Loudspeaker World

Clair Brothers Reinforces Garth Brooks At Notre Dame Stadium

Sold-out, first ever concert at the stadium supported with i218 and i212 line arrays for in-the-round performance.

By PSW Staff November 30, 2018

Garth Brooks performs at Notre Dame stadium

The moment Garth Brooks made his appearance in front of 84,000 fans at the sold-out, first ever concert at Notre Dame stadium, there was no doubt something historic was in the air – that and a whole lot of cold rain, wind and even a little snow. In fact, the high winds were strong enough that the production team had to coordinate with local and university meteorologists to evaluate and maintain the safety of the staging.

Dan Heins, front of house engineer for Garth since 1989, describes it, “By four o’clock in the afternoon, just hours before the show, we still didn’t know if the concert would go on. We ended up doing soundcheck with the PA on the ground. The wind finally let up, so we were able to raise the speakers. Thankfully, after all the weather drama, Garth’s show went on to become something for the ages.”

And, though the show was delayed by an hour, nobody cared once the sound of Brooks’ latest hit, “All Day Long,” radiating through Garth’s exclusively-designed Clair Brothers reinforced PA, sparked energy throughout the recently renovated stadium. Said Garth after the song, “Hello, Notre Dame! We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. How y’all doing?” Thunderous applause amid tens of thousands of screams answered his question.

Part of the show’s magic was the star-shaped stage with a 360-degree rotating centerstage on which Brooks and his band performed – a theater-in-the-round concept where Garth moves freestyle around the periphery playing to each side of the stadium. While playing one of his greatest hits, “The River,” the audience sang along with the chorus, setting an entrancing mood throughout the stadium. Cameras rolled as the multitude’s massive singular voice was recorded – a recording that will be mixed in as part of the TV special, Garth: Live at Notre Dame! – to be aired nationally on Sunday, December 2nd on CBS at 8:00 pm EST.

According to Heins, “The Clair Brothers PA consistently sounds great, year after year. And I can say the same thing same about Garth. He pushes himself to deliver his best every time he performs.”

The fundamental core of the stadium rig is the Clair Brothers i218 line array system that has been increased in size to cover stadiums in-the-round. The Notre Dame concert used a total of 96 i218 array cabinets and 48 i212 cabinets in the main array hangs, all eight hangs with identical equipment.

The layout for the stadium effectively utilized two different array hang configurations depending on whether the array was facing the sideline or the end zone. Josh Sadd, sound designer for the tour, says, “The Notre Dame stadium, while obviously great for football, has a bright future for concerts. The rake of the seating is very amphitheater-like which is acoustically very musical sounding – a great feature.”

Clair Brothers

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