Current Issue

Coldplay tour photo by Steve Jennings
Coldplay tour photo by Steve Jennings

Top 10 Tours of 2016: Gear and Crew

FOH Staff
Cover Story

LAS VEGAS - The year-end numbers are in, and whatever else you may have been thinking about how things in 2016 went down, live concert ticket sales are up, according Pollstar. Total sales for the top 10 tours worldwide, featuring, in order, Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Guns N’ Roses, Adele, Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, the Rolling Stones and Celine Dion hit $1.67 billion — an 11.3 percent gain on the $1.5 billion pulled in by the top 10 tours in 2015.

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George Petersen, Editor of FOH Magazine
George Petersen, Editor of FOH Magazine

NAMM-ification

George Petersen
Editor's Note

If this is January, then the Winter NAMM show is just around the corner (Jan. 19-22, 2017), and the annual pilgrimage of some 100,000 music and audio industry pros to the (hopefully) sunny skies of Anaheim is underway. Assuming you can get your iced-over flights from the Midwest or Northeast to cooperate, NAMM presents an ideal environment to escape the bad weather blahs and get down to some business (and a little fun) in this campus-styled enclave, where most of the lodgings are a short walk from the action.

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Kid Rock's NYE Bash in St. Louis. All photos by Kevin M. Mitchell
Kid Rock's NYE Bash in St. Louis. All photos by Kevin M. Mitchell

Kid Rock's NYE Bash in St. Louis

Kevin M. Mitchell
Production Profile

“Though we’re a big band with a large input list, we’re simplified in many respects,” Kid Rock’s FOH engineer Steve Cross says. The one-off Rock put on at the Scottrade Center arena on New Year’s Eve was certainly big (Lasers! Pyro galore! Balloon drop!) And, simply put, the audio team made it sound great, despite no real rehearsals and the audience hearing it all through a new console. The show was at this town’s home of the NHL Blues hockey team and, as a room, it’s pretty neutral, says Cross. “We had to put up quite a tall array to get the coverage we needed, but it worked out well. It’s always fun to take a large P.A. into a sold-out arena and have a great show. Couldn’t think of a better way to start the New Year… unless palm trees and sand were involved!”

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San Francisco’s newest venue, The Armory, officially opened on New Year’s Eve.
San Francisco’s newest venue, The Armory, officially opened on New Year’s Eve.

San Francisco Armory

George Petersen
Installations

At over 100 years old, the former National Guard Armory is one of San Francisco’s most distinctive buildings. Designed to convey the impression of a heavily armored and forbidding Moorish fortress, the massive structure features four octagonal towers, rough clinker brick exterior walls and narrow rectangular lancet windows. Now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the building measures 192,300 square feet and includes the administration building (84,700 square feet), basement (68,000 square feet) and Drill Court (39,000 square feet).

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Boise rockers Ripchain lay down some serious shred on the Knitting Factory Concert House stage. Photo by Katarzyna Cepek
Boise rockers Ripchain lay down some serious shred on the Knitting Factory Concert House stage. Photo by Katarzyna Cepek

Seven Recent Nightclub Projects

Thomas S. Friedman
Installations

The nightclub biz is booming. And there are plenty of reasons why. No matter where you go in the world, people like to go out for a few drinks, perhaps a bite to eat and some social interaction — particularly when it’s accompanied with great music. And in any successful nightclub installation, great sound is an essential part of creating just the right ambience and feel, whether in an intimate lounge, disco, supper club or live band venues playing rock, pop, country or R&B. With that in mind, we decided to look in on seven recent club installations, each presenting their own set of needs and challenges, yet all that found success through the combination of a skilled, experienced integrator applying just the right audio system to meet the needs of that particular application.

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FOH Jan 2017 Buyers Guide - Road Cases
FOH Jan 2017 Buyers Guide - Road Cases

Road Cases

George Petersen
Buyer's Guide

If sound is your business, then you’re aware that “stuff” happens. And when gear is moved, it is occasionally subject to rough handling. Here, a good case can make the difference between a show going on or being cancelled. Today, there are hundreds of companies building transport cases and we’ve presented a selection of them. Note that many companies also provide custom foam cutting and most have case templates for common equipment, so a “custom” design for your piece of gear may be fairly simple. And if you want custom colors or graphics, many companies can accommodate your request.

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RME Fireface UFX+ Audio Interface
RME Fireface UFX+ Audio Interface

RME Fireface UFX+ Audio Interface

George Petersen
Road Tests

German pro audio manufacturer RME is no stranger to users seeking no-compromise digital audio interface products for studios, broadcasters — and recently — into an increasingly growing number of live production applications. The company was launched 21 years ago with the DAM1 (Digital Audio Monitor) and a PCI recording card and continues leading the industry, constantly improving and expanding the scope of its product range.

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WCBS produced the event at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
WCBS produced the event at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

A Show Grows in Brooklyn

David Morgan
On the Digital Edge

After literally shivering my way through the National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington DC, I jumped into a rental car on the following morning and headed up I-83 North toward Lititz, PA. My final destination was the headquarters of Clair Global. Once there, I would spend two quick days in the shop prepping for an upcoming show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This holiday event was produced by CBS Radio and featured individual performances by Sarah McLachlan, Jimmy Buffett and James Taylor.

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Miami’s Ultra Music Festival is among those EDM-themed events under scrutiny in recent years. Photo by Raveguy23
Miami’s Ultra Music Festival is among those EDM-themed events under scrutiny in recent years. Photo by Raveguy23

Cymbals and Symbols: Music Censorship and Beyond

Dan Daley
The Biz

Music festivals and the cities that host them have long had a fractious relationship, going all the way back to the original Woodstock in 1969. Los Angeles, Miami and New York have all put the brakes on EDM-themed music events in recent years, with drugs and drug-related deaths as the main point of contention. In other cases, some festivals’ own success have been their downfall.

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