At first it was a bit weird talking to band members in full make up and 8″ boots so they end up 7′  tall – twenty-nine years later who would of thought but after so many years of touring I have no problem with it at all.”

Tour is 3 months in USA / Canada Arenas & 1 festival in New Orleans.  Date Highlights for Motley are September 18th Fly USA September 25 / 26, 2009 Cobo Arena DETROIT October 1, 2009 Bell Centre Montreal October 10, 2009 Madison Square Garden NEW YORK October 26, 2009 Philips Arena ATLANTA October 31, 2009 Voodoo Experience – New Orleans City Park New Orleans November 6, 2009 United Center CHICAGO November 14, 2009 General Motors Place Vancouver November 22, 2009 Oakland Arena OAKLAND November 25, 2009 Staples Center LOS ANGELES December 6, 2009 American Airlines Centre DALLAS December 18th Arrive home

Photos by Tony Dorman