Tis is the second of five football stadiums, most of them have never had a rock show. Coming into places like that, there is no history or patterns how to do things. While I normally change things and readily disregard 'the way we do it here' in order to improve if I can, when there is no past pattern, it creates some challenges. I was not happy with side or rear coverage yesterday and requested a change in the the placement of the delay clusters. Unfortunately, the three days it takes to setup the stage means I won't see that the new configuration till Derby.
Here you can see the cantilevered delay clusters. On the front side are two huge follow spots pointed at the band, on the back side are speakers pointed at the stands.
One thing that is especially interesting is the over whelming desire that the fans have to hurl the plastic beer bottles and cups at each other. I can think of little that is more refreshing than watching a band while being beaned in the head by bottles and covered in a sticky mix of soda and beer for hours on end. Plus, the fans being as friendly as they are, decided to include !!! (Pronounced Chick Chick Chick, the first opening band) in the receiving end of the refreshing beer and soda bath adventure. Today John Fruciante came out and made a heart warming pre show announcement about loving all and how much he likes !!!. It was nice to see more fans actually watching than be concerned about both ends of the projectiles.
Here we can see them cleaning up the spent ammo
Each festival, artist and venue caries with it a personality, it is the harmony or clash of these personalities that add a level of uniqueness beyond the performance itself, to each event. New venues (to rock) are a bit more hit or miss, famous european festivals, some being decades old, carry a level of depth that can be truly astounding. Werchter Festival has a deal where fans can return 10 empty beer (plastic) bottles and get a free beer, there was not a single bottle tossed and instead there were roaming collectors saving up for another round. Roskilde pays cash for empties, Glastonbury festival takes every 5th year off to let the earth heal properly. There are hundreds of nuances that define these festivals, ways they treat artists, the fans and the earth we share that each year refine and adapt to their particular challenges. Something we unfortunately don't see much of in the US with Coachella being an exception to the rule.
Oh, and those innovative Belgians at Werchter have developed "central beer plumbing!" High pressure lines run throughout the event feeding draft beer from a massive beer truck, reducing the supply line infrastructure needed to keep the thirsty satisfied.
As the sound engineer, it is my responsibility to present the audio that you all here at the shows. All audio coming out (or not) from all those speakers passes through my finger tips. It is my job to capture sounds the band create and present them to huge spaces, intact, balanced and sonically connect the band to the audience in real time. I have no rewind button, second take or hold on for minute while I get that ready. So for each show it is extremely important for me to get in the proper state of mind, to merge with my surroundings and prepare for the task at hand, here you can see me in my pre-show-meditational-state:
And the Peppers as seen from where I stand: