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Old 03-14-2010, 02:42 AM   #1
sunshine
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Default Fort Pierce

Have you ever made a wish and it came true in only three days? That hasn't happened to me too often, but it did tonight. It was only this past Wednesday after the Lakeland, FL concert that I posted a comment here wishing that there was some technology that could support Gordon better on stage. Tonight at the Sunrise Theater in Fort Pierce, Gordon sounded like it was 10 years ago. It was apparent from the first notes. His songs were clear, loud, and enunciated. (Even on the Watchman which I can hardly ever understand even though I know all the words.) I assume it was the sound system in the theater (otherwise, the magnitude of the improvement in three days would be a miracle) because I could also clearly hear Terry's vocal harmony on Sundown. I always see him singing but can hardly hear him. What I don't understand is how this little, granted excellent, theater in Fort Pierce can have better sound capability than Massey, Wolftrap, Town Hall in NYC and other premiere venues that Gordon plays. Don't know if it was his or the venue's equipment but tonight was the most awesome night ever, including Gordon's intonation, phrasing, confidence, and the audience's response. Immediately after he performed Sundown to thunderous applause, which isn't so unusual, people started yelling for him to sing it again. After the intermission, the audience continued shouting out for Sundown again. One can see why Gordon is motivated to keep the touring going when a mostly sold-out house on a Saturday night is as appreciative and enthusiastic as these folks were. Actually, I have seen that enthusiasm before from the devoted fans like us or the people on the nostalgia trip , but tonight was different because the excitement was in response to the technical excellence as well as all the other factors. The evening went so well that it dispelled the notions of the people who say that Gordon shouldn't be performing and the person who wrote that he/she can't stand to watch because Gordon looks like it hurts him to perform. Tonight it was all positive, strong and as close to the old days as it is ever going to be. Speaking of which, Gordon referred to the times partying with Doug Kershaw while waiting for his broken fiddle to be repaired and Jerry Jeff's jamming til sunrise with Gordon and Terry as the bad old days. He said that now is the good old days. Interesting. He mentioned that even he doesn't know what the meaning of The Watchman's Gone is, but that it is fun to sing. He also referred to his whole organization as like the Barnum and Bailey's circus, you take it down every night, put it up the next day in a different town, bring in the elephants and the buckets of water, but they enjoy it. Rick thought that visual about the elephants was very funny. This was Concert 10 of 10 and Gordon thanked the audience for allowing them to perform in the United States. Gordon and the band were leaving immediately after the concert to fly back to Toronto to what Gordon called their "squeezes." If you ever get the chance to hear Gordon at the Sunrise Theater, I would recommend it, and I bet they'll be back there. The theater manager LOVES Gordon , came on stage before the concert to say so, and so do the locals.
________
CR125R

Last edited by sunshine; 01-26-2011 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:11 AM   #2
Miss B. Haven
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Quite often the smaller, lesser known venues blast the big leaguers out of the water as far as acoustics go. I've experienced this a lot.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:21 AM   #3
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Loved your review, Sunshine. This is great - maybe a miracle will happen at the Keswick (hopefully there will be a Keswick!) for us in the Phila/Southern NJ area!

CM
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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Here's a little history on their state of the art facility:

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Sunrise opened its doors on August 1, 1923 as the largest theatre on Florida 's East Coast between Jacksonville and Miami . It quickly became the center of all St. Lucie County's cultural activities. The theatre closed its doors on September 8, 1983 , due to the decline of the downtown area and a refusal to convert to multi-screen operation. In 1988, Main Street Fort Pierce was established and soon realized the need for the Sunrise Theatre as a center of world class performing arts.

Main Street Fort Pierce began an effort to save the historic theatre. In 1997, the Sunrise Theatre was purchased by the St. Lucie Preservation Association, Inc. and today the theatre is completely renovated and is being used once again as the cultural center of St Lucie County as well as the Treasure Coast .

================================================== =

As you can see, it was revived from the dead, so to speak, and lots of love and care (and money, I'd guess) put into it. New electrical and sound systems make a big difference, in addition to its original acoustics. We did much the same with our Merry-Go-Round Playhouse at Owasco Lake. The company received a huge (over $1 million) gift in memory of a young man who once worked there, which was used to upgrade air conditioning, seating, lights, electrical and dressing rooms for the cast. What was once used for two months in the summer is now open from June through October, with plans to make it year round. It's small (about 1000 seats) but fabulous.

