On Tour With Guy Sebastian
We catch Guy’s Conscious tour in Newcastle to see how Bose and Sennheiser help him go from soulful to super subby in an instant.
“Coconut Love!” It was what the people wanted, but Guy Sebastian had other things in mind. He was in Newcastle’s gorgeous Civic theatre on the second stop of his Conscious album tour, and focused on debuting his new material, not extending a Hamish & Andy joke segment.
Regardless, the crowd ate up the former idol’s combination of vintage soul and modern R&B. The 1500 pax theatre, dripping with heritage figuring, was full of fans from every era; man, woman and child.
AT went along to catch the show, which was exceedingly well-executed. Guy’s got some serious pipes, and throughout the whole show it’s hard to catch him let out a single bung note. He’s a showman, and as well as the vocal gymnastics also plays piano, electric guitar, and a Roland sample pad at various points during the set. He’s not out there alone, with a talented four-piece backing band (keys, electric guitar, drums, bass) and his two backup vocalists/dancers, the dynamic set delivered everything from soulful downtempo moments to pumping, low frequency-laced R&B numbers.
Making its Australian debut on the Conscious Tour was Bose’s new ShowMatch DeltaQ line array system. The Civic Theatre is split into two levels, so the PA was ground stacked to give best coverage to the entire audience. FOH engineer Anatole Day has worked with Guy for over 10 years now and as well as knowing the intricacies of Guy’s oeuvre, he’s also rolled into regional hubs like the Civic Theatre many times. He’s tried every kind of flown and groundstacked configuration here and finds this the best for coverage as well as reducing slap at the back of the venue.
Day went with two sides of six Bose SM20 elements stacked on four Bose SMS118 18-inch subs. The top two 20-degree vertical dispersion array elements curved up to send audio into the balcony.
“I’m trying to recreate what Guy is trying to express and the ShowMatch can handle all of it,” said Anatole. “The electronic material can go from super high to super low sub bass. You need to be able to translate that across the board, along with the quieter, more acoustic moments. The ShowMatch can definitely cover everything we’re throwing at it.”
While ShowMatch borrows much of its inspiration from Bose’s popular RoomMatch installation-focused line array, the ShowMatch is targeted to the rental and touring markets. Everything from bump in to rigging reflects this.
“The rigging couldn’t get much more basic to operate,” Anatole observes. “One guy can move and position a box easily. Two guys could get a hang of 12 up in under 20 minutes.”
GUY GOES WITH SENNHEISER
It’s been a couple of big switches for the Sebastian production crew. As well as going out with Showmatch, the Conscious Tour saw the crew switch RF audio duties over to Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 system. Reproducing Guy’s elaborate vocal chops was the D6000 handheld transmitter with a Neumann KK 205 supercardioid capsule. A SK6000 digital wireless transmitter was used for his Telecaster while he and the whole band were on Sennheiser 2000 Series IEMs.
There was lots of wired Sennheiser gear on stage too. The drums set-up included an e901 and e602 for the kick drum, e904s were used for the snare top, snare bottom and floor toms and MKH 8050s for the hi-hats. All the guitars were miked up with a combination of e903 and e906, while backing vocals were through a combination of D6000 handheld wireless mics with MD 9235 capsules and e945 wired mics. The MK4 and e914 provided live ambience to the monitor mix.
“Guy loves the clean, crisp audio quality in his IEMs,” said Anatole. “I love the Sennheiser range of products because they sound great and are extremely reliable.”