Comcast Center, formally Tweeter Center, formally Great Woods in Boston but actually is 25 miles away from Boston in Mansfield Mass.
The thin crust of an eggshell that had formed around my nearly two years at home has been sufficiently shattered for me to begin to see tour world clearly. You would think that well over two decades since my first tour, I would have a nice warm familiar groove to settle into. Hey, isn't touring like riding a bike? Once you do it, you know forever. Perhaps, but with so many complexities and patterns I have carved into over the years, which one will I be? As I re-enter tour life, which of my past tour patterns will envelop me and which pattern do I strive to embrace? Regardless of my intentions though, the unique dynamics of each band, travel rhythm, fellow crew friends and my life stability levels all whirl-spin together and at some point I find out where I land. It at that point which I can truly decide which direction to head.
And here I am starting with two extremes and working my way to the middle. Deep dives into technical ponderings in between reckless indulgence in the freedom from the mundane responsible of the everyday land locked life I lived just few weeks ago, all magnified by the gaping holes left where the things I miss reside.
Finishing up the design phase of adapting the sound system to sheds and finding a stable tour pattern. Must drink less because if I continue at this lushy pace I will start losing everything thing, like cameras, friends or my own humanly self. Oh, and also I need to work on finding this tour's hobby or adventure. Speaking of tour hobby, this is the exact venue that donated the seat to the electric go-cart I made on the 2003 Peppers tour!
And so, nothing truly is perfect but some things are way better than others and now that we have the sub Vortex system all dialed in, at least we are done doing arenas so I get to start all over. Would not want to get bored and running with 'typical' is soooo booooring.. Lets take a dive into the pleasure of coming up with a brand new shed design. Fortunately, the design of the various amphitheaters (sheds) varies so drastically, that nailing down a repeatable setup is going to be a challenge indeed. My strategy is to come up with three setups to select from and pick the optimum for each venue. The Vortex is choice #1 and surprisingly we were able to run with it in Milwaukee
How well do the Vortex actually work? On the down side, when you light up an entire arena with low end and really cover the sides well, the sound of the subs is naturally going to be a more 'roomy' over all sound. But that is a price I have to pay for getting a more consistent sub sound in the room.
Also, we are doing really well at getting a smooth sub level in front of the stage, but at the diagonals where the sub Vortex stacks are focused toward the deep part of the arena, there is substantial output, especially during the drum solo. So the sub output is hotter than I would like in those areas. That said, it is much more consist ant than any other ground stacked sub setups I have used. Oh, plus they look cool and I can alter the coverage a bit with delay times and levels.
One of the goals with the sub setup was to be able 'fill and not kill.' As in fill the arena and not kill Steve, Doug, Robert and Chris, the backline techs. Steve Walsh drives at the other end of the audio snake during the show and literally five feet away from the back of the subs. Chris is even closer. I will rock some pics of all the tour humans at some point but first I have to remember all the names.
Anyway, take a peak at the alternate shed setup
And the design notes:
And no matter how large you roll, someone somewhere just has to one up ya!