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Unworthy Experience

Written by Stephen Mar 19, 2015 at 09:44 PM
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I hope this doesn't fall on deaf ears. My name is Stephen Horning. My wife and I attended the Fleetwood Mac show in Nashville last night, March 18th 2015, at the Bridgestone Arena.

Firstly let me say the band seemed to be playing amazingly well, and in great spirits. Unfortunately, we were unable to enjoy that due to the sound
production being unbearable for us. I know that can be a matter of perspective and I understand that I could be misread as being egotistical, but I run
professional sound for music acts 3-4 nights a week. That doesn't make me qualified
to judge things necessarily I know. Here is what I heard though, and maybe someone can confirm it:

The drums were too loud in the mix, so much so that it was causing the compressor on the mains to swallow the vocals creating a "pumping" sound in the vocal mix as they shift in volume.

The subs were way too loud, to the point of clipping. A lot. The even the tops clipped a few times when the full band was playing and all the vocals
were going. Among a few other things that were a matter of taste, the entire mix was too loud for the room.

I make these points for a reason. Most people probably thought it was the band not performing well. In fact, when I tried to explain my issues to the manager on duty of the Bridgestone, Kylie Cooper, she her exact response was a snarky "Well, the band is old". This is unacceptable. The sound production crew is the gateway between the band and the audience and is an overlooked, highly misunderstood position. The band, and the audience deserve way better. I have never ran a system
that large and I am not saying I can do better, but I know people can do better because I have heard it, many times.

Normally, I would not boher sending a message like this, money is money and although we are not rich, that is not why I send this message. My wife, like thousands upon thousands, consider Fleetwood Mac her favorite band. I have spent a lifetime going
to shows, playing shows, and have been blessed to see my musical heros on stage. My wife, on the other hand, hates crowds and it took a lot for her to go to that show. We are both 33 so this would have been her first opportunity to see her favorite
band, which she had already decided she would never get to see. It might seem trivial to whom ever is reading this, as it was to the M.O.D. of the Bridgestone, Kylie Cooper. But to us, seeing music performed live that has touched our souls in
so many ways is the only kind of church we get. And that was robbed from my wife.

I don't want anything for us. The band should know this happened though. Miss Cooper tried to explain that "The band wants it this way". I told her she was
wrong. They have no idea what it sounds like to the audience. Thank you for listening, and I hope we get another chance to get the experience that this band and my wife deserve.
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