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Live Sound

Billy Strings’ Drive-In Tour Rolls On

Bluegrass sensation Billy Strings’ “Meet Me at the Drive-In” tour is on the move, playing socially distanced drive-in venues like Wilkes-Barre’s Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Wilkes-Barre, PA (September 16, 2020)—It used to be that a tour would drive into a venue and load-in; this year, the drive-in is the venue. While those drive-in concert venues may seem few and far between, some intrepid acts are linking them together for tours anyway, forging ahead despite the pandemic. Case in point: bluegrass sensation Billy Strings’ Meet Me at the Drive-In tour, which spent much of mid-September on the road, playing sizable gigs in outdoor venues in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

One of those stops included three nights at Wilkes-Barre Township’s Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza—or, rather, its parking lot. On hand to ensure every speedpicked note was heard were Dave Brotman and Mike Shoulson of Coatesville, PA, rental company DBS Audio Systems, which fielded a Meyer Sound Leopard reinforcement system for all three shows.

“What a wonderful experience it was to work a large show again—our first since December—and to work with such a professional crew and fabulous band as Billy Strings,” DBS Audio Systems president Dave Brotman said. The Billy Strings production team included FOH engineer Andy Lytle.

The parking lot venue provided a capacity for 530 vehicles, allowing fans to maintain social distancing while enjoying the outdoor shows. Covering all that space were left-right hangs of 16 Leopard compact linear line array loudspeakers each and a dozen ground-stacked 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. Meanwhile, four MSL-4 reinforcement loudspeakers were evenly dispersed among two delay towers.

WSDG Pitches In for Drive-In

“Once again, the Leopards performed beyond my wildest expectations. Andy, Mike, and I were absolutely amazed. From a low-end perspective, we opted not to do an end-fire configuration, though it would have helped on stage, due to the extreme width of the parked cars,” Brotman said. “Once tuned, the 1100-LFCs performed wonderfully and soared happily all the way back to the end of the parking lot, which was easily 500 yards-plus. The 1100-LFC is the most musical sounding subwoofer I have ever heard. With an upright bass and the wonderful overtones it naturally has, the 1100-LFCs only complemented the bass players’ sound. No coloration, just an incredibly musical loudspeaker at any volume.”

At 200 feet from the stage, the front of house mixing position was significantly farther away than FOH engineers are used to (100 feet). It was also Lytle’s first time using Meyer Sound Amie precision studio monitors at the console: “The Amies’ sound quality helped my mix drastically. The clarity of the Amies was unbelievable, not to mention the low end response. These monitors sound so good that I would trust them mixing the band side stage any day.”

With drive-in concerts serving as a new solution to producing live events, everyone from the production teams to the artists to the audience was excited to be experiencing live music. “Everyone we came in contact with was just thrilled to be there, be performing, and be reinforced by, in my opinion, one of the best loudspeaker systems on the planet,” Brotman said.

Meyer Sound • www.meyersound.com

DBS Audio Systems • http://dbsaudio.com/

Billy Strings • https://billystrings.com/

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