Sunday, October 24, 2010

ISU is not so Normal

        Originally written and publish - Tuesday, April 03, 2007 

 On Monday I went to Illinois State University (in Normal, IL.) to see Ben Folds. It was a night I will never forget. The set list was the better then any of the 37 shows I have seen in the past. The harmonies were perfect (from the band as well as the audience) and it seemed that the piano and drums were in sync. At this point you may be thinking what about the bass. I was asking myself that same question for 2 hours and 11 minutes (the entire show).
 I am sure that Jared Reynolds did a great job playing that bass, but no one in the second balcony heard it. Now I am not blaming Leo (Ben's sound man) he is not only a great guy, he is also one of the best soundmen in the biz. The blame can only be put on the designer and staff of the Braden Auditorium.
 Now I'm sure the designer of this auditorium did not have "rock shows" in mind when considering the acoustic qualities of the room, but due to the fact that I was unable to hear one spoken word the entire show makes me believe the designer was profoundly deaf. At some point in the history of this auditorium someone must have complained to the staff about how bad the sound is up there.
 The second balcony is about 400 feet from the stage, and about 50 feet above the highest set speakers. So the sound you get up there has bounced off every surface in the room at least twice, making it sound like it is coming out of a tin can stuck inside of a seashell. The solution seems very simple to me, put a row of speakers at the same level as the balcony. Maybe it is not that simple, but surely something could be done to improve the sound quality, that is, if anyone cared.
 So if you hear that a band you like is coming to the Braden Auditorium at ISU do yourself a favor, go on the Internet and see where else they are playing and go to that show, because even if you have to drive a hundred miles further to see them, it has got to be a better venue.

That all for now,

Tommy D.

No comments:

Post a Comment