It’s not often we spend three days on one show, especially when only four songs are being played.
The Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill is probably the largest production I’ve been on. It had a revolving stage with a divider that created three staging areas. We put all of the backline on this section of the stage, and had to pull out the downstage microphones, pedal boards, and monitors when we would roll out.
I managed to sneak my iPhone onto Sam’s guitar amp during his first set, and the bass rig for the second and third sets to shoot video of the process. It turned out really well. I’m going to edit some video together and upload it in a few days, but in the meantime, here’s a video of my phone going for a little trip as the Duke of Cambridge is being introduced:
In between each set (on rehearsal and show days) we had many hours of downtime, which we managed to fill with some texas horseshoes, bocce ball, baseball, playstation 3, and catering. We even had some visits from some really cute dogs.
There were some really impressive things happening on the stage that I didn’t think of getting photos of. One in particular was the haze system. They attached a blower to some plastic tubing that went through all of the steel trussing for the stage. They then poked holes in the plastic all the way up, which delivered a bunch of haze throughout the entire upstage area. When the blower was shut off it really illustrated how much haze that hazer actually put out.
The show ran fairly well, all things considered. I wasn’t directly mixing monitors – the production had their own people to operate the audio end of things, we simply consulted those people for both FOH and monitor mixes. I had to actually tell the one tech on stage, who would be on wireless intercom with the actual monitor mixer any changes that were to be made. It certainly is a different way of working, but it did allow me to be right on stage with the guys to help them get it dialed in. Thankfully I had my cheat sheet I made the night before outlining how each guy likes their wedge and in-ear monitor mixes – it really did help too.
After the long Canada Day show, we made the trek up to Kirkland Lake, Ontario. This would be the second time I’ve been there, as I was there with Cuff the Duke opening for Blue Rodeo in January 2010. Thankfully it was a little bit warmer than last time I was there.
We had an early soundcheck which allowed us all to round-up some locals and get a softball game going. It turns out that the Woman’s softball team in Kirkland Lake is the #2 team nationwide. Luckily for everyone though, we mixed the teams up with the locals that did come out, and it made for a good game. I had one error in the field, and I batted .667 with 3 RBIs, and a slugging percentage of 1.333. There were some players that had a multi-homerun game. I had one good hit that didn’t quite make the fence, I just got a little too under the ball. I think I’m destined to never hit a in my life, although: I am a bit of a triples machine.
Arkells, Arkells, Arkells.
For those of you googling trying to figure out what songs Sam played in Ottawa, it was three off his new record: Without a Map, Last Crusade, and Let It In. The other song was Brother Down.