So I get a call from an old friend from an act I used to mix back in the day. “DUDE, we’re getting the band back together”.  We talk about this and the band has struck a deal to perform on a metal-themed cruise with three stages, 40 other heavy metal bands and 2000 fans…

What could possibly go wrong?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mlmQaw0Kdo

This cruise event is the total fly-date festival scenario.  All backline provided, all production provided, just show up and play.  The schedule is fairly forgiving too.  No overlap, so the fans can actually see every band with the only risk being that they might miss the beginning or end of a bands set.

So we all fly to Miami!!  On the day of the cruise we went for an early boarding as we had no idea what to expect.  The first thing we figured out was that the logistics on this gig were nuts. First, production does not get to load onto the boat until the morning of departure.  Second, they have to crane everything on. Third, they move the gear around via the ship’s elevators (and note that the boat is fully carpeted).  At the end of this blog I have listed the gear supplied.

(Ed. Note—I did one of these cruises about six years ago–before digital consoles became the rule on most gigs. Try fitting an XL4 into a ship’s elevator. Hint: You have to take it out of the case to make it fit…)

long view 020913

We got on the ship, found our rooms and settled for the 5:00pm sailing.  My band’s first of two shows is scheduled to open the outdoor (pool deck) stage at 12:30am.  The other stages started up shorty after sailing.  As I watched Miami slowly disappear into the sunset and the reception on my cell phone disappear along with it, I realized this is unlike any gig I have ever done… I was totally out of touch with the outside world. 

During the evening I ended up at the stage and started helping out as I had nothing else to do and my help was valued.  I built mic stands and, as our backline slowly made its way onto the stage, I placed mics.  We got a pretty good sound check and soon it was show time.  A good portion of the 2000 fans slowly filled in the pool deck area… And the two hot tubs… And even the pool!

When the band started, it was like the band had NEVER broken up. It was also like I had never stopped mixing them, ever.  The first show was our “Greatest Hit’s set that was entirely selected by the cruise passengers the week before sailing… THEY KILLED IT!  The fans KILLED IT and apparently I too had, KILLED IT.

pool stage 020913

Some things about this cruise that are notable for me.  I never thought I would have an opportunity to mix on the system I mixed on (Clair i5’s and i3’s).  Both systems were amazingly powerful and accurate.  ALL of the Clair staff on the boat were A-list guys who were super helpful and accommodating.  SO really for me, this was a working vacation.  I lucked out and had my own room, the buffets were great and the booze was fairly priced and heavily poured!

The fans—representing 55 mostly European countries—were another amazing aspect of this cruise. They were very respectful, not only towards each other, but of the bands, too. That was super nice to see as the fans and the bands were intermixed the entire time.  The only “fan-free zone” was your room.  This whole event was like the best European Metal Festival minus the horrible portapotties, the immense body odor from everywhere and all the rain and mud!

pool rigging down 020913

Stage specs:

POOL DECK Stage:


CONSOLES (FOH and MONS)

 

Digidesign Venue SC-48 w/ Redundant PSU

 

MONITOR WEDGES

 

12 Showco Prism SRM Monitor Speaker Enclosure

1 Clair MD-18 Speaker Enclosure Drum Sub

 

SIDEFILL PACKAGE

 

4 Clair R-4 Series III Speaker Enclosure

 

WIRELESS RF SYSTEMS

 

2 Shure R Series Handheld System, per channel with (1) transmitter

 

IEM SYSTEMS

 

4 Sennheiser G2 per channel, with (1) beltpack

2 Shure PSM 600 Hardwire IEM Bodypack

1 Clearcom MS-222 Base Station

 

MAIN SPEAKER ARRAYS

 

8 Clair i-5 5 Degree line array element

4 Enc, FOH, i-5, 5 degree, hornsert

 

FRONT FILL

 

2 Clair P-2 Speaker Enclosure

 

SUBWOOFERS

 

8 Clair BT-218HP sub bass enclosure

 

DRIVE SYSTEM

 

1 Lab Gruppen PLM amplifier system with Dolby Lake control

lighting truss design 020913

CHORUS LINE THEATER Stage:


CONSOLES (FOH and MONS)

 

2x Digidesign Venue SC-48 w/ Redundant PSU

 

PLAYBACK & RECORD SYSTEMS

 

1 Tascam CD-01U CD Player

 

MONITOR WEDGES

 

12 Showco Prism SRM Monitor Speaker Enclosure

1 Clair MD-18 Speaker Enclosure Drum Sub

 

SIDEFILL PACKAGE

 

4 Clair R-4 Series III Speaker Enclosure

 

WIRELESS RF SYSTEMS

 

2 Shure R Series Handheld System, per channel with (1) transmitter

 

IEM SYSTEMS

 

4 Sennheiser G2 per channel, with (1) beltpack

2 Shure PSM 600 Hardwire IEM Bodypack

 

OUTBOARD EQUIPMENT

 

1 Clearcom MS-222 Base Station

 

MAIN SPEAKER ARRAYS

 

8 Clair i-3 Compact line array element

 

FRONT FILL

 

2 Clair P-2 Speaker Enclosure

 

SUBWOOFERS

 

8 Clair BT-218HP sub bass enclosure

 

DRIVE SYSTEM

 

1 Lab Gruppen PLM amplifier system with Dolby Lake control

1 Lake iO/DLP Digital Drive System

1 Wireless PC tablet with access point

front of house view 020913

SPECTRUM THEATER Stage:


CONSOLES (FOH and MONS)

 

2 Digidesign Venue SC-48 w/ Redundant PSU

 

PLAYBACK & RECORD SYSTEMS

 

1 Tascam CD-01U CD Player

 

MONITOR WEDGES

 

10 Showco Prism SRM Monitor Speaker Enclosure

1 Clair MD-18 Speaker Enclosure

 

SIDEFILL PACKAGE

 

2 Clair R-4 Series III Speaker Enclosure

 

WIRELESS RF SYSTEMS

 

2 Shure R Series Handheld System, per channel with (1) transmitter

 

IEM SYSTEMS

 

4 Sennheiser G2 per channel, with (1) beltpack

2 Shure PSM 600 Hardwire IEM Bodypack

 

MAIN SPEAKER ARRAYS

 

2 Clair S-4 Series IIFA Speaker Enclosure

2 Clair S-4 Series IIF-B Speaker Enclosure

 

FRONT FILL

 

4 Clair P-2 Speaker Enclosure

2= side coverage

 

SUBWOOFERS

 

4 Clair SLP Sub Low Speaker Enclosure

 

DRIVE SYSTEM

 

1 Lake iO/DLP Digital Drive System

1 Wireless PC tablet with access point

 

Originally posted 2013-02-09 19:45:15.