Lars Brogaard, whose rental company Major Tom Ltd. provided a Meyer Sound system for the Led Zeppelin reunion concert at London’s O2 Arena, was originally introduced to the project by Paul Owen, VP of U.S.-based rental company Thunder Audio. During the past several years, the two companies have worked closely to provide Meyer Sound systems for Metallica, Robert Plant, John Legend, Diana Ross and Rod Stewart. For this concert, FOH engineer Big Mick Hughes and Meyer Sound’s director of European technical support Luke Jenks became involved, joining Robert Plant’s FOH Roy Williams.
“At a gig like this, you have only a few hours to fly everything and make sure all the speakers are exactly where they should be,” says Brogaard. “Modern boxes like MILO are properly set up for this kind of operation and so we had no problems whatsoever. There is just no comparison with setting up for a gig in the ’70s.”
“I was in a dilemma,” says Hughes, who was concerned that diehard fans who’d paid thousands of dollars for tickets might resent any attempt to update the classic Led Zeppelin sound. In the end, Big Mick’s love of bottom end proved a decisive factor: “I listened back to some of the old bootleg albums that were made of Led Zeppelin gigs in the ’70s and, really, there is no bass on them at all—not because you couldn’t record it, but because the sound reinforcement systems at the time couldn’t reproduce it.
“I couldn’t see the point of going back to that sound,” he continues. “At the risk of upsetting the purists, I decided that the gig had to sound like it was 2007. So we mixed it as if Led Zeppelin had never stopped playing in the time since their last gig, 27 years earlier.”
“Working with Robert today,” Williams says, “you’re as likely to be asked to mix North African percussion as you are blues guitar. Meyer Sound systems are versatile enough to deliver that range of sounds with accuracy and clarity, which is why Robert and I use them whenever we can.”