Independence Day Boss in Paris ...

Bruce Springsteen

An evening of fun, an evening of excess and an evening of dreams, this is what Bruce Springsteen gave us on the most wonderful Independence Day France has ever witnessed. With the E-Street Band as tight as ever and the Boss rock-solid despite his 63 years, they managed to throw the breakers at the Palais omnisports de Paris in Bercy four times during the soundcheck! With Avid Venue and 160 L-Acoustics enclosures brought to bear, John "Coop" Cooper as Chief blaster and Soundlightup as a lucky witness, we can now certify that rock and roll is still alive!

Coop himself came and showed us in at the Palais Omnisport door and announced that the venue's transformer failed and resulted in complete loss of power three times (four, if you consider the one that occurred during our interview - editor's note). We thought to ourselves that we would have to make ourselves scarce and forget about the interview. John's smile and serenity were quick to cheer us up, though. The show WILL go on, you'll see! He led us directly into the backstage area where we did see the enormity of this tour, which looks almost cramped in a room that is actually quite large. We took advantage of our being near what we believed was the only console devoted to monitors to question him briefly on the monitoring before starting with questions on the front of house.

John Cooper

Mister passion in person, John

On stage: 18 artists, 104 sources on the patch and high levels

SLU : Can you tell us a little bit about monitors?

JC : We have two DiGiCo SD7s, one on the right and one on the left, because, with 18 artists on stage, one console would actually have been enough, but one brain wouldn't have! (Laughs - editor's note) We have 104 sources in the patch. I do not even know how many outputs Troy and Monty manage. I know Troy (Milner, Left-side Monitor Engineer) has about fifty busses because everyone is in stereo and Monty (Carlo, Right-side Monitor Engineer) must have even more, plus all of Bruce's wedges and the sidefills flown vertically on the stage: four JBL Vertec 4888s per side. Bruce has four main wedges, two internal ones for his voice and two external ones for the musicians, not to mention the sidefills for the entire group. The sound that you hear (very loud - editor's note) is the level of his amplifier. So we had to direct them 60° upwards to keep them out of the vocal mics... at least a little! The stage is very loud. To return to Troy & Monty, I do not know how, even with two of them, they manage to deal with so many mixes, I have a simple left/right to manage, sometimes a little more, and I find that to be plenty. I cannot picture myself keeping up with 16 to 18 stereo mixes. They do it every night, though.


SLU : The stage is really high.

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