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Dierks Bentley Tours with Meyer Sound LEO, LYON System

Photo: Zachary Belcher

Current four-time CMA nominee Dierks Bentley is known for hosting sold-out crowd and amphitheaters throughout the country on his 2016 Somewhere On A Beach Tour in support of his critically acclaimed album Black (Capitol Records Nashville). His current tour, named after the Platinum Award–winning multi-week Number One summer anthem,has been an outstanding success, not only due to the entertaining stage presence and musicality of Bentley, but also due to the talent backstage.

James “Pugsley” McDermott, front-of-house engineer for Bentley and system engineer for VER, spoke about the sound on tour at Bentley’s recent show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif.

McDermott has been doing sound professionally for almost 27 years, and has been with Bentley for 11 years. On this tour, he chose to outfit Bentley’s show with a Meyer Sound LEO and LYON system.

James “Pugsley” McDermott, Dierks Bentley FOH Engineer and VER System Engineers

Photo: Zachary Belcher

During one of Bentley’s annual “Miles & Music For Kids” celebrity motorcycle ride and concerts,McDermott was exposed to Meyer for the first time. He says he was skeptical at first, “but immediately at the down beat I sat there and saw through everything I had been doing,” he says. “I heard things I’d never heard before on my rig, on my console that I had been using for two and a half years.”

He thought at first that perhaps it was just a fluke, but upon further use, he was continuously blown away. “It was incredibly transparent and it was effortless in what it was doing,” he said. McDermott was also impressed by the horizontal sub coverage. He says the system has given him the versatility to cover arenas ranging from 5,000 seats to more than 17,000. 

At the Shoreline Amphitheatre show, McDermott was particularly satisfied with the rig’s reach. “I could very easily leave the long delays off because it has that reach that I can throw it 500 feet plus without really losing a whole lot of gain.

“People shouldn’t just hear the show or see the lights. They should be experiencing the show for what it is,” McDermott says.

The system includes a main hang of 12 LEO with four LYON-Ms underhung and six flown subs in cardioid. There are two stacks of two on the ground per side, 1100s in cardioid, and then a dozen LYON-M’s for side hangs. Eight UPAs and eight UPJs round out the package.

“I’m able to accomplish dynamically much more effectively than I have with previous rigs,” he adds.

Bentley began the second leg of his headlining 2016 Somewhere On A Beach Tour on October 13 and will embark on his 2017 What The Hell World Tour on January 19 in Dayton, Ohio, with Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi.

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