Arvada Center for the Performing Arts - A Disappointing Experience

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
So last night was the Neville Brothers concert at the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts Amphitheater. I went with my Hot Mom and her pal. The Neville Brothers came on at about 8:15 p.m., and by 9:00 p.m., I had left, with my Hot Mom and her pal not far behind me.

Here's the thing, Arvada Center for the Performing Arts - if your venue can attract the incredible talent of the Neville Brothers, one of the premier groups to ever come out of the mishmash of musical wonder that is New Orleans, don't you think it would behoove you to actually HIRE SOUND ENGINEERS THAT HAVE A DAMN CLUE?

The sound was terrible. You couldn't hear the voices over the instruments. The music itself was so distorted I couldn't even recognize the songs. There was this annoying buzzing sound overlaying everything that drove my blood pressure up the longer I sat there.

I don't think it was a problem with the venue - the opening act (Erica Brown, a local blues group with a big voice and a mediocre guitarist) didn't have any of these problems. Granted, they only had three instrumentalists and two vocalists, but they're a local gig - surely an act with the craft and reputation of the Neville Brothers can do better.

The only high spot was a solo by the Neville Brothers' bassist. I think he was playing a seven string Sadowsky, and this guy had it going on.

It's extremely unlikely that I will ever attend another event at the Arvada Center Amphitheater. I could have spent that $50.00 on most of the Neville Brothers' discography on iTunes and saved myself the trouble - and the disappointment.

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On an unrelated note, Aaron Neville is 69 years old this year, and dude - he looks good. I don't know if it's genes or lifestyle, but Rowr.

6 comments:

mom in northern said...

Ditto your comments but don't dismiss the center out of hand since we don't know if the sound people belonged to the center or came with the "brothers" package.

Dane Torbenson said...

In a little over a year, the PACE Center will open in Parker, and you won't have to drive to Arvada for these kinds of events.

WendyB_09 said...

From my ten summers at an amphitheater here I can tell you outdoor venues are a tricky beasty.

Usually the headliner brings their own sound crew that has to get the groups equipment to play nice with the venue's systems. Usually it's a massive convoluted cable run from where the sound board pit is to the stage and then to the sound system. Most of those problems can and should be worked out during the pre-show sound check. Local bands frequently have a mini board that just sits right on stage behind the drums or just off stage.

The hazard with outdoors is, well, it's outdoors in the great wide open! And subject to all the outdoors had to offer, like rain, wind, birds, varmints, stupid people! A connection that was fine at a 5:00 sound check could be dicey by first chord 4 hours later. Isolating the issue and getting to it might also be an issue in a full arena, the loose connection could be under a floor panel or hanging from the rafters.

However, with that all said, in 10 summers at Lakewood here in Atlanta, I don't ever remember there being a sound problem so major it couldn't be fixed between the first two songs. And in this day and age when so much is wireless, a loose antenna or mike could have been easily replaced.

No excuse. Especially with an experienced sound crew of the caliber you would expect the Neville Brothers to have working for them!

Bet if people had started to ask for their money back the sound would have gotten fixed real quick like!

Janiece said...

Welcome, Dane.

I'm looking forward to it. Especially getting rid of the eyesore that is the crane I can see from my street.

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janiece said...

*TONG*