Maroon 5 had an incredibly successful debut year, topping it off by winning Best New Artist at the 2005 Grammy Awards. Formerly at home playing clubs and theatres, in March the pop group began their nationwide Maroon 5 Honda Civic Tour and are now selling out arenas, which provided an opportunity to upgrade their stage show.
"I think our biggest challenge on this tour is to provide the same quality of show whether it is a 5,000- or 70,000-seat venue," says FOH engineer Brian Boyt. "We had no idea how well the tickets were going to sell. When they booked the tour and we spec-ed what we needed with our sound company Rat Sound, they had most of these places set up for half house shows. Then the tickets went on sale, [Maroon 5] won a Grammy, and they started opening up more and more seats! We thought long and hard about this one question: Do we carry more and more PA or do we sub-rent at all the big ones? We kind of met in the middle and spec-ed out a good amount of gear to supplement it, and it seems to be working out just fine."
Rat Sound Systems is providing sound for the tour, and the main PA is comprised of L'Acoustics V-dosc and dV-dosc. The FOH position is anchored by a Midas Heritage 3000 console with a Manley Vox Box, DBX 160, BSS 404 Compressors, Drawmer 201 gates, TC 2290, Yamaha SPX- 990 and 2000, and an Eventide H-3000. Amp duties were given to the Crown 5000 and Crest 7000. Boyt points out the amount of gear on stage, "40 inputs to be exact. I have never been one to make rocket science out of mixing. They just have lots of things going on up there, and I have to keep them from draining into the lead vocal for which I love my Manley Vox Box."
Monitor engineer Andy Ebert mixes on a Midas Heritage 3000, which he thinks is the "warmest sounding monitor console" and makes his life "much easier." Processing is provided by the Drawmer DS201 Gates, the Avalon VT737 for Adam on lead vocals; the BSS 404 Compressor for bass DI, backing vocals, and acoustic guitar; two Yamaha SPX 990s for vocals; and drums and a Lexicon PCM 80 for acoustic guitar. Ebert uses the Yamaha SPX 990s, because "the Maroon 5 guys are so used to their sound that it's hard to edit other effects units to a similar result." Until a few months prior to Ebert’s arrival as monitor engineer, the band played only with Wedges. "They like to hear the sound of a Wedge mix with all the low end and vibes you can feel, including all the ambience and audience noise which is reproduced with in-ear monitoring," Ebert explains.
"The band owns their own Shure PSM 700 In Ears and a set of Shure mikes. Earbuds are Ultimate Ears UE-7s, which have a great, warm sound with pretty good low end," he continues. "I mix the rhythm section louder in the sidefills, plus Brian's FOH mix contains a good portion of low end, which helps me on stage. We also use Butt Kickers for drum and keyboard thrones. Everyone has a mix of AT4073 shotgun and Shure KSM137 audience mikes, so during the show I mostly mix lead vocal, audience mikes, reverbs, and guitars on my VCAs and, of course, individual requests for different songs."