Two ‘80s rock legends have teamed up to co-headline a mammoth tour of the US. Running from May through until October, British veterans Def Leppard and American stalwarts Journey are criss-crossing the States playing a variety of venues, from the opening show at the Hartford XL Centre (capacity just under 10,000) to Chicago’s Wrigley Field for an audience of 35,000.
The trans-Atlantic theme continues into the audio production with both the audio system and the crew coming courtesy of the UK’s Britannia Row Productions, who became part of Clair Global in the spring of 2017. Both major players in the field, on this tour Brit Row is delivering the goods with logistical support from Clair.
Keith ‘Meaux’ Windhorst is FOH engineer for Journey. “I have a long history with Clair Brothers, mostly as a freelance engineer. Their reputation and history speak for themselves, so working with a Brit Row crew was a new experience for me. Of course, I knew a good deal about them prior to the tour; I assumed they would put together a good tour staff – and they did. Josh Lloyd was the Brit Row system and design manager and was with us during production rehearsal as well as the first few shows. His knowledge about the gear and his demeanour were very helpful, especially for an older, analogue-minded guy like myself.”
“Going from arenas to stadiums, to amphitheatres and then back to arenas, we’ve had to be pretty flexible with our system configurations. The solutions to this particular challenge were addressed in the initial design phase of this tour. One of Brit Row’s directors, Lez Dwight was involved at that stage and he was very thorough in addressing the complexities of delivering what was required at each venue. Our systems tech, Johnny Winkler always gets the area covered audio-wise.”
The tour is carrying an L-Acoustic speaker system comprising K1, K1SB SUBs, KS28 SUBs, K2, Kara, and ARCsII all driven by LA12X in custom-built amp dollies. Although Def Leppard has been using L-Acoustics for some time, for Windhorst’s band, Journey, this was an inaugural L-Acoustics tour. “I’ve never mixed Journey with this speaker system before; I’ve used V Dosc in the past with other artists, some Kara systems as well, always on a one-off show and had a few limited excursions with the K1. When set up correctly, they always deliver so I had no reservation using the K1 on this tour and I have no complaints.”
For Windhorst, the combination of Brit Row and L-Acoustics has proved a singular success. “I have no qualms about Brit Row. When on tour, I only contact the office, be it Clairs or Brit Row, when there are issues and to be honest, I haven’t had much contact with either simply because we haven’t had any.”