Cosmo Wilson

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Cosmo Wilson
Cosmo lights.jpg
Wilson in 2006
Born Charles B. Wilson
(1961-02-18) February 18, 1961 (age 56)
Known for Stage lighting

Charles B. "Cosmo" Wilson (born February 18, 1961) is an American concert lighting designer and director for rock bands, active since 1986.[1]

He has worked with over 40 acts including AC/DC, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Foreigner, INXS, Iron Maiden, Meat Loaf, Mötley Crüe, The Rolling Stones, Ronnie James Dio, David Lee Roth, Scorpions,[2] and Rod Stewart. He was a touring road crew member from 1986 and toured with The Cure, Genesis, Barbara Mandrell, INXS, Crowded House, and various other acts before becoming a director and designer.

He worked on the Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels" 1989 tour as lighting crew chief before moving up to lighting director in February 1990, where he spent the next 7 months touring Japan and Europe with both "Urban Jungle" and "Steel Wheels" shows. He has worked with AC/DC since 1990, directing over 700 shows since then, including 1991's "Monsters of Rock" stadium tour, which finished in Moscow on September 28, 1991 at Tushino airfield, where it was estimated that there were over 1.6 million fans in attendance, and was described as the first free outdoor Western rock concert in Soviet history.[3]

Wilson also toured with AC/DC in 1996 on their Ballbreaker World Tour, in 2001–2002 on their Stiff Upper Lip World Tour, and in 2008–2010 on their Black Ice World Tour,[4][5] which lasted from October 2008 through June 2010, and played 168 shows in 29 countries with over 5 million fans in attendance, and at the time, was the second highest grossing tour in history.[6]

In April 1992, working alongside Designer Patrick Woodroffe, he directed and operated the lighting for the The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, which was a concert to celebrate the life and legacy of Freddie Mercury and raise money for AIDS research. The tribute concert, which took place at Wembley Stadium for an audience of 72,000, featured a wide variety of guests including; Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin), Roger Daltrey (of The Who), Extreme, Elton John, Metallica, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Tony Iommi (of Black Sabbath), Guns N' Roses, Elizabeth Taylor, George Michael, Def Leppard, Seal and Liza Minnelli. The concert was broadcast live to 76 countries and had an estimated viewing audience of 1 billion people.[7]

In 2002, he traveled with the Scorpions on the most extensive rock & roll tour of the old Soviet Union ever undertaken at the time. They played 20 cities over the course of 6 weeks on a tour stretching from Ekaterinburg in the West to Vladivostock in the East.[8][9]

He also has credit for several live concert films, the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels At the Max (1991) IMAX movie, The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness (1992), Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Welcome Back (1992), Black Sabbath's The Last Supper (1999), five films for AC/DC - Live at Donington (1991), No Bull (1996), Stiff Upper Lip Live (2001), Live at the Circus Krone (2003), and Live at River Plate (2009), Dio's Holy Diver Live DVD (2006), Scorpions' Live At Wacken Open Air 2006 (2007), Foreigner's Alive & Rockin (2007), and Aerosmith's Aerosmith Rocks Donington (2015).

He has worked extensively with lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe since 1989 as co-designer, lighting director, and programmer on several of Woodroffe's shows, including AC/DC, Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones. Prior to becoming a lighting designer, Cosmo worked as a backline technician for such bands as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Mink DeVille, D.L. Byron and Falcon Eddy, and musicians such as Ricky Byrd, Willy DeVille, Joan Jett, Thommy Price, Robert Sarzo and Johnny Thunders.

Cosmo received a Parnelli Award for Lighting Director of the Year 2015,[10] and a Tour Link Top Dog Award for Lighting Director of the Year for both 2016 [11] and 2017. [12]



  1. ^ Cosmo Wilson - Lighting Designer Avolites Designer Gallery
  2. ^ Scorpions/Whitesnake/Dokken North American Tour 2003
  3. ^ AC/DC Moscow 1991
  4. ^ Cunningham, Mark (2009-03-01). "AC/DC: BLACK ICE IN EUROPE". Total Production International Magazine. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  5. ^ "Clay Paky lights the AC/DC tour". Total Production International Magazine. 2009-02-10. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  6. ^ "AC/DC's 'Black Ice Tour' Is Second-Highest-Grossing Concert Tour In History". July 26, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  7. ^ People Magazine May 4, 1992 For Freddie
  8. ^ The Scorpions Germany's Top Metal Export Lead Multi-ActAssault
  9. ^ The Scorpions tour Russia- September - November, 2002
  10. ^ * - Parnelli Awards 2015
  11. ^ * - Tour Link 2016 Top Dog Awards
  12. ^ * - Tour Link 2017 Top Dog Awards

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