Last edited by Auburn Annie; 03-14-2010 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fort Pierce

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine View Post
Don't know if it was his or the venue's equipment but tonight was the most awesome night ever
that's terrific, thanks

i think we all agree that size matters, and the smaller the better

for techno-geeks, here are the goods (page 7 for audio):

http://www.sunrisetheatre.com/tech-info.pdf
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
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Nice to hear that very positive review. I'm hoping Gord and the band will be heading out to California later this year. Northern Nevada would be OK too!
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:42 AM   #7
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I noticed years ago that some places just didn't have great sound and others did. In the Ct area, Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, where Gord often played back in the 70's and 80's, had this nice revolving center stage, but had a so so sound system. It was fine for a solo performance, but when you added in the band, it would get a bit mushy sounding. They rebuilt the place in the 90's and unfortunately, Gordon has never been back since the rebuild. The other unfortunate part is, I think they used the same sound system, as it has the same problem as the old one did. They also got rid of the revolving stage. I would think one of these days he would get to play there again. The new management is slacking. Even a little mushy is better than nothing.
Seeing the layout and equipment that Ft. Pierce has, I can see why they sounded as good as they could. Thanks for the link jj.

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Old 03-15-2010, 12:54 PM   #8
charlene
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I also heard that Ft.Pierce was the best of the Florida shows..
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohninCt. View Post
Seeing the layout and equipment that Ft. Pierce has, I can see why they sounded as good as they could. Thanks for the link jj.
Care to elaborate ? What stood out to you ?

When I looked at the specs, I became dizzy.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:02 PM   #10
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i know yer not askin me but what caught my eye was the perhaps ideal house mix location and the True 4 way stereo mix

all that aside, they likely had a great monitor mix that eve
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:53 PM   #11
RM
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i know yer not askin me but what caught my eye was the perhaps ideal house mix location and the True 4 way stereo mix
Thank you. I'll take your word on that.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Fort Pierce

I didn't attend a Lightfoot concert until 1997, but from what I've heard from people who have seen his shows since the early days, the volume used to be a lot higher. If there's just one complaint I have when attending Lightfoot concerts, and I've been to quite a few since '97, it's that the volume is consistently low and could be raised without making it uncomfortable. Even just a few notches would be better, imho.

What do other people think?
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:09 PM   #13
charlene
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It seems to be the one constant issue with the concerts - low sound.
it will be interesting to see how thing are on the 25th at Casino Rama in Orillia..he's never been there before..
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:40 AM   #14
JohninCt.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM View Post
Care to elaborate ? What stood out to you ?

When I looked at the specs, I became dizzy.
Hi quality names, current equipment, which indicates this theaters system was likely redone in the last 3 years, several thousand watts of clean power (which is plenty in a small venue like this) with very low distortion amps, which means you don't have to drive the equipment to high output levels (where distortion usually comes in), and so you have nice clean sound. Speakers of the same high quality. Plenty of channels to work with on low noise, low distortion Yamaha mixing boards. Quality microphones. The way this was set up was done by true experts, and I wish more places had equipment this good and set up as well.
There used to be a New Haven Colliseum here in CT., but they tore it down a couple years ago. No loss, as it had one of the worse sound systems I ever heard with lots of distortion, and the room had poor acoustics also. It was one of the places Elvis played in the last couple years of his life, he was to play at Harford, Ct. Civic Center, but died before he could, Hartford had way better sound. Yep, I like Elvis's music too and would have liked to have heard him in Hartford.
No, I don't do this type of work, but I have always kept up with sound equipment as an interest, and have worked around music at different times in my life. I am an old timer now and have retired, but it is still interesting.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:13 PM   #15
RM
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Originally Posted by JohninCt. View Post
The way this was set up was done by true experts, and I wish more places had equipment this good and set up as well.
Thank you.

