After a long break from touring, the Presidents of the United States of America (Chris Ballew, vocals/guitar; Andrew McKeag, bass/vocals; and Jason Finn, drums/vocals) have returned to the scene in support of a new album, These Are the Good Times People. Mix caught up with the threesome and crew at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall.
According to front-of-house/tour manager Jon Dunleavy, the tour is not carrying much production. “I carry a few choice mics — Audix OM5, Shure SM58s; the rest the house can provide. As long as the P.A. is decent and the console is clean and they have a reverb and delay, I’m good to go. For the in-ear monitors, we also run ambient mics. On a tight-budgeted tour like this, your hands are tied; if you’re a decent engineer, you can make it work.” As for outboard, Dunleavy picks from the best that the club offers. “I’ve known the band a long time, so it’s easygoing and we all get along and have fun.”
At this show, monitor engineer Kyle Anderson manned an Allen & Heath GL2800M board, providing three mono wedge mixes and three stereo IEM mixes. “The IEMs for Chris and Andrew were mainly used for vocals,” Anderson explains. “The wedges up front were used primarily for guitar and bass. The wedges allowed them to feel the music, as well as hear it. The drummer relied on the in-ears only. In addition to the 18 mic inputs going to FOH, I mixed two audience mics into their IEMs so they could interact with the crowd better.” Monitors are McCauley SM95-2 run in passive mode, powered via Crest.