Pablo Cruise and Jim Messina

Today we’re working on Pablo Cruise and Jim Messina. Both bands are traveling together but are using separate sound monitor desks.  Pablo is using our FOH desk and our monitor board but Messina are using their own monitor desk. Complicating things they share the drum kit, but other inputs will be changing in the sub snakes which lead into the splitter to the two desks. There’s not a lot of time to tape up the boxes so only the ends of the XLR cables which are to be changed are getting marked up.

After unplugging these XLR cables at the subsnake input box and replacing them with other cables it would be quite hard to get them back in order in the short break at intermission without tape.

Also two of the people working as A2 ‘s at the load-in will be leaving before the show so lots of notes are getting passed between us for the change over between bands. I’m sure that’s going to make things interesting during the change over. I’m actually the video projectionist tonight but I’m also working with Henry as an A2 as we both have different schedules that list us in each of the two jobs.

I’ll write more later depending on what happens.

At sound check I unexpectedly had a conversation with Jim Messina (I didn’t know it was him when we started our conversation). We spoke about stuff I wrote in my upcoming book,  about performers and how they treat people around them, some being good, kind individuals and others not so much. I pointed out how most people who are in the business and treat others well succeed, but there are some who have so much talent they succeed even though they treat everyone around them badly. He told me how he started working at age 13 assisting in a studio, and how his musical career bloomed out of that. He saw a lot of people partying and doing drugs but he had already started working hard, so he just kept up with that and it ended up paying off. He went from assisting to engineering, to producing and then to performing. All he knew was, “Once I started working in Hollywood there was no way I was going back to San Bernardino!” It didn’t matter what kind of work he was doing.

Obviously he is a down to earth kind of guy. He has friends in all walks of life working regular jobs, carpenters, plumber’s etc. – and it shows in his attitude toward life and the people who surround him. It’s refreshing to meet another performer who falls into the category of good people. I have also enjoyed working with and talking to his monitor engineer Willie too. He is a great guy. We spoke about how much fun it is to meet so many interesting and talented people in our business. So far all the crews and musicians working today have been great.

Jim Messina’s Monitor Engineer, Willie at the desk in the foreground and Johnny B. at the CCPA Monitor desk in the background.

Sound check is still moving along fine despite the small bits of confusion, mostly because the road crews are all easy to work with (as well as the musicians). Hopefully the change over will go well.

Before the doors open and after dinner the carp crew and audio crew had a little meeting to come up with a plan for the movement of the drum, percussion and keyboard risers and how we will swap all the cables and re-patch everything. Did I mention that all the risers that the gear is on will move? Hmm? Maybe I forgot. So we now have a plan for the move.

Jim Messina and his band are playing right now, they are pretty good. I’m enjoying the show from behind the monitor board. It’s nice to have music I like playing on our stage. Most of my down time I spend listening for things going wrong on stage (so I can run out to fix them) and reading. Tonight I’m actually listening to the music for a while. The sax players are really good. Soon it will be change over time at intermission.

Jim Messina Band playing as seen from the monitor position.

At intermission all the tech crew jumped on stage for the change over. Cables were disconnected and re-patched, risers, wedges and microphones were moved and swapped. I ran out to the video station and started the 7 minute intro for Pablo Cruise as Henry was still working with Johnny B. to tap through all the inputs. Jon was a little surprised when the video started, nobody told him both the band and our supervisor James had asked to start it! Yet he and Henry were able to get everything working except for one audience mic which we had changed over in the break. Other than that we had only to lift the ground switch on the bass during the second song- not an unusual problem. So I went out and flipped it between songs. Now everything is working fine and the audience is enjoying the show. All in all the change over was way more painless then expected- also not so unusual!

Now while Pablo is playing I am going to start putting together the mic kit for tomorrow’s show, Chubby Checker.

Tonight  has been a successful evening working with good people and good music.

The input list which the bands sent before the show date.

Messina Input List translated for our input boxes.

Messina Stage Plot showing where each band member will be and the instruments they play with additional info about where monitor wedges, input boxes and power outlets will go on stage.

Pablo Cruise Inputs translated to our input boxes.
Pablo Cruise Stage Plot.


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