Sam Roberts Band – Canada Day in Surrey, BC

Having done monitors for SRB quite a bit in the past, I’ve always wondered what the band sounded like out front. I finally got my chance when SRB’s regular TM and FOH technicians had to sub-out for another show, and I got the call to take care of the boys.

After Arkells’ show in Owen Sound on July 30, I high-tailed it to the airport and got on the red-eye to Vancouver. An hour after the flight had landed I found myself in a random hotel in Surrey, BC. I managed to get about three and a half hours of sleep before I had to wake up and do soundcheck.

Despite a couple of curveballs, soundcheck went off relatively well. The system was a D&B J-series line array, with J-subs in a left/right configuration and a mono-cluster of B2 subs along the front of the stage. Because the subs were originally in a line one high, we had a lot of sub spilling on to the stage, so we opted to stand them up in a cardioid configuration. This helped a lot with the stage sound but created a few alleys in the audience area. It was a sacrifice worth making though.

After soundcheck I managed to get to the hotel and have a power-nap but not before I ate an obscene amount of sushi. BC is the best for sushi.

Showtime came, and things went off well.  They played a great set and covered a lot of my favourite songs. Once I got into the comfort zone I found myself dancing and singing along while I mixed – if you’ve seen me mix a show I usually look pretty tense, so I must have been having fun.

What’s next:

As soon as the show came, it went, and now I have a couple of days off before Arkells start-up next weekend. My cross-Canada tour resumes and I’ll end up in Ottawa and Moncton next weekend before flying home for a few days of R+R. Lots of Arkells gigs this summer, as well as some with Great Lake Swimmers, Elliott Brood, and the good ol’ Cuff the Duke boys.

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