Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lorde’s sold-out show on March 8 at the 3,119-seat Tower Theater in Philadelphia was the fifth stop on the artist’s month-long first tour of the U.S., and it was also the debut performance of the first L-Acoustics K2 line array system in the City of Brotherly Love.
The system, which was recently purchased by Rick Bauder of Horsham, PA-based Bauder Audio Systems, consisted of 24 K2 line source array modules flown 12 per side, a dozen SB28 subwoofers placed end up and positioned evenly across the face of the stage, and six KARA for front fill. Fifteen LA8 amplified controllers housed in five LA-RAK touring racks delivered the power and loudspeaker processing.
With the acquisition of its new K2 system, Bauder Audio becomes Philadelphia’s first L-Acoustics sound system provider. With four more SB18 subs, a sixth LA-RAK and 18 more KARA enclosures (for a total of 30 KARA) on the way, Bauder has achieved L-Acoustics’ K-Standard and officially been designated a “Certified Provider” (CP) within the manufacturer’s Rental Network.
“The Lorde show sounded amazing,” says Bauder Audio production manager Brian Naab of the performance at the Tower Theater, a Live Nation venue. “Lorde’s front-of-house mixer, Philip Harvey, was thrilled with the rig. He was genuinely excited to do his first show on a K2 system.
“Tower Theater’s production manager, Malcolm Condie, said Lorde’s crew was ecstatic and he thought the debut of the new system was a complete success. Everyone also commented on the power and the coverage of the SB28 subs; they reached the rear of the main floor and upper-balcony seating without any problem.
“We watched the meters on L-Acoustics’ LA Network Manager along with the engineer’s SpectraFoo window and they were regularly producing 40 Hz evenly and consistently all night with plenty of headroom.”
To ensure the best possible performance from the new system, several L-Acoustics team members joined Bauder Audio’s crew onsite three days prior to the show. During that time, the manufacturer helped set up and tune the rig as well as provided training for a dozen of Bauder’s employees on fundamentals, theory and practical applications for K2 and KARA.
“We were looking for a large-format line source array system to expand our client base, to be able to service larger venues up to sheds and arenas,” Naab says. “We chose several manufacturers’ systems to compare and in every aspect – performance, sound, weight and simplicity of rigging – the K2 came out ahead.
“It offered a number of operational advantages, such as the ability to groundstack the enclosures on their own ‘chariots’ and use screwjacks to stabilize them as needed. Plus, the enclosure sounds identical to the flagship K1 product, and L-Acoustics is in the top three systems of every rider that comes across my desk. We expect a very good return on investment from K2.”
In fact, that ROI began immediately; having K2 is what won Bauder Audio the Lorde gig. “We were one of two vendors bidding on the show, and in the past we have occasionally lost shows at the Tower Theater with our previous systems. Not this time,” says Naab.
With K2 also recently used for a March 14 sold-out Ellie Goulding concert at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, the new rig is already paying dividends.
“Lorde’s concert convinced the production manager at the Tower Theater that we can handle any show there now, and the sound that night drew very positive responses from other promoters,” he adds. “We couldn’t be happier with K2 and L-Acoustics so far.”
Bauder Audio Systems