||[Apr. 2nd, 2007|09:27 pm]
Last week I ended up doing monitors for Aaron Pritchett twice. It was a ton of fun. Wednesday they were at Johnny B's in Whitby. Mike and I went there for noon, got the gear in and setup was fairly routine. The band got there at about 3:30 as we were getting all the backline gear up and running. Aaron and the lead guitarist were on in-ears, the rest of the band is on regular wedges. One thing I love with these guys is they just play a groove with them all going for soundcheck, then the keyboardist calls out for what instrument to go to what monitor, it makes for a very speedy, easy sound check. They're all seriously good players. They spent a little while going over some tunes before going to eat. Just as they left I ended up getting into a great conversation with Mike the keyboardist about different jazz artists and people we know, and ended up listening to the Brecker Brothers' Skunk Funk. Suffice it to say him and I got along really well. There was also an opening band though nobody had any information on them at all, not even when they'd be arriving. Usually after sound check there's a long break till the bands go on (9 pm or so), but the openers arrived after 6 pm, so we finished with them at about 7 or 7:30 or something. This wasn't so bad since we didn't have 3 hours of thumb twiddling to do. I had forgotten my ear plugs, but for the in-ear situation I was lent a set of in-ears, so for the opener I threw them in and just used them as earplugs. The opener was great and really got the crowd going. Time for Mr. Pritchett & Co. The club was packed. I thought from the look of it that they were at capacity, but apparently not. I tethered myself to the console by plugging in my ears and they took the stage. The whole show went well, though the lead guitarist's in-ears were distorting. It was clean coming out of my board, but when I listened to the transmitter it was indeed distorted, so after the gig I let their sound guy know about the issue.
Friday they were playing a club in Burlington. Again Mike and I got there for a bit after noon and started getting things together. We decided to swap out the board we have installed there in favour of the MH3 for me to use, as it's a more technically intense concert than others we've encountered there. I got everything together nice and neat and had most of the monitors in place and powered when Mike comes over and tells me that due to some political goings on, I've got to get rid of the MH3, the processing and amp racks, and the monitor wedges I've set up, and instead set up the gear we keep there. This came at 3 pm, about 45 minutes before we were supposed to sound check. I kicked into high gear, frustrated but eager to meet the challenge of getting all that together as quick as possible. Once I had everything switched about I put some music through the monitor wedges to discover that 3 of the 4 we had there had blown horns, so we ended up using the wedges we brought anyway. Then, just as we start soundcheck, the drummer's monitor won't work. I forgot to mention, due to the political switchup, I have no listen wedge for myself, so I'm doing the whole thing on ears. To add to the nuissance, the K2's headphone jack is underneath the top of it, which is recessed in the case, so it takes a few seconds just to bend my hand in a way to plug it in. Since I was essentially deaf to anyone not speaking into a mike I was listening to, Mike and Aaron's guy went to town solving the drum monitor problem, meanwhile the band played their normal groove and we dialed in all the other mixes. Once that was done, Mike and I went and grabbed the other drum monitor and put it in, then I got the drummer's mix up and running and we called it a sound check. Then the opener showed up. Luckily I had enough channels left on the snake and my semi-crippled console to give them all separate inputs, so they were pretty easy to take care of. Again the club was packed and the audience was great. The guitarist's ears were crapping out again so I switched to mixing a wedge for him, and Aaron's were acting up too but he just kept at it anyway. After such a hectic day I went and enjoyed a few moments outside with their bassist (who did a stage dive in Whitby, but the audience decided not to catch him) before continuing to tear down. That show was reminiscent of the first time I did monitors, coincidentially it was an Aaron Pritchett gig, where we loaded in 5 hours late, then got the wrong generator, then I had no listen wedge.
Blah, good gigs!