SES (Special Event Services) of Winston Salem and Nashville recently supported the popular Avett Brothers on the first leg of their world tour with a Martin Audio MLA 36 loudspeaker system.
Describing how SES became involved with the tour, Michael Brammer, SES Director of Touring Operations, stated, “We did a trial show at the beginning of the tour, and due to the success of the MLA and the overwhelming positive fan response, the band decided to take us on the road. The band went from a bus and trailer to three trucks virtually overnight, in part because they fell in love with the Martin Audio MLA system.”
The Avett Brothers are led by Scott and Seth Avett on vocals and a variety of stringed and percussion instruments, along with Bob Crawford (double bass), Joe Kwon (cello) and Mike Marsh (drums). With several chart albums including I and Love and You (2009), The Carpenter (2012) and the upcoming Magpie and the Dandelion, they combine an eclectic mix of bluegrass, country, punk, pop, folk, rock and roll, honky-tonk and ragtime into solid original songs that have received Bob Dylan’s attention, among others.
With stops in Canada and Europe before wrapping up in the US this Autumn, the Avetts headlined The Carpenter tour with acts such as The Old Crow Medicine Show and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals opening for them in a mix of amphitheatres, arenas and theatres, including two sold out nights at Red Rocks.
In order to cover the crowds that averaged from 10,000 to 12,000 with a bump to 18,000 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, SES deployed a loudspeaker system consisting of 11 MLA enclosures and one MLD Downfill cabinet per side along with six MLX ground-stacked subs per side. They also used an Avid Profile for FOH and a DiGiCo SD-9 for monitors. When The Avett Brothers return for the final US leg, they will play larger arenas, so SES plans to add MLA Compact speakers for outfill to increase the coverage area.
Asked how MLA performed during the tour, Michael responded, “Their FOH engineer Justin Glanville really likes the dynamic range and stereo imaging of the MLA system as The Avett Brothers are a very complex band. They play a variety of instruments and exchange them from song to song, so there’s a constant circle around the stage. The show ranges from very energetic moments down to just two guys singing into one microphone acoustically. It’s a very dynamic show and MLA really responds well to it.
“The coverage has been uniformly excellent in all kinds of venues, and MLA doesn’t take long to set up. In fact, Andrew Steelman, our systems tech was able to fly it in the morning and have Justin behind the console by lunchtime. The MLA system really has given us everything we’ve needed and more from a loudspeaker rig.”