Posted by: performanceproduction | December 20, 2010

If you call it a staycation I will stab you

…because, really, that’s up there on my list of  “Stupidest terms people use to describe something that already has a totally usable name.”

So, the hipitty-hoppity radio station gig.  Crew was better than last time I was at this venue, though the loaders were among the worst I’ve ever dealt with.  These were easy trucks (I could see the front wall of one from the back!!) and it was just nonstop complaints.  I mused a couple of times that we should’ve just flown in the Teamsters from Chicago that we had last week.  We had the same two trucks with about five times as much shit packed into them.  Now THOSE were some serious truck packs.  This weekend?  Child’s play I tell ya.

So we get in, do our load-in thang, and as we’re wrapping up with that, headliner’s crew shows up.  Cool guys, they know their shit, and they have senses of humour (god bless ’em).  FOH is a Digidesign guy, so I had to guide him on the finer points of the 5D, but we tuned the rig and he was all happy.  After he had gone through all the effort of labelling everything, it turns out he was using a different input list than the file that Monitor Guy had, so rather than reinventing the wheel, I just did some creative softpatching around for him.  Bing bang boom, they’re happy, onto the next act.  Mons for headliner moves out front for this act, and because of the festival patching and what he wanted to do at monitor world, and to make his life easier out at FOH, I did some MAJOR soft-patching for him.  Of course, a lot of this was later rendered unnecessary because the ProTools op showed up without the correct session, so FOH dude said “fuck that, ’tain’t here, I’m not using it” (and rightly so, says I).

Noone else had crew, so I did some more softpatching around to stay in second act’s scene and not fuck around, which may or may not have made it harder or easier for me.  Oh well, it all went smoothly enough.  Acts came in (at the right time!) , did a few minutes worth of checking and headed out.  All’s well.  In total, I mixed 5-6 acts, all standard DJ+Vox stuff, and throughout the night refined the rig.  The last act I mixed I’ve worked with before and I remembered being impressed.  Now, as is standard with hip hop shows, I had spent the whole night wrangling with EQ and compression and throwing every trick I know at the vocal channels to get a cupped, swallowed mic to sound like a human voice.  I did one song with this act, reached over, flattened the EQ and it sounded awesome.  Kudos to a real professional doing his thing.  And kudos to whatever soundguy beat into his brain however many years ago what proper mic technique is.

So my night being done, I recall second act’s scene and sit back.  Unfortunately, all of my refinements from the course of the night disappear with that, and he cranks the shit out of it.  Now, this show didn’t sell all that well, and the arena is on the small side to begin with.  I had the rig right on the appropriate line pretty much the whole night of being big and powerful sounding, but tight and not overwhelming.  Turn it up anymore and I would have fucked myself by really bouncing a whole lotta shit off the walls, floor, and ceilings, and things would’ve got ugly really really quickly.  So I didn’t.  Unfortunately, I was alone in that manner of thinking, and the rest of the night was fairly disappointing sonically.  Both touring engineers cranked everything up (still well in the safe zone, as far as equipment goes), and it all kinda went to hell in a handbasket.  I’m afraid it’s not my job, unless they’re totally completely fucking everything up to stop them.  I’ll help them if they ask, or if they’re endangering drivers I’ll put a stop to them, or if the promoter asks me to, I’ll step in, but in general I tend to just kinda sit back and gloat that I whooped their ass.  Nature of the beast, kiddos.

So yes, I got to sit back in my rightful FOH chair for this one.  I had a momentary panic as our LD’s wife was in the hospital a few days prior to the show for back surgery, and fearing the worst, I took the plot and learned it and soft-programmed it in case I was thrown into that fire, but it turned out to be for naught.  This is where I get tricky, see.  I know the rules of life.. Knowing that the more effort I put into being ready, the more likely it would end up being unnecessary and he would be able to go.  Same reasoning I used to buy 2 crescent wrenches once when I had just lost two, because within a week I found the two lost ones and was able to get my money back for the others.

So now I’m off for just about two weeks.  Casino gig on NYE, followed up by a few months of maintenance and organisational shit.  Y’know, the same spot I was at when I started this blog.

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