Relax and picture the setting if you will. You have just spend a great day sitting and listening to some of the best music you have heard for a long time. It has been a marvelously warm and sunny Melbourne summer day. You have eaten at the Crossroads Food Market and then washed it down with a couple of drinks at the Yarra Wine and Beer Garden. Now you are positioned at a prime location close to the large stage. It is just turning to dusk. Seagulls are milling around in the evening sky. Some men dressed in jackets with ties appear on stage and begin to play. They are obviously talented and perform with the ease of well seasoned ses-sion muso’s. It is plain to see that this is just the lead up to some-thing bigger. Then an elderly blind man is led to the stage. He sits at an electric piano and after a quick shuffle and feel to find his position, starts to sing. The sound that emanates is like liquid gold.
If you only ever get to do it once in your life, go and see this man. Ray Charles, what a performer. Singer, pianist, instrumentalist, composer. On stage he remains the essence of a man humbled by the love of music and the performance of the same. He is backed by musicians who are more than competent. But the man himself, without any real fuss or self promotion, simply commands the attention of everybody present.
Front of house was under the control of James Kilpatrick (or Oysters as his friends would call him). James managed to pull one of the slickest sounds I have heard for a long long time. You could travel Vegas for a lifetime and not hear anything better than what he managed to achieve. The bulk of the credit from James going to the Camco powered Nexo system.
“With the Nexo’s I just find it very easy to position the sound rather than just having it splashed every-where”, he said. “They are fantastically phase coherent, even in windy conditions”. “Just a lot more manageable than other speakers”. Carl Foster is the man responsible for ensuring that the Ray Charles Sound is kept at a very high standard. Although he does not become hands on at FOH he remains firmly behind the FOH engineer and instructs how things should sound, similar to a producer in a recording studio. I spoke to Carl after the show and asked him what he thought of the sound. “It was ace”, he said with a large beaming smile and a typical American accent. “Very good. Very, very good”.