Dierks Bentley’s kicked off the Mountain High Tour this past May in support of his ninth studio album, The Mountain. After a December-January break, he picks up again in February 2019. It’s one of the first major tours to work out the new PK Sound Trinity line array system, labeled Advanced Robotics.
Front-of-house and system engineer James “Pugsley” McDermott is on his 13th year touring with Bentley; this is the first tour with the Trinity Advanced Robotic Line Arrays. “It’s been a technological advancement not only in deployment, but also sonically,” McDermott notes.
The system features full-size main hangs with up to 16 Trinity boxes on each side of the stage, plus a dozen Trinity 10s for side hanging and front fills, per side. The crew also flew six Gravity 218 subwoofers per side, with an optional six per side on the ground, which, McDermott explains, were deployed in different configurations daily to fit the size and shape of each venue.
Related: Dierks Bentley: Bluegrass on the Edge, by Barbara Schultz, May 21, 2010
“Every Trinity box can be whatever you want it to be,” McDermott adds. “[One night] I was having problems with a side hang blowing into a video wall to the side of the audience, and all I had to do was just close up the boxes that were pointed at it, and that solved the issue. That’s where the Trinity really shines, because you have the ability to take the room out of the equation.”
Production manager Jay Ballinger—who, like McDermott, has been on tour with the Dierks Bentley road crew for well over a decade—says that Trinity has increased the crew’s efficiency by streamlining the rigging process, from load in, to system setup, load out and transporting to the next venue.
“I love how it flies vertical with the touch of a button,” Ballinger notes. “And with the built-in mechanics, it brings itself into curved position for the show.”