Wiggly fun

Daniel and I went to see The Wiggles a couple of weeks ago. For those who don't know, The Wiggles are children's entertainers. Rather than describing them in great detail, I commend to you various clips on Youtube. Just search for "The Wiggles".

Before Daniel developed an interest in this group, I had little appreciation of their talents. But now I enjoy them, and I am deeply envious. Here is a bunch of 40-something guys (except maybe Sam who is to the Wiggles what Brian Johnston is to AC/DC) who earn $50 million a year and have legions of fans all over the world. Furthermore, they have a new audience every year, pack venues at every concert, and play two or three shows a day and are in bed at a civilised hour. It ain't rock'n'roll... in many respects, it's better.

Most of their fans adore them and their shows have something for everyone. Even the hardest, most ardent music fan would appreciate the impromptu bursts of "My Sharona" and "You Can't Touch This / Superfreak".

The only vision of their concerts I've seen is performances at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, with multi-camera video shoots and a full band. I'm given to understand that their Christmas show is a bigger affair so maybe it's unwarranted to complain about...

Sequencing. They all sang. Murray and Jeff played live. Anthony looked as if he might have been playing the drums and I think it was acoustic. Everything else was