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Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

Lighting Up The Boss

When rock star Bruce Springsteen hits the road on tour, he turns to Jeff Ravitz to make sure the lights are on as he takes the stage. Ravitz, who has been the lighting designer for Springsteen’s tours for more than 25 years, will be designing the lights for Springsteen’s latest tour, which kicks off on March 18 in support of his latest album, “Wrecking Ball.” “He is a perfectionist,” Ravitz said. “He demands a lot of himself and those around him.” Ravitz based his business out of the San Fernando Valley for years — first with Visual Terrain in Van Nuys and then at Intensity Advisors in North Hollywood, which he started in 2010. His specialty has always been in live shows, television, award shows, webcasts, and feature films. Ravitz says the best stage lighting in that setting is one that helps deliver the performance from the stage to the farthest seat. For the Springsteen shows, the design is less about fancy effects and more about the cinematic quality of the lights to match the mood and theme of the songs. The lights are arranged to get a maximum variety — from dramatic and introspective, to poppy and theatrical, Ravitz said. The one thing the lights cannot do is upstage the star of the show. “Really, he can perform under house lights,” Ravitz said. “We enhance what he does. He can be doing it out in a field at noon and still put on a great show.” Springsteen’s involvement with the lighting design varies between tours. Ravitz has been called in as early as six months in advance to get an idea of what the singer wants to do. Other times, there was no discussion at all until rehearsals started. The “Wrecking Ball” tour comes to Los Angeles in late April with two shows at the Sports Arena. “He loves the vibe in the building and likes going back there,” Ravitz said of the venue. — Mark R. Madler

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