Powderfinger and Silverchair hit the road co-headlining a national tour throughout Australia and NZ. The “Across the Great Divide Tour” played in capital and provincial cities in all states.
The major city shows were held in arenas and entertainment centres – the provincial dates were in two leap-frogging 8 and 6 pole tent structures.
The tour started with a run of arena shows in Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Tamworth before the first tent show in Coffs Harbour. Of course, the first tent show in Coffs Harbour was wet. The heavens really opened up before we got there! Lots of mud and a few tow tucks later we had a show. Checkout the photos!
Powderfinger’s FOH operator Mark McElligot had switched to a digital console on their last tour but was keen to get back onto the Midas XL-4. Mark just wanted to get back to an analogue console for a rock band. Mark ran DBX compressors as his compressor of choice. Even asking if we could resurrect the 903 comps! His main vocal had an Avalon 737 as well as the spare. In the fx department he had a TCM5000, a few Lexicon PCM 90’s, 2 x TC D-TWO delays and Drawmer gates for the drums. The drum groups had an Al Smart C2 stereo compressor. Bruce was heard during the prep commenting “Hey his racks look like what I use! The secrets out!!!”
Bruce Johnson was back at the controls for Silverchair on the Digidesign Profile console and a pile of outboard plugged into it. Bruce said “I’m all for using digital consoles but I feel you need pre-amps on all the major stuff like vocals, bass the kick drum and the snare. It just sounds better.” Bruce had an Amek 9098 pre-amp/eq on Daniel Johns’ vocal as well as a Midas XL42 on the kick and snare channels. The bass had a Focusrite ISA 220 inserted. There were also 6 x DBX 160a compressors. “I can’t live without my DBX compressors! They’re the only compressor for drums for me and I love them on the bass as well! In the effects department I used a SPX900 on the drums. I also have brought out a TC 4000 unit which is surprisingly good. In fact it has my favourite TC5000 sounds as well some TC6000 sounds and just for us old boys some AMS RMX16 stuff. It’s my new favourite unit. You can also load the software onto your laptop and have a full TC remote like the 6000.”
After mixing Silverchair on and off for the last 5 years Bruce decided it was time to move on and passed the mixing duties over to Brent Gray. Brent has been mixing the band when Bruce was unavailable and Bruce realized the due to a busy schedule at the office and the fact he did not want to travel overseas for a large duration (Silverchair has a large schedule of overseas shows this and next year) that the time was right for Brent to take over.
Brent stayed with the Digidesign console, got rid of all Bruce’s stuff and just ran a Summit TLA 100 on the vocals as well as 6 channels of DBX 160A. Brent used all the DigiDesign onboard effects and dynamics plug-ins.
Both Mark and Bruce were pretty keen to use the Nexo Alpha for the tour but it was agreed that we didn’t have enough boxes in inventory to cover the larger arena shows. Rather than change speaker systems from venue to venue, it was decided that a line-array system would provide the best result and that the L’Acoustics V-Dosc system was best suited for the tour.
The largest system configuration was at the Acer Arena in Sydney with 66 x V-Dosc and 36 x Wayloud dual 18” subs. Bruce said “I was pretty keen to fly the subs in the larger arena shows and Mark really wanted to use delays in the Acer arena so we ended up with big system.” We had 30 x VDosc on the front with 6 x d-VDosc and 18 x V-Dosc and 6 x dv’s on the sides. We had 18 x VDOSC in 3 hangs as delays. We flew 12 x Wayloud subs and had 24 ground stacked.
In the tents we cut the system down to 18 x VDOSC 18 x Wayloud subs and 8 Arcs.
In the monitor department Stephen Brown (Powderfinger) requested a Yamaha PM5DRH console and Saul Skoutarides from Silverchair a DiGiCo D5. Both engineers wanted the Nexo PS15 wedges and we also supplied a flying Nexo Alpha system as the sidefills.
As some of the shows were being recorded we needed a quick solution to the stage patch. We supplied 2 x 56channel Whirlwind 4 x ISO split stage boxes. Both systems have a full 56 channel disconnect stage patching systems. An additional 100m multicore feed was provided to send signal to James Cadskey of Remote Recorders for the live-recording feed.