Jackson had been out of the touring game for more than a decade. After finishing his time with Springsteen, he founded Apogee Electronics out of his garage in Santa Monica and the digital converter tech he developed had made its way into virtually every piece of pro-level digital audio gear made. Getting him back on the road took a bit of convincing. But he agreed because he was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a client who insisted on the very best audio possible regardless of expense.
Jackson built a team that included orchestra mixers Chris Carlton and Kevin Gilpatric and the core of that team was in place for the 2000-2001 tour and with the addition of monitor mixer Ian Newton for the 2006 outing, the Dream Team was in place. And then in early 2011 an unthinkable event broke that team up.
Jackson was an avid private pilot who would occasionally just “take off” without a real agenda or itinerary. Death Valley was a favorite destination. I remember the morning of Feb 1, 2011 in the waning days of my tenure at FOH Magazine getting a phone call about a rumor that Jackson’s plane may have gone down near Furnace Creek several days earlier. I flexed straight news reporting muscles that were stiff from two decades of inactivity and began the process of investigating the rumors. Tragically, the rumors turned out to be true and at just 62 years of age, the audio world lost one its pioneers and leaders. And Team Streisand was short its captain.
When planning began for this tour Carlton moved the captain’s chair and Gilpatric moved to Carlton’s’ old slot as the house “right hand man.” The team is rounded out by monitor guy Ian Newton who mixes for Barbra only on a DiGiCo SD7 and Blake Suib mixing monitors for the band and orchestra on an SD10. Backstage—also on an SD10—is Steve Colby mixing the orchestra and sending section stems to both the house and monitor positions.
That dream team line is no joke. Carlton and Gilpatric work together on gigs like the Winter Olympics. Ian Newton is doing this tour while on break from handling monitors for Roger Waters’ The Wall tour. We last ran into Blake when he was mixing house for Brittany Spears and monitors for Barry Manilow’s Vegas headline show. When he’s not touring with Babs, Colby has a gig with a little local band called the Boston Pops. He’s worked (continued)