Adlib provides sound reinforcement for Bonamassa

Adlib again delivered sound, lighting, rigging and crew for blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa and his band’s recent UK and European tour, which culminated with a headline show at the ‘Greenwich Music Time’ festival staged in the grounds of London’s historic Old Royal Naval College.

Adlib director Dave Jones looked after all things audio for both the UK section of the tour where a full sound rig was supplied and Europe where the tour continued with a control package. Eric Roa is the tour’s production manager and Charlie Rushton was the main Adlib lighting tech out on the road, with Mark Johnson as the main Adlib PA tech.

Johnson worked closely with FOH engineer Scott Ragsdale, monitor engineer Matt Naylor and systems engineer John Kaylor, and had previously worked for Adlib on Bonamassa’s 2014 Europe & UK festival tour.

The musical thread for the tour was “British Blues Explosion” with the music of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page plus a selection of Bonamassa’s own hits including ‘Sloe Gin’. The band line up featured four renowned artists, all famous in their own right.

A full PA system in the UK comprised – in its largest format – of arrays of 8 x L-Acoustics K2 underneath four K1 a side, fine-tuned exactly to Bonamassa’s demanding requirements.

Side hangs of K2 were added for venues like Preston Town Hall which is very wide, and the out-hangs were essential. L-Acoustics ARCS speakers were supplied for in and out fill as needed and KARA for lip fills, while Adlib supplied a DiGiCo SD10 for Ragsdale at FOH, who keeps his mix straightforward with no plug-ins.

The design didn’t require any subs, but the combination of Bonamassa’s playing and Ragsdale’s mixing really optimised the low end frequencies of the K1 and K2, according to Adlib.

“They have honed this technique and it works brilliantly,” declared Johnson.

Additionally, Naylor specified a Midas H3000 for monitors, which he loves for its richness and warmth, while Bonamassa has a few pairs of d&b M2 wedges for monitors.

In the band, keyboard player Reese Wynans used one M2; bass player Michael Rhodes had a single M2 for fill; guitarist Russ Irwin on stage left who also sung vocals and played keyboards was on Sennheiser IEMs with custom Westone moulds; and drummer Anton Fig used a mix of Shure P6HW IEMs with Custom Futuresonics moulds and an Adlib dual 15 inch drum sub behind, for air movement.

Adlib supplied a standard mics package and the band also brought their own.

“They are an absolute pleasure to work with” said Johnson, “All consummate professionals who know exactly what they want and how to ask for it”.

Challenges for audio also included the Cavern Club showcase where they had less than a quarter of the standard stage space they usually take up. The control package only went in to this show.

For Europe Johnson accompanied the control package for which the set-up was extremely well organised and geared for 30 minute changeovers in the case of their festival headliners which interspersed with own show headliners.

Adlib director and account handler Dave Jones stated, “We’ve been lucky enough to work with Eric and his brilliant team for many years now, it is honestly a pleasure. The live shows have grown over the years and Joe Bonamassa has proven to be one of the best guitarists & performers out there on the live scene.”