Music concerts are very sensory experiences, especially for some of the bands. They don't want to just blow out your eardrums with their music; they want you to have an immersive sensory experience that transcends just staying at home and listening to albums through your home stereo system.

For many bands, to have that truly immersive experience, there needs to be some visual pyrotechnics, many coming in the form of lights and/or lasers and how they are synchronized to the music and their follow and form during the concert. The best light shows seem to tell a story with or without the lyrics or the music.

In that vein, we at appreciate great sound and great light shows, and we try to help anyone and everyone set up their own great sound and light shows. Because of what we do, we have a special respect and reverence for great light and sound shows that are found in many concerts. Here is a quick list of some of our favorites that we've witnessed or have been familiarized with over the years. If you have not seen these, there may be some clips on YouTube that you can see as examples:

Genesis - Abacab and Mama tours. These are a couple of the more innovative tours when it comes to light and sound, run by a Vari*Lite system created by the group's lighting engineers. Lights moved on their own!

Pink Floyd - Division Bell tour. Hard to pick out a single one of the band's tours since they're all impressive, but we decided to choose this one from 1995. It involved three full stages, spotlights, lasers all around, along with a couple of custom-built airships! Airships!

Muse - This band loves LED screens and lasers for its shows. During its song Madness, the lighting guys fire off lasers into the audience and has a special laser that follows along to the guitar solo. There is a clip of this on YouTube that is worth a look. Widespread Panic - Lots of color schemes and motion are involved in this band's shows. The lighting was handled by a former Grateful Dead lighting director, but the new guy in charge incorporates cannons and big-screen projection to go along with the psychedelics.

Nine Inch Nails - Every tour has changes, but the lighting guys behind this group have developed a great design that leverages shadows just as well as light.

The Disco Biscuits - Lasers and cannons. Lasers and cannons. And did we mention lasers and cannons?

Ghostland Observatory - These two guys put on an impressive show, using lasers that are well-synchronized to the music, and mirrors are used to enhance the light experience.

Phish - This band has gained a lot of fans for its concert experiences, and lighting director Chris Kuroda is all over it - a former roadie, he has been with the band for years and knows it well, which means he can improvise his lighting right along with the band. He is credited with lighting Justin Beiber's Believe tour, which launches Kuroda into a new demographic.

Umphrey's McGee - While we admit to not knowing very much about this band, it is getting a reputation for stellar light shows - the kinds of shows that convert a small club venue into an arena with the magic of lights and sounds. This group overwhelms its audience's senses.

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