- by Frank Hammel
BOSTON — Independent artist Louie Bello uses two Bose L1 Model II sound systems to fill the Abby Lane restaurant in Boston’s Theater District every Wednesday night. He's pictured here performing with his band.
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Louie Bello knows how to fill a room. The 20-year veteran independent R&B/pop musician is closing in on nearly a year’s worth of Wednesday night shows at the Abby Lane restaurant in Boston’s Theater District. Those shows, which earned him the 2014 Boston Music Award for Best Live Ongoing Residency, have routinely been bringing in capacity crowds of nearly 200 fans a week into the cozy bar and restaurant. And Bello fills the room further with immersive sound, thanks to the two Bose Professional L1 Model II sound systems he’s used for every show in this extended run of live sets. In addition, Bello’s set up includes a pair of Bose B2 bass modules.
“The L1 is an amazing sound system,” says Bello, whose energetic live performances fuel the demand for his studio work — including his upcoming fifth EP on his own label. “The Bose L1 Model II system can keep up with me. I’ll be all over the stage and all over the room, in among the crowd, and there’s never an issue of feedback at any time. I never have to worry about the sound system’s performance, which lets me concentrate on my music.”
The L1 system has plenty of other advantages to offer a showman like Bello, including its fast setup and teardown. “I can get the entire system up and running in less than 15 minutes,” he says. “I’m managing my own career and labels, so I need all the time I can get to manage social media and other ways to connect with my fans. I don’t need to be spending it setting up a complicated sound system, and the L1 system is perfect in that way. And I can carry both systems and all the microphones in my Toyota Camry!”
It’s also the most comprehensive sound system solution for Bello and the venue. He points out that with the high-performance B2 bass module packing two 10-inch high-excursion woofers in a compact, roadworthy enclosure, his bass player can play through the L1 system, along with the guitar and keyboards, as well as three vocal channels and an occasional horn section, all shaping their sound through the ToneMatch audio engine. “We’ve had the entire band playing and singing through the L1 systems, which is amazing,” he says. “They turned a room that’s really a restaurant, which never was intended to be used as a performance space, into a very good-sounding live-music venue. The L1 system is portable, great sounding and feedback-resistant. It’s the only sound system most artists like me might ever need to play a huge variety of venues.”