All Access: Florence and the Machine

Aug 1, 2011, Photos and Text By Steve Jennings

Florence Welch is having a good run, basking in the critically acclaimed success of her debut, Lungs. As for “The Machine,” it can be Welch and a drum kit or a piano, but right now it’s a seven-piece band including long-term collaborators Rob Ackroyd (guitar), Chris Hayden (drums), Isabella Summers (keyboards) and Tom Monger (harp). “I’ve worked with most of them for a long time and they know my style, know the way I write, they know what I want,” says Welch. And she’s bringing them out onstage for her current run of dates. Mix caught the first show of the tour at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, Calif. ...

Blue Man Group Tour Profile

Aug 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

You’re never really quite sure what to expect from a Blue Man Group performance. It’s a visual experience, with numerous antics onstage to draw the eye—tickers displaying political messages; commentary on social media and human interactions; directions for the audience; flashing-lights costumes; very large inflated balls bouncing around the hall. And for those seeing their current tour—which is happening simultaneously in a number of cities—you get the best of all “Blue Man” worlds, a “greatest hits,” if you will. From their iconic “three guys pounding on bottom-lit oil cans” splashing colored paint on every down stroke, to booty-shaking hits from their album The Complex, to striking their mallets on instruments created from PVC piping, the Blue Men enthrall their audience. ...

Ray LaMontagne Tour Profile

Aug 1, 2011, By Candace Horgan

It's the voice that first hits you. A mixture of yearning and heartbreak, delivered in a raspy, delicate fashion that bypasses the ears and punches deep within. You realize that the music is very well written, a perfect backing track for that sad, aching voice. ...

Iron & Wine Tour Profile

Aug 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

When Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam put together a big band for their current tour, he needed someone to mix the new arrangements. As front-of-house engineer Jeremy Lemos knew most everyone in the band, bringing him onboard was a no-brainer. With 11 bandmembers onstage, it was imperative to bring along their own monitor package as most of their stops—ranging from Chicago’s Millennium Park for 15,000 people to a beat-up rock club—couldn’t accommodate that many monitor mixes; monitor engineer Tim Iseler is manning an Avid SC48. The tour also has a full Shure mic package, with Lemos saying it’s the only way he can tame so many variables in different club P.A.s and mixers every night. ...

Al-Tee, Jay Sean on the Yamaha Train

Aug 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

Currently out with Jay Sean, FOH engineer Al-Tee is mixing on a Yamaha PM5D, noting that it’s a board he can easily find no matter what venue he finds himself in. “The console’s dynamic performance helps [Sean] keep the rhythm pumping on the stage. Jay and I flew into India for a show with no time to do a soundcheck, and I was able to load my scenes into the console and make some EQ changes, and off we went. I was mixing monitors and front of house from the same mixer.” ...

All Access: Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae

Jul 1, 2011, Photos and Text By Steve Jennings

Skyrocketing to the top of the charts, co-headliners Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae’s brought their crowd-pleasing blend of old-school R&B and hip-hop with their “Hooligans in Wonderland” tour. Mix caught up with the crew when they stopped by San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in early June. ...

Editor's Note: You Can't Beat Live

Jul 1, 2011, By Tom Kenny, Editorial Director

Damn it’s fun to go out and see live music. Pick your act, pick your night. Pick your heroes, pick an unknown. I was lucky enough in early June to be in the Fox Oakland audience for one of only six Buffalo Springfield shows in California, leading up to their headlining gig at Bonnaroo. Stephen Stills can definitely still play that ol’ guitar, Richie Furay looked like the happiest kid at the dance and Neil Young—well, he is a bona fide rock star. The guitar chops, the voice, the humble swagger and punch of a man who has lived the life. The sweet purity of “I Am a Child,” followed by the heart and depth of “Mr. Soul” and the raucousness of “Rockin’ In the Free World.” You didn’t have to be over 40 to appreciate the sound. When it’s live, you don’t even have to like the genre (though I do). You can just tell when magic is happening. ...

HangOut Festival 2011

Jul 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

The second annual HangOut Festival was held May 20-22, 2011, in Gulf Shores, Ala. Thousands flocked to the festival to hear such great performances as those from Paul Simon, the Foo Fighters, Widespread Panic, Rich Aucoin and so many more. Created by Concerts for the Coast, the festival is part of a larger plan to bring much-needed economic support to the Gulf area after the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. ...

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