The true litmus test for touring musician professionalism isn’t how good your band is, and certainly not how cool you look - it’s being able, with angelic tolerance, to handle a maniac sound man. At the Positive Agenda/Huntertones show last night in Portland, we're gifted a choice specimen. Let’s call him Chad. Here’re some highlights:
-Horns are asked whether they’d prefer a “light and jazzy” or “dancier” mix. This is at a club where cartoons of ironically pierced Satans adorn the walls. After being told “dancier” and dialing in a catastrophic approximation of a rock drum sound, Chad asks the drummer if he uses brushes.
-Chad is asked to put a little more low mids in the monitors and proceeds to give a one minute lecture on this treatment of every other band he’s eq’d and makes no offer to change anything.
-During the Huntertones entire hour plus soundcheck, it’s not apparent any changes are made. The band bottles up their consternation admirably.
-Chad takes a 40 minute break in between soundchecks despite no change in backline.
-He expresses dismay at our vocalist checking his mic while wearing a hat. Evidently this makes “a huge difference.”
-All guitars must be removed from the stage and placed in cases because the sound reflection will affect the trombone player’s monitor mix. I take three whiskey shots in quick succession.
-Total soundcheck time for two bands sharing gear: 2 hours and 45 minutes. My love for music’s resuscitated by chicken shawarma and doughnuts.