Backstage with Baldy
Warsaw – July 11th
Echoes are cool if you’re a little kid standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon screaming your lungs out.
If you’re a grown man in a rock band on a stage in Warsaw, Poland? Not so much.
Stadion Narodowy is a 58,000 person capacity stadium in Warsaw, and it was built with soccer in mind.
There wasn’t any soccer today though. Just a giant stage and another gig opening for Metallica.
We arrived in the afternoon and heard techs from one of the other bands out on stage line checking.
What is line checking? It’s basically a sound check without the band. The techs play the instruments and the monitor & front of house engineers make sure everything sounds the way it’s supposed to.
But the line check I heard sounded like it was taking place in an echo chamber.
A giant empty stadium is never going to sound ideal, but this was pretty awful.
Sound was bouncing all over the place and I had serious concerns how the night would go.
But then the day got busy and the band arrived and I started running around and the next thing I knew it was time for the guys to go on.
I went out in the crowd to see how things sounded, and it was awesome.
I think it helped a bit to have the place filled up, and it definitely helped that we have one of the best front of house engineers in the business.
It sounded crushing out front, with no hint of an echo to be heard.
The band has sounded amazing on this run of Euro shows, and the fact that we have an incredible crew plays a huge part in that.
Me? I have absolutely nothing to do with how the band sounds, but I usually help Mike & Sean find their stage shoes and wristbands before the show.
So the next time you come to an Alice In Chains show and think it sounds great, remember for every guy on stage, there are a couple more people behind the scenes helping them kick your ears in the ass.
And if you notice a pristine pair of wristbands or a well worn pair of stage shoes? That’s just me doing my part.