When David ‘Gig’ Butzler was a pipe fitter in St. Louis and doing lighting as a side hustle, he had no idea that he’d end up as the lighting designer for the best-selling solo artist, Garth Brooks. Butzler recently was honored at Bandit’s Annual General Meeting for thirty years with Bandit Lites.
Butzler’s hard work ethic stood out to Brooks when he saw him staying late after the show, pulling the roof down at the end of the night. The future music legend asked if he wanted to join his crew.
What followed was more than three decades of lighting up world-record breaking performances, fusing Garth’s love of high-octane rock looks with chart-topping music. Butzler and Bandit have been trusted to design and provide lighting for the world tours, concert specials and benefit concerts, executing Garth’s vision for entertaining as only he can. Garth and Dave always think bigger than big, and audiences can count on something spectacular each time Garth goes out!
“Dave is first and foremost a great friend and a wonderful person.” says Bandit Chair Michael T. Strickland. “Dave and I hit it off on day one and have been close friends ever sense. There is no one more grounded and honest than Dave. There has never been a Garth show that he has not lit. His connection to Garth and the music is second to none. There is a symbiotic relationship between Garth and Dave that you rarely see in this industry. I love Dave and look forward to another 30 years together!”.
While at Bandit, Butzler has served as lighting designer and director for several other artists and events, even moving into television work along the way. He has kept his creative talents at the forefront all along the way and been a part of many large scale shows and events.
“I always advise young LDs on the way up to always stay close to family and friends and don’t get a big head because you’re riding high,” said Butzler. “You may be working for a superstar today, but that star may shine less brightly tomorrow, and you may need a friend when the work dries up. There was a time when Garth retired for a period and Michael Strickland and the folks at Bandit Lites were there for me with work. I’ll never forget that friendship. In the end it’s the good people and good relationships that matter. So, in the end what I hope to be remembered for most was being a good husband, father and friend.”
Butzler’s handy work will be on display in 2022 as Garth restarts his sold-out Stadium Tour March 5th in San Diego. The tour ends in September with five sold out shows at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland. In between, audiences can catch Garth and Butzler, with an absolute monster of rock sized light show, in stadiums across the US.