In one of the highest-profile North American concert events of the season, the 2009 No Doubt Summer Tour culminated August 11 with a show at the Neal S. Blaisdel Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. Building on its successful working relationship with No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani from her solo tours, rental firm Sound Image of Escondido, California supplied a JBL VERTECA® line array system for the tour, which was produced by Live Nation and featured special-guest Paramore and either The Sounds, Janelle Monae or Bedouin Soundclash as the opening act.
Commencing on May 3 at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the 2009 No Doubt Summer Tour reunited one of the most successful rock groups from the 1990s, whose 1995 release Tragic Kingdom has sold more than 16 million copies to date. In recent years, Stefani has enjoyed tremendous success as a solo artist. Sound Image supported Stefani’s previous tours with a VERTEC system, and once again specified VERTEC for this summer’s No Doubt tour.
The Sound Image audio crew reconfigured the large PA system for different environments, based upon architectural considerations in each building. For typical outdoor ‘shed’ venue situations, the main PA system contained up to 15 VT4889 full-size line array elements in each main L/R cluster, with an array of eight flown VT4880 full-size arrayable subwoofers and nine to 12 VT4889 elements per side in an auxiliary cluster. Four VT4880 subs were located in the center barricade. In arena scenarios, the system featured 15 VT4889 elements for each main cluster, along with eight flown VT4880 subwoofers, nine VT4889 elements in each auxiliary cluster and six VT4889 elements in the side-facing outfill arrays, with an additional four VT4880 ground-stacked subs per side.
Veteran concert soundmixer John Kerns handled FOH mixing duties for the tour, while Sound Image system tech John Tompkins was responsible for system setup on a daily basis. “JBL’s VERTEC system performed very well for us in all types of venues,”? Tompkins said. “It’s always easy to fly, a real pleasure to work with.”?
According to Tompkins, the tour’s hectic schedule offered a few challenges. “With our schedule being 3 A½ months straight without going home, and having two different opening acts each night, we really had to focus on maintenance and cable clean-up every time we had the chance, so there was not much downtime,”? Tompkins said. ”?Having said that, it was a pleasure working with a band full of good, professional individual musicians who went to great lengths to know not just your name, but what you did for them on tour, as well.”?
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