Flogging Molly onstage at the Moody Theater
Photo: Earl McGehee
The Moody Theater, where Austin City Limits relocated almost a year ago, has won Pollstar’s award for Best New Venue 2012. Working with BOKA Powell Architecture, veteran acoustician Steven Durr designed the house and studio facilities with the experience of the audience and performers in mind:
“The first thing we always do is make sure the artist is going to feel comfortable onstage,” Durr explains. “The quality of a live performance is almost totally dictated by the emotional state of the artist. I spent a lot of time making the stage, as well as the house, sound great, so when an artist steps on stage, the reverb tonality and decay in the room is very pleasant; sounds come back to the artist with a very warm feel.”
The 2,700-person-capacity theater is fitted with a Meyer Sound P.A.: Two arrays of eight MICA loudspeakers each, as the main clusters and two arrays of 10 M’elodie loudspeakers for the side seating areas, plus 600-HP subs, and a variety of other Meyer speakers for fills and delays. Onstage are 12 Meyer MJF-212A stage monitors. ACL currently has an analog Midas desk in house but often rents front-of-house and monitor consoles to the artists’ preference.
Austin City Limits will tape about 45 dates per year in the new venue; the rest of the time, the Moody is a concert hall that can be used for other performances.
The theater was christened by Willie Nelson with an orchestra. “It sounded amazing right off the bat,” Durr says. “You can do all the drawings and predictions in the world, but you never know until you hear.”