Just for fun, here's a link to the set-up of the theater that Lightfoot performs at when in Tucson, AZ :

http://www.foxtucsontheatre.org/buil...tech_specs.php

and it's inventory :

http://www.foxtucsontheatre.org/buil...0INVENTORY.pdf

If possible, perhaps one of you could appraise it and give it a good, bad, or average, below/above average rating. Just curious.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:22 AM   #16
JohninCt.
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Whoa, what a nice setup. Multiple Crown amps with thousands of watts of power in another small venue. JBL high end speakers in quantity. 32 channels is just fine, and another place with all new equipment (within 5 years old). A quallity setup for sure, so the sound should be very clean, as long as the buildings acoustics are damped right. I believe this is where someone had reported Gordons concert sounded bad, and it was stated that the guys all had head colds. Sure would have been a shame that they did, as this system should put out fine sound.
I should say, I don't know much about some of the newer IT model Crown amps they are using. They have a different electronic technology that they are using in them, but they should be (at mininum) equal to any of Crowns older amps in high quality, or I doubt they would put them out for sale. At any rate, their specs are excellent and should in no way hurt the sound.
In reference to Podunklanders post; The smaller venues usually have decent sound when it is just a couple of people on stage, but often break down when you get multiple instruments and singers. When it happens it means they are pushing the system they have too hard and it simply is giving up to distortion levels which always come in when power is pushed to near maximum. Older systems or underpowered can cause this. A perfect example is take a small portable radio and play it at normal level, then turn it up all the way and it will be hard to understand the words. The Mohegan Sun arena has pretty good sound, not so good on acoustics though. They have fine equipment but in just a big room it causes too much bounce and sound reflects off everything and can make it a bit muddy when too loud. Some of their loud rock or country music shows will tend to do this. I haven't been to the Hartford Civic Center in some years now, saw Neil Diamond there back in the 80s, nice sound and clean back then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RM View Post
Thank you.

Just for fun, here's a link to the set-up of the theater that Lightfoot performs at when in Tucson, AZ :

http://www.foxtucsontheatre.org/buil...tech_specs.php

and it's inventory :

http://www.foxtucsontheatre.org/buil...0INVENTORY.pdf

If possible, perhaps one of you could appraise it and give it a good, bad, or average, below/above average rating. Just curious.

Last edited by JohninCt.; 03-17-2010 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:38 PM   #17
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Whoa, what a nice setup.
Thanks for taking a look at the specs. I could keep asking questions, but this thread has been derailed long enough.

Much appreciated......
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:04 AM   #18
JohninCt.
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I much prefer the smaller venues also. I saw Brandi Carlile at the Ridgefield Playhouse back in February, and it is another small place that has pretty nice sound. Not as good as Tuscon or Ft. Pierce probably but easily acceptable. I believe it is a converted school auditorium and they did a nice job on it. She put on an excellent concert also. Gordons performance at the Sun was excellent, especially considering he wasn't long out of the sick bed. What the Sun did, was cut the arena down in size by about 1/2, they have dividers that they move in place to cut it down. It was nicer that way. I got comp tickets to the concert and saw Barry, so I got backstage with Gord and the band. I am a Wolf member at the Sun and get comp tickets to most events, I sure hope he comes back, maybe this year or next.

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What you mention about the smaller venues John, for sure and the only larger venue I heard Gordon play was at Harbor Station (I forgot about that one). The sound system was pretty good....but I prefer his concerts at the smaller venues and outdoors. Wished I could have caught Gordon's performance at the Sun though. I think, he was originally scheduled to perform at their much-smaller Cabaret theatre (I saw Margaret Cho there). Jeff Dunham performed at the Cabaret one year, and had become so popular by the next year...they had to book him at the arena. So Jeff mentioned this on stage...how he knew he made it bigtime when he was moved from the Cabaret to the Arena. Looks like Gordon did too . I think I heard that it was @5,000 at that concert? And it was a private show (for employees and tribal members and guests?). But even the tribal chief didn't know Gordon was performing there and would have gone. That arena seats 14,000 so there would have been plenty of room for me and the chief!
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:19 PM   #19
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I wasn't too impressed with the Ridgefield Playhouse, though I went for a movie/talk/booksigning (Christopher Plummer) and not a concert. But I did consider how a concert might go over there and wouldn't have thought the acoustics would be too good. It's an old school auditorium, I think.

And the dividers in the Sun arena...I didn't know they did that there. gee, I never became a Wolf member but think I still have a wampum card...but both casinos used to send junk every week then several years ago, I asked to be taking off their mailing list. So I don't get any comps and maybe get to go there to gamble once every year or two. Anyway, glad you got to go and surely, extra special since Gord was starting to tour again.

The town of Vernon just squelched a proposal for an outdoor concert venue. It would have been nice to have that, this side of the rivah.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:41 AM   #20
charlene
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gordon Lightfoot Brings Fans and Countrymen to the Sunrise
Whether it’s his hits “Sundown” and “If You Could Read My Mind” or his songwriting credits from Bob Dylan to Jane’s Addiction, Gordon Lightfoot’s music is part of our collective soundtrack. In a return trip to the Sunrise, the laid-back musician played to a sold-out crowd that mixed out-of-towners with area residents, many of whom came to the Theatre for the first time.

Bob and Shiela Douglass of Fort Pierce have been Lightfoot fans for years.

“I grew up on Gordon Lightfoot,” Bob Douglass said.

His wife echoed the feeling.

“I’d have come if he didn’t want to,” she said.

“I like to patronize the theater. We come down and have dinner and it’s an event. The theater is great.”

Mark Oler came from Cocoa for the concert. He saw Lightfoot at the Sunrise two years ago and has traveled to venues throughout the state.

“I’m a big, big, big fan,” he said.

Lightfoot is not only a great singer, but a Canadian icon. The Ontario native is a Companion to the Order of Canada, one of the highest honors in the country. Fans swayed maple-leaf flags during the concert, creating a stream of pride near the waters of the Indian River Lagoon.

Shelly Koppel
Writer
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:59 AM   #21
JohninCt.
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I wasn't too impressed with the Ridgefield Playhouse, though I went for a movie/talk/booksigning (Christopher Plummer) and not a concert. But I did consider how a concert might go over there and wouldn't have thought the acoustics would be too good. It's an old school auditorium, I think.

And the dividers in the Sun arena...I didn't know they did that there. gee, I never became a Wolf member but think I still have a wampum card...but both casinos used to send junk every week then several years ago, I asked to be taking off their mailing list. So I don't get any comps and maybe get to go there to gamble once every year or two. Anyway, glad you got to go and surely, extra special since Gord was starting to tour again.

The town of Vernon just squelched a proposal for an outdoor concert venue. It would have been nice to have that, this side of the rivah.
The Ridgefield isn't a great place, but it does pretty good for what it is. Yes, a old auditorium, but it does have decent sound there. I have seen Brandi Carlile and Jonatha Brooke there and Brandi did sound better than Jonatha, but likely for the reason of the volume level being louder with Jonathas concert. As I said, not as good as Ft. Pierce.
On Christopher Plummer, I had a friend that used to drive his limo in Ct., Christopher lives down near the shoreline, I forget where now, maybe in Madison. He said he was a stiff unfriendly man and never had much to say, except to give orders. That was back in the late 1980's.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohninCt. View Post
I much prefer the smaller venues also. I saw Brandi Carlile at the Ridgefield Playhouse back in February, and it is another small place that has pretty nice sound. Not as good as Tuscon or Ft. Pierce probably but easily acceptable. I believe it is a converted school auditorium and they did a nice job on it. She put on an excellent concert also. ..... I am a Wolf member at the Sun and get comp tickets to most events, I sure hope he comes back, maybe this year or next.
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I wasn't too impressed with the Ridgefield Playhouse, though I went for a movie/talk/booksigning (Christopher Plummer) and not a concert. But I did consider how a concert might go over there and wouldn't have thought the acoustics would be too good. It's an old school auditorium, I think.
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The Ridgefield isn't a great place, but it does pretty good for what it is. Yes, a old auditorium, but it does have decent sound there. I have seen Brandi Carlile and Jonatha Brooke there and Brandi did sound better than Jonatha, but likely for the reason of the volume level being louder with Jonathas concert. As I said, not as good as Ft. Pierce.
Were any of you at the concert on June 20, 2010? I was and thought it was great. Enjoyed talking to Gordon after the concert.
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