After a few weeks off, I was able to join some old tour friends who I admire greatly. They offered me a gig as a monitor tech for Matchbox 20 on their 20 year anniversary tour. We played most of the shows with Counting Crows with Matt Nathanson or Rivers and Rust opening. Was nice to get behind the board in monitors again doing ears for the openers and helping the great Bob Lewis as he did his thing for MB.
Crazy circumstances hit from all sides on this run though. From bees infesting our speakers one show day, to sinkholes preventing our trucks from entering the venue. A few massive downpours, to even a skunk problem one day after a storm…we encountered enough delay of games to last us a couple years at least. Plus on top of that another wonderful flood situation at home in Houston put things on high alert. In the end, I came out ok but several friends lost a lot. Tough to watch from afar when you are working on the road.
After the run for GoT was over, I ventured out into the corporate world for a few shows. One of them being the yearly event for TED Talks up in Vancouver, BC. An absolutely great bunch of people on the crew here and a great event overall to work on. Amazingly good talks here with live acts occasionally playing on the same stage. They actually build the entire theatre seating area in the convention center there and they do it in under a weeks time. PA done and floated in one afternoon with a few tweaks done a couple days later.
The start of 2017 brought me my first freelance job as System Engineer for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. This featured conductor Ramin Djawadi who is the main composer for the show as well as several other projects such as Westworld, Pacific Rim and Iron Man. We deployed 8 main hangs of Meyer Lyon speakers for the in-the-round setting that was needed for the show. Long days and nights as this was a pretty huge production. Tons of video, pyro, and lights here and the crowds seemed to enjoy the shows quite well.
After deciding long and hard about my current location and career, I decided at the end of 2016 to join the freelance world of live audio. Mostly decided out of the need to get closer to family. Being closer to help out when needed especially when I am home was the driving factor. Traveling back and forth from Wisconsin was getting expensive and only going to get worse over time. Losing the security of a staff position and the yearly jobs that contributed to my growing experience was going to be tough to match but something had to happen. So, with that all weighing on me I decided I wasn’t getting any younger and put in my notice. LD Systems was a great company to grow up in and I am very thankful for all the opportunities they offered me throughout the years.
With the passing of the new year, I began as a freelancer and it didn’t take long thankfully, to gain employment. First job being as the System Engineer for the Game of Thrones US tour in 2017. A big change of pace and speaker systems but I learned a lot and continue to do so. Pics to follow!