London, UK (April 20, 2022)—Best-remembered in the U.S. for trademark hits like “Something About You,” “Running in the Family” and the funk workout “Hot Water,” Level 42 stood out from the Eighties new wave crowd for their skills—due to having started out as a jazz fusion act, the band could play. It’s because of that musicianship that the group still remains a major draw in the U.K., and now it recently returned to the road in its homeland, working with Merlin PA on overseas and festival packages, it became a natural move to tour the UK with the rental company, too.
In tow for the tour was a passel of Electro-Voice and Dynacord equipment, with an Electro-Voice X2 system used as the main PA, driven by Dynacord TGX amplifiers with control from SONICUE sound system software.
The tour marked the first time that the band’s FOH engineer, Mark Clements, had moved away from Level 42’s usual equipment supplier for 25 years. “The percussive and transient nature of Mark King’s style really shone through with the use of the X2’s 12” driver on the Mid Band Hydra,” explains Merlin PA’s Neal Allen. “That’s what the technology in the MBH allows you to deliver.”
The capabilities of the X12-128 dual-18” subwoofers were also an important factor for the performances. “This tour was one of the first where we consistently used a cardioid sub arrangement in almost every venue,” recalls Allen. “Due to the nature of the stage setup, some venues required a supercardioid sub design, which dramatically cleaned up unwanted resonance onstage.”
In addition to the X2 main PA, compact 8” two-way XLE cabinets were called into action to provide further support. “XLE was required to provide extra intelligibility and consistency,” says Allen. “This was particularly important at Sheffield City Hall, which is a notoriously tricky venue to contain with a full house when you need to cover all three floors.”