New York-based Firehouse Productions has supplied a JBL VerTec system for the 2006 Nine Inch Nails Live: With Teeth North American tour. Providing front-of-house engineering duties was veteran mixer Pete Keppler.
The tour system featured an arrangement of VerTec VT4889 full-sized line arrays on either side of the stage. Depending on the size of the venue, up to 14 VT4889 speakers were hung per side. The system was augmented by VT4887 compact line arrays and VT4880 line array subwoofers.
As the longtime FOH engineer for rocker David Bowie and most recently out with AFI, Keppler was well-equipped to handle the dynamic and often unpredictable Nine Inch Nails productions. “The show is a real sensory assault, visually and aurally,” Keppler says. “[Lead singer] Trent Reznor didn’t want us to play it safe. To me, that doesn’t necessarily equate to making the sound as loud as possible, just making it larger than life.
“The VerTec is a great rock 'n' roll system," he continues. "It really kicks and has a really nice edge to it. The majority of the shows on this tour were outdoor/shed venues, so it was important to have a powerful and controllable line array.”