Some times life can be a blur and while sliding back and forth in bits of time as we take a look out the window of a jet landing in San Antonio through the eye of an open shutter camera, proof of that blurry life concept is confirmed.
Texas is a proud state that is not only large but there are also a lot of cows and steers. I have a theory that it is the generational teachings of ranching which involves the corralling of fairly dim witted animals by scaring them a little bit with dogs and cowboys with hats on horses and then putting some food in a fenced area that is equally effective for turning four legged critters into dinner as it is for corralling votes from the idiot American public that makes up a high percentage of our country. Hence, the only logical reason we could possibly have babbling corrupt lying dumb ass running our country.
Anyway, Texas is proud and big and was home of Davey Crocket and Jim Bowie (the knife) and past famous wars. Hey, the Alamo!
Hmmm, actually I don't have any recollection of it. But I do remember Texas police setting up drug inspection checkpoints and randomly searching vehicles for degenerates carrying "The Pot" as they crossed over the boarder (from Louisiana to Texas)Â into the lovely overheated terrain of of oil, ego,Â greed and red necks. Fortunately, I was not a partaker in "The Pot" but my heart and compassion goes out to those unfortunate enough to be on the wrong side of twisted mind with a gunÂ or a badge. That was back in '86 though when I had an immature illusion that Americans actually had some sort of privacy rights, you know, that whole freedom silliness that is supposed to make us proud Americans. Since then and well over a million miles traveled about and around this ball we live called Earth, I have found my way to seeing things a bit more clearly, perhaps. Texas pride, American Pride, Shit kicker pride. Perhaps we are truly only as great as we are willing to be humble.
Anyway, don't get me wrong, every city, state and country has it's fair share of assholes and I don't really mind them too much as we need them around to keep the friendly humans from getting lazy. Oh, and the Mexican food here is all good, as are many of the people I know here and speaking of Mexican food the 24 hour place to eat here is called Mi Tierra
And this big friendly guy has rooster. Continuing the wander I yesterday head down to the sexily named AT&T Center where Peppers will play in a few days
to visit another Rat Sound tour called Taste of Chaos
Eight bands, rotating stage and six Rat crew on the road with another V-Dosc rig. It is desire and duty to visit fellow Rats whenever the opportunity permits. Greg, Steve, Tony, Taka, Baby Food and crew chief Tommy LBC are out there running the sound and boy that tour moves fast and hard. Five in a row shows, covering ground so fast it makes peppers tour look like it's barely moving. Basically it is the closest thing to a roadie boot camp you can find on larger yearly full production scale, possibly second only the grand daddy of gruel, The Warped Tour. It is a love hate thing and the people that tour and enjoy the travels of Taste and Warped are a special breed indeed and it where we find out what the crews are really made of with it being a starting point for many a successful sound career, oh and quite a few crash and burns as well.
This tour bus with trailer setup is not uncommon on higher density tours. It is pretty cool for bands that travel relatively light to be self contained, often with band, crew and all the backline gear as a single traveling unit.
For a show like this with 5 minute set changes, dual digital consoles is pretty much the way to go. All the bands' sound engineers store their settings and at the press of a button are ready to rock. Yes, digi boards are not my favorite but neither is the sound of an MP3 player, the issue is, sometimes it is just too inconvenient to carry a live band in my pocket. This tour is running a pair of Yamaha PM5D's both out front and on stage.
The rotating stage has an "A" side and "B" side and the is a console pair for each. While one band plays, the next is setting up behind and spinny spinny poof, there is the next band when the time comes to rock. Speaking of rock, here is a shot of 30 Seconds to Mars
Followed by The Used
Cool to watch and cool to see my fellow soundies in cities afar. Finally, look at that! How cute, the Texans have put cowboy hats on the bathroom signs, awwww
Ok, I will see y'all tomorrow and hey, how about we head right back over to the AT&T Center for a change, wheeee!
So the Champaign show was in this little round arena that left me finding the FOH mix area at around 65 feet from the front of the stage.
Personally, I am really easy going about how far I mix from now a days. I did not used to be that way though. I used to have a miserable time mixing if I was too far from stage or I was not exactly the same distance every show. Too far away and I would mix too loud and heard too much room sound, too close and it sounded too loud and I would have troubles keeping things balanced as you can get away with a much sloppier mix when you are close and still have it sound good, but only to other people that were close as well. Those days are long gone. I do like to be centered but sound wise, heck I am fine being 100, 150 or even 200 feet away and letting more audience humans have a better view. That does not come without a bit of a cost though. I miss seeing the band up close and clearly. So in Champaign, it was refreshing to be so close and I took the opportunity to squeeze in some photos between audio cues and the room sounded quite good so I did not have a lot of adjusting to do. So, for those of you that like the band shots, I hope there are a few here you'll enjoy.
Oh, and hello Ratketeers! You three got a special treat and it was great to hang and cool gig choice to venture your adventure and thank you for swag heaven! And then comes time to roll and off to San Antonio and with big eyes and an honored heart I took the shortcut way around the twenty hour bus ride
Gaining a few hours of time not lost buying myself a dent in the infinite string of unanswered emails and ever growing "to do" list and a pile of moments I try and spare each day to share the fleeting adventure called tour with you. Next up, I take a little trip to another rock show on my off.
The constantly in motion and promising that I will do my best to catch up and respond to all,