So we heard that Pearl Jam was playing Tampa. It had been a long while since they visited Florida so when our good friend and CTM user Karrie Keyes (their Monitors Engineer) invited us to the show we just couldn't refuse.
This time around it was quite different. I recall Lollapalooza ‘92 in Miami, hours in line waiting to get in and seeing the guys perform “Ten” in plain summer blasting sunlight, Eddie climbing the PA towers and all. But many things evolved in 24 years, Eddie would need mountain climbing gear to get up to the line arrays, all but the guys’ amps is digital, and we at CTM get invited to every cool show in or near town so we don’t need that much sunscreen anymore.
Perks of the job, we got there early so we actually had the chance to get a real tour of the setup. Karrie was kind enough to walk us through the stage explaining each and every mix she runs night after night, and quite a setup it is.
Being a band that has been touring for so long, each band member has a quite clear picture of what they need to perform and in that sense they all have very different requirements. Stone for example uses only one floor wedge and one in-ear, Eddie about 8 wedges, Mike has two wedges and an in-ear, Jeff uses mainly in-ears with one kinda hidden drum fill and Matt two wedges and ear plugs.
In case you were wondering if Eddie needed 8 wedges just to hear himself, well no, those wedges have several mixes. In some he gets only vocals and in the rest his choice of guitars and drums. This is quite clever since the monitors end up having quite some headroom and a cleaner mix.
Karrie’s choice for monitor board is Digico SD7 all the way, she couldn’t compliment the board enough and so does our friend Greg Nelson but with the Venue|S6L which he had just had for three shows but is enjoying the sound and functionality this new model from Avid offers.
Greg also likes to hear exactly what the crowd is hearing so his board position choice wherever possible will be at floor level, so when the show started we stayed with him the whole show while he did his magic and enjoyed the 2016 version of Pearl Jam with line arrays, led lighting, hanging giant birds and digital consoles but the same ‘92 rocking attitude.