While preparations for the Zion tour began many months before, crew and band descended upon Sydney, Australia 2 weeks before arriving in the USA for the beginning of the Zion tour. Songs were rehearsed, sets solidified and technical elements were tweaked in the 5 days spent in the Doody St campus. For this particular run of Zion we had Stephen Pippett as production manager, Brad Law on monitors, Ian Hendrick on lighting, Ricki Cook as PA designer, Greg Leacock running the stage and Dave Rubie holding down video world.
While not completely diverting from songs that have been played on previous tours, with the release of Zion more elements had to be incorporated in the setup to allow the best representation of the current album to be presented. While visually the easiest thing to spot was the ‘mountain’ set, in audio it meant more inputs on stage, filling up all of the 80 Midas Pro 9 inputs at both monitors and FOH. Due to the amount of inputs, we also utilised the KT DN9696 in order to capture and playback all the inputs from stage for soundcheck purposes.
Mid America Sound provided all things production and for audio that meant a 28/8 L-Acoustics K1 and Kara for the main L/R and downfill, 18 Kudo for side fill, 16 flown K1-SB, 18 ground SB28’s with an additional 8 Kara for front fill. Ricki Cook designed the system and was able to implement its workings on the majority of dates, supported by the Mid America staff.
As mentioned before, the Midas Pro 9 was the spearhead for the inputs coming off stage, complimented by some outboard units to suite my own personal preference. They were the Lexicon 480L and TC 2290 for FX processors, the Rane C4 for dynamic compression, the Empirical Labs Fatso Jnr for drums and the Avalon 747 on the stereo bus for additional compression and EQ. Lake Processors took care of distribution and overall system management.
The tour was thoroughly enjoyable and a real challenge on all fronts. I think I can speak on behalf of all of the crew involved that it will be something that we will remember for a long time and no doubt be able to enjoy again in the near future.