28/08/16

David Gilmour – Europe 2016 (Pompeii & Wiesbaden)

POMPEII:

 

Ok, so at this point I had been Freelance for all of 1 month when I was asked to go out to Pompeii to set up the PA for the David Gilmour European Tour. If you know anything about the history of Britannia Row, you know that this is a pretty big deal, but Oh.My.God, what an opportunity! Not only was it part of Brit Row history but we were also going to be part of the first ever live production inside Pompeii amphitheater, an incredible nod to Pink Floyd’s 1972 concert documentary.

 

The European Tour was underway and had a fairly hectic schedule in some very unusual venues. Since Pompeii isn’t built for modern day performances the set up took several days and needed a second set of crew (audio, lights, rigging) to build in time for the tour crew to arrive so they remained on schedule. This meant we bought an entirely new system over with us, from drive system to boxes, all of which was prepped in house and flown out ASAP. Our System Engineer and myself flew out a few days later.

On arrival the amphitheater had already begun its transformation from ancient monument to gig venue. We were given a slot for an over night load in along with the lighting department as the amphitheater grounds were still open to the public during the day. While waiting for the trucks to arrive we discovered that there was an exhibition below the stands dedicated to the Pink Floyd documentary that played their music on repeat! This made for an amazing atmosphere when loading in the PA! However, getting the equipment inside the walls of the amphitheater was another thing entirely. The floors of both entrances, normally stone stair cases, were boarded over entirely to create an easier platform on which to travel equipment. However this made for some very steep ramps and an interesting load in!

We returned the next day to start setting up, although were only able work from the late afternoon onward as the temperature was nearing 40C and we had no shade to cover us, except for under the stage.

IMG_6639

 

Our main left and right system consisted of 6 x K2 and 4 x K1SB which were mounted on their own platforms, as there is nowhere for the PA to be hung . As you can see from the picture, we made very good use of the K2 screw jacks as we had to cover not only the floor but also up to the row of “seated” ticket holder areas. Luckily the PA platforms were just big enough to house both stacks, but only after we removed the dolly from the K1SBs. This also ensured that the stacks were more secure and less likely to move during the shows. Amps were positioned directly blow the platforms so cable runs were kept to a minimum (thankfully!).

 

I was also lucky enough to get to experience the new L’acoustics KS28 Subs for these gigs. We used 12 Subs and ran them along the bottom of the stage on the floor. We also added 3 stacks of 2 x Kara for fills which were placed on top of the subs to reach the desired height as the stage would not be large enough to incorporate both wedges and front fills along the front.

 

IMG_6636

 

IMG_6640

View from the back of the amphitheater. The entire floor was boarded over and varnished prior to the show. You can also see the FOH platform for audio (Right) and lighting (Left).

 

IMG_6637

Our FOH platfrom.

 

After 3 days of set up, the PA was rigged and the system tested and we were ready to hand over the the touring crew. We left the afternoon of the crew’s arrival as we had a UK festival to work on, but returned 3 days later for the final show and the load out.

 

THE SHOW

My pictures do not do this justice in the least but I gave it my best! Although the PA system was small in comparison to some of the rigs on the tour, it certainly managed to fill up the amphitheater.

 

IMG_6663

View from above FOH during the “SoundScapes”

 

IMG_6661

Mission Control with Terence and Ben!

 

IMG_6665

IMG_6669

IMG_6671

IMG_6681

IMG_6683

IMG_6684

Incredible show in an amazing venue! I think I may have peaked in my career way too early!!

 

 

 

WIESBADEN:

A week later we were sent out to Wiesbaden in Germany to help with the delay system for the show there. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from this one as we were working to a pretty tight schedule, instead I have decided to focus on the equipment that we used as it was my first time doing so many delays!!

Again, we took along extra elements of the system as the tour wasn’t carrying enough to allow for an entire delay package as well as a main.

The system was comprised as follows (from memory/press pics so may not be 100% on the box count!)

Main Tour Package:

Main L & R:

16 x K1 with 3 x K2 down

12 x K1SB

 

Main Centre:

6 x Kara

 

Side L & R:

4 x K2 (ground stacked on stage with K2 Jacks)

 

Ground Subs:

24 x KS28

Fills L, C,R:

3 x Kara

We also made use of the BRP Meat Racks to house the amps, lakes and drive systems. Each Meat Rack contained 27 L’Acoustics amps (a collection of LA8s and LA12Xs).

Extra Delay Package:

Delays 1 & 2:

4 x K2 (ground stacked on platform with K2 Jacks)

2 x SB28 (under platform)

1 x LARAK

1 x Delay Rack

 

Delays 3 & 4:

8 x K1 (flown)

3 x Arc II (flown)

2 x SB28 (ground stacked)

2 x LARAK

1 x Delay Rack

 

Delays 5 & 6:

3 x Arc II (ground stacked on platform)

2 x SB28 (under platform)

 

Delays 7 & 8:

6 x Kara (stacked on subs)

2 x SB18 (ground stacked)

1 x LARAK

1 x Delay Rack

 

The delay racks were linked together via our 250m fibre cables in a loop around the site. Thankfully we only had an issue with one network switch at Delay 8 but managed to fix this with some borrowed signal cable from the tour package.

 

I did previously mention that I didn’t manage to get any pictures of the set up or the gig, however I did find this online which made me smile! We got in the way of this poor little dude’s pond as they were in the middle of the site! Hope he enjoyed the show!

https://media.yahstar.com/600x0/vstar/s3fs/6/6809/2016/07/19/bc5204a4d3771defdae545c5c17f6d0d.jpg Picture by Damon Iddins

https://media.yahstar.com/600×0/vstar/s3fs/6/6809/2016/07/19/bc5204a4d3771defdae545c5c17f6d0d.jpg
Picture by Damon Iddins