By: Kelly Levstek
After getting back from my gig in Novi, Michigan, I had two days in the shop and then I was off to Rochester, NY to do the same corporate gig. This time I went with my co-worker Dan Bluhm, who is an experienced PA Tech and has been touring for the past two years. All of the gear remained the same as the last show with minor tweaks to the PA.
We left in our 25 ft box truck and headed for NY on Wednesday. When we reached the venue that night we took a sneak peak at where we would be loading in. To my surprise the room had already been set up with a basic stage platform, and chandelier like draping on the ceiling. The chairs were even in the room lined up in stacks against the walls, ready to be set up. I was excited that we wouldn’t have to wait for the stage to be built in the morning but I was concerned about the draped chandeliers and if they would be in our way.
Thursday morning we began load in at 9 AM. The local crew was ready to load in and Dan took the role of unloading the truck. I directed where to the equipment went. Dan and I worked together to set up the main hangs and getting the motors set. We each took a hand and set up the delays and got them to the proper height. Once the lighting trusses went up we were able to fly our mains.
Dan was lightening fast at setting up the PA! He definitely could have done it all on his own if he really wanted too but he really took the time to show me how to set up the speakers and gave me the responsibility of manning the motors and controller. We then worked on setting up monitors and running the speaker cables to the amps.
Dan had the idea to lay a long piece of gaff tape from the stage to the amps to use as a guide for the local crew to lay cabling from the stage to the amps. It work out surprisingly well and helped me to manage the cabling better in amp world. We managed to get all of this work done by lunch! After lunch, I finished running the last lines for mics, video and COM. Load-in finished around 6pm! A much different story from the last weekend. We then headed to Dinosaur BBQ with video, lighting, and the show coordinator. It was a good day.
Rehearsal was set for 4 PM. It short and quick, we verbally reviewed the cues and played tiny snippets of each video. After that we had dinner and prepared to open doors.
I was to be in charge of the wireless mic and set changes. Both shows ran smoothly with few errors.
I quickly collected all mics, DIs and COM and directed the local crew to pack up monitors. Dan had the hands coil up cable looms for the mains and delays, and pack up FOH. Then we brought the mains and delays in. Everything happened so quickly it became a blur. Even the rigging came down quickly and was packed away in its trunk before we started loading the truck.
But everything came to a slow halt when Lighting found out they would have to load up the rest of the corporation’s two pallets worth of promotional items into their small rental truck. Luckily, our truck wasn’t packed to the max and we were able to help them out and pack more of their gear into our truck. Load-Out was a bit hectic but it ended up being a great weekend gig and I was proud of the shows we did.
Unfortunately, I made a big mistake and didn’t realize it until we got half way home. I had left my tool bag in the monitor workbox, now packed into the nose of the truck,which had my keys in it. The truck wasn’t going to be unloaded until the next day and I was suddenly homeless and car less! Luckily I still had my duffel bag in the cab of the truck with clothes and my wallet. I also had a sympathetic friend who let me crash on her couch for the night. All in all it worked out and I won’t pack my keys in the truck again.