All Access: 20th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert

Jan 1, 2007 12:00 PM, Photos and text by Steve Jennings


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For the past 20 years. Neil and Pegi Young have brought together an eclectic lineup of top-notch musicians to perform in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the annual Bridge School Benefit concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater (Mountain View, Calif.) in late October. Proceeds of the annual event go to the Bridge School, an education program dedicated to ensuring that children with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities.

At front of house, from left: Gregg “Fish” Salmon (of Sound Image and monitor engineer for Neil Young and Brian Wilson; works on a Yamaha PM1D), Bryan Worthen (FOH engineer for Foo Fighters and Trent Reznor; works on a DiGiCo D5), Greg Nelson (FOH engineer for Pearl Jam; works on a Digidesign VENUE), Gary Hartung (Sound Image), Rob Mailman (system coordinator for Sound Image and FOH engineer for Brian Wilson; works on a Midas XL4) and Tommy Sterling (Sound Image). Not pictured: Tim Mulligan (FOH for Neil Young, works on a Heritage 3000); Jeff Thomas (FOH for Dave Matthews, works on Digidesign VENUE); and Will Markwell (FOH for Death Cab for Cutie, works on a DiGiCo D5).

Acting as system coordinator for the entire gig is Sound Image's 21-year-vet Rob Mailman (also front-of-house engineer for Brian Wilson). The sound company-provided P.A. comprises 48 JBL 4889 VerTec enclosures, 24 JBL 4880 subwoofer enclosures and six Sound Image CF front-fill speaker enclosures. The system is powered by Crown IT-8000 amps using the HiQnet System Architect Configuration Control, assisted by dbx 4800 for EQ. This configuration augmented Shoreline's installed P.A., which includes JBL VerTec 4888 enclosures powered by Crown IT 8000s and processed by BSS SoundWeb.

At monitor land, from left: Sound Image’s Jon Schimke, Brian Montgomery, Chris Lantz, Fumi Hikookazaki, Gary Hartung, Micah Goldfarb, Gregg “Fish” Salmon and Tommy Sterling. Not pictured: Karrie Keyes (monitors for Pearl Jam, works on a Midas Heritage 3000); Ian Kuhn (monitors for Dave Matthews, works on a Yamaha PM1D); Ian Beveridge (monitors for Foo Fighters and Trent Reznor, works on a Yamaha PM5D); and Adam Wakeling (monitors for Death Cab for Cutie, works on a Yamaha PM5D).

According to Mailman, “Each side of the P.A. had a 15-deep hang in front with an eight-deep hang of subs next to that, followed by an offstage hang of nine deep. On the deck, we had four subs per side and a total of six front-fill enclosures.”

“The team of guys, which were assembled at the last minute,” he continues, “were all picked for their experience and expertise in certain areas. The most important thing about a show like this is to have a really organized team to patch the stage while your monitor and FOH techs deal with the needs of the guest engineers. All of these guys have good, easygoing personalities, which is essential on a show like this because you have bands and guest engineers walking up and changing or adding inputs at the last minute.

“The real success of this show is attributed to the Sound Image crew. I can't say enough about those guys. The band engineers for all of these acts are top-notch. This kind of an event can go south for a number of reasons really fast. I was really pleased with the outcome, and was proud to have been a part of the 20th anniversary.”

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