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.
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!
Here I am…in the middle of my 7th week of work straight I think…Now I’m in Indy doing the March Madness Music Festival after doing the Sweet 16 in Houston. Before that was the rodeo there.
Been doing this NCAA festival for the past few years and have had some great acts on the bill. Three days of concerts and college basketball.
This year though, it’s just a little bit better. My home state of Wisconsin is now in the final matchup against Duke. Seriously great stuff to be surrounded by so much red. Hoping they do well on Monday.
I myself will be heading home early enough to watch the game if all goes well after I load out. More after show on Sunday!
Friday was Cold War Kids, Weezer, & Imagine Dragons
Saturday featured Bleachers, Passion Pit, & Rhianna
Sheesh. It’s been forever in a month (or so) since I’ve posted. Been truthfully very, very, busy with work and it has not allowed me much time to sit, write, and post like I have before. To be honest, it’s also been a lack of energy in the evening when I get to the casa that has let me wander to the bed instead of writing or posting a pic or two…
So, before I crash for the evening this time, I think I’ll put up a couple I’ve taken recently that stick out as favorites of mine, from the past few weeks….
Went for a quick photo op downtown on the way home last night…
One of the better inflatables from the Turkey Day Parade downtown…
The evening was beautiful but way too warm for the last week of November. I wanna wear a long sleeve please…
Another couple weeks of crazy shows coming up starting with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill this weekend. Then on to some smaller gigs with Sara Evans and The Band Perry next week. I’ll see about trying to put up some pics from that when I can. Have a nice weekend folks!
Once again the days have been flying by here on Planet Monk. Many concerts and I’m heading fast towards taking some time off. Need to go somewhere and get my mind off things me thinks! By the way, if you don’t follow Leanne Cole’s site, you should. Some great photo editing ideas on there. Need to incorporate some of them soon. Here’s a few pics from the past week or so…
Couple days of shows here featuring ZZ Top, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Reo Speedwagon, and Night Ranger. Holy 80s Batman.
Private party at the Asia Society. Jennifer Hudson sang.
Just one of the neat things to see at the Asia Society of Texas… (don’t tell the building photo police though)
Time to go for a jog and contemplate buying a new iPhone… ah stupid gadgets. I love thee so.
Was too tired last night to put anything up as we were onsite from 8am until about 12 last night. Show and load out basically…The morning proved to be a bit wet as we got dumped on pretty good the afternoon before.
The rains made it oh so fun for the fans on the second and third days
More good bands on my stage yesterday as we had those crazy kids Die Antwoord and then Crystal Castles headlining. Had a good time mixing The Features as well as POLICA. Freelance Whales proved to be a nice surprise too. Festivals like this are hard to come by and I must admit, it’s these type of multi cultural, multi genre-type gigs that make me love my job. Behind me on one of the other stages I had The Civil Wars, The Afghan Whigs, Jack White, Metric, and The Shins. All of which are favorites of mine. Good music, good people, and a great time. Got to see some pretty famous people as well. By the end of the festival I had seen Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Christian Bale. All were here shooting footage for a Terrance Malick movie of some kind. Pretty neat stuff. I hear it’s supposed to be out next year sometime. The most amazing thing was being able to watch Felix Baumgartner break the world record for the highest unassisted skydive while we were in the middle of a set change. The festival put the live broadcast up so we could see it on our screen. 24 miles up. I’ve skydived 6 times now and each one has been truly amazing, but to see what he was able to see from that high up has to be incredible….
Anyway, I’m back in Houston now and getting ready for the next one. Can’t wait for some time off though. Need to recharge! Here’s a few other pics…
My view on the last morning as I arrived.
Die Antwoord doing their thing…
Got to watch Felix Baumgartner make some world records for sky diving on our stage screen.
….and two more big shindigs to go before I can sleep in for a bit. Buzzfest tonight with several good bands. Toadies (as always) were great as well as a newer band called Dead Sara. Hanni el Khatib sounded like the next door neighbor to the Black Keys…
Nice to get a bit of rock in the ears once in a while!