Average White Band
I never knew that AWB was founded by a bunch of Scottish musicians! I was a bit surprised when the band showed up and there were a bunch of Scottish accents around. It was grrrrreat! The band consists of a guitarist (Onnie), a lead singer/bass player (Alan), a keyboardist who doubled on bass (Eliot), a sax player (Fred), and a drummer (Pete).
We had a paucity of crew members for this show. There was supposed to be another audio engineer to assist with setup, and mix monitors while I set up front of house. At the last minute, nobody was available, so I showed up resigned to doing all of the audio setup myself. I was allowed the use of one house staff member to help me move things around, set up equipment and plug in cables.I was able to get another sound engineer to show up after a sound system installation during the day. Then came the bad news -- the Lighting Designer had to have some emergency dental surgery, and was unavailable for the show. It was too late to get anyone else for the show, so I had to perform that function too! So for most of the afternoon I was switching quickly between about 3 jobs.
The band showed up around 4:30 and their sound engineer and road manager started setting up their equipment. Their engineer (Phil) would be mixing front of house for the show, but he hadn't worked with the band for an extended period of time, so it took a while for everyone to get acclimated. Amazingly enough, by 5:00 PM everything was set up and ready for sound check. I set up and mixed monitors for the sound check, which went very smoothly. Just as sound check was almost over, Peter (our other sound engineer) showed up and finished mixing for sound check and for the show. That's when I was able to turn my attention completely to finishing the lighting design and setup for the show.
I was looking forward to (and also dreading) this show for a long time. I expected a complete nightmare and a terrific show. It turns out that the nightmare was mostly logistics -- definitely NOT the band. They were among the nicest artists I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I've been a fan of theirs for years and I've always wanted to work with them, but I never figured I would be doing lights for them. Well, it was almost as much fun as mixing sound for them (mostly because I got to listen to the show like an audience member).
They played 2 sets of about 45 minutes each, mostly their classics, but a couple of new songs. The audience was absolutely LOVING it!. When they played "Pick Up the Pieces", everybody went completely nuts. They were nice enough to do an encore, and hung around until every audience member that wanted to got to speak to them or get an autograph. They sold lots of t-shirts and CD's. They even gave me one! I LOVE graft!
Check out their recordings if you haven't already. They are EXCELLENT!
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