Liverpool UK based Adlib were once again singin' all the way to the tour bus every night on the recent John Barrowman tour for which they supplied a full technical production package of sound, lighting, AV, staging and crew.
It's the fourth JB tour that ADLIB has supplied. Having the resources and flexibility to offer all the technical elements in a single source operation enabled a very cost-efficient package to be tailored to the client for the hugely successful 6 weeks of sold out shows around the UK.
FOH engineer Walter Jaquiss once again specified a Coda Audio LA12 system, following its superlative performance on the last tour. It provided an excellent solution for a variety of venues from arenas to theatres and to concert halls.
Systems tech Kenny Perrin explains that their standard configuration was 12 x LA12 cabinets per-side with a variable amount of LA8 downfills.
For subs, they used two sensor controlled Coda SCPs a side for the standard set up, boosted to four columns of two SCPs along the front of the stage for the arenas. For this tour the dual 18 inch ported product was specified (having used SC8s on the previous one) as it was more compact and preserved sightlines in some of the theatre venues. They are also great for a neat truck pack. They still utilise the award winning signature comparator technology which feeds back the loudspeaker position within the magnet assembly. This extends and controls the LF response so the subs faithfully reproduce the input signal that enters the amplifier.
The infills were normally four LA8 speakers.
The FOH and monitor consoles were both Soundcraft Vi6s, chosen for the 96 input capacity, which was needed to accommodate Barrowman's 8 piece band.
Processing was achieved using one of ADLIB's standard racks combining Lake LM26 and 44s, and the whole system was driven by Coda's proprietary C10 amps.
Monitors were mixed by LJ Evans, with the band all on IEMs, keeping the stage clean & tidy, for which ADLIB supplied a Sennheiser G3 system and a selection of Shure hard-wireds. Barrowman's mic was a Shure KSM9 radio mic head on a Shure body.
The main challenges, relates Perrin, were ensuring a smooth coverage with perfect vocal intelligibility for the speaking and â€˜banter' sections and a full, rich sound for the musical numbers. Also, the fine balance of making it loud enough to satisfy the expectations of the younger members of a very mixed demographic audience but not too overpowering for those used to a more sedate sonic experience for their evening out!
Says Perrin, "I've used the Coda system a lot over the last year and it still blows me away! The fidelity and consistency of the system is incredible, and really helps us to achieve the goal of optimum coverage throughout the venue".
The lighting was designed by Simon Tutchener and operated by Ewan Cameron, with Adlib's Andy Rowe and Charlie Rushton tech'ing the rig. Similar to last year, the rig was flexible and scalable to be able to fit the different sized spaces and look good in all of them.
The moving lights were 10 x Martin Professional MAC 700 Profiles and 8 x MAC 700 Washes on the back truss and the reverse configuration of Profiles/Washes on the front truss, together with four 8-lite Moles for audience illumination.
Also on the back truss was a pair of black tabs, which opened and closed to reveal a 20 x 15 ft projection screen, which was fed from one of ADLIB's Sanyo XF47s, flown on the front truss. This video content was also relayed to two of Adlib's Panasonic 65” plasma screens that were placed side of stage for those in restricted view seats.
At the downstage corners either side of the stage were two vertical truss towers, each loaded with 3 x MAC 700 Washes and 2 x MAC 700 profiles for front cross lighting. A further 3 x MAC 700 profiles were positioned on the floor and grazed up the drape at the back when closed.
A mid truss was installed to house a kabuki system, with a blue silk drop that was in for the top of the show. As Barrowman entered, he stood on his marks and was silhouetted against this briefly by an ARRI 5K positioned behind. The cloth then dropped in to reveal him in full glory onstage.
Cameron's lighting console was a grandMA2 light, with another running in full tracking backup, and 2 x Lycian FOH followspots completed the lighting kit list.
A Catalyst media server - operated from side stage - was supplied to store a selection of VT playback materials and stills, which featured prominently in Barrowman's well known between-number banters, anecdotes and slideshow sessions, all characteristic of his highly entertaining performance.
All of the ADLIB crew thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Apart from the sheer entertainment of the show, Barrowman and his team are relaxed, fun and really pleasant to work with, so everyone is already looking forward to the next one!
Phil Kielty, Account Manager commented “.It's always a real pleasure for everyone working on John Barrowman's Tour. John gives it everything on each and every show and his audience realise this and love him for it. Steve Rayment and all the crew make it a real family atmosphere on the road and John's good fun too. We can't wait for the next one .... roll on 2012!”
For more press info. on ADLIB, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888, or Email â€˜firstname.lastname@example.org', Contact ADLIB direct on +44 (0)151 486 2214 or check www.adlibsolutions.co.uk