Two of rock’s most legendary performers, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, recently reunited to tour North America, with premier rental firm Sound Image supplying JBL Professional VERTEC line arrays powered by Crown Audio amplifiers for the high-profile project.
Industry veteran and Clapton’s longtime live sound engineer Robert Collins handled mixing duties at front of house.
A sell-out reunion date at New York’s Madison Square Garden last year paved the way for the 2009 “Two Legends, One Live Experience” tour, which spanned 14 cities in 20 days, beginning at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey and culminating at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
The nightly set list included several songs from the classic 1969 album Blind Faith, which Clapton and Winwood recorded with bandmates Ginger Baker and Rick Grech.
The live sound reinforcement system for the just-completed tour included a total of 84 VERTEC full size line array loudspeaker elements, configured in multiple array hangs to provide 270 degrees of audience coverage.
The rig included 14 VT4889s per side for the main hangs, 12 VT4889s per side for outfill, with another eight per side for rear coverage in typical arena venues.
An array of 16 VT4880 full-size arrayable subwoofers rounded out the system. A total of 72 Crown IT8000 amplifiers, networked for remote control and monitoring via Harman’s HiQnet System Architect software platform, powered the system.
World-touring veteran system engineer Son Nishimura of Sound Image was in charge of sound system setup and configuration on a daily basis.
“The JBL VERTEC system offers superior coverage characteristics when compared to other line arrays,” said Nishimura. “And, the light weight and tremendous ease of rigging with this system saves crew setup time at every show.”
“Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood are musicians’ musicians,” observed David Scheirman, Vice President, Tour Sound, JBL Professional. “When two of the music industry’s leading artists team up with a veteran concert sound firm and a top-tier line array system like JBL VERTEC, everybody wins—especially the live music fans in the audience. This was one of the most highly anticipated concert tours in North America this season and it’s turned out to be one of the most successful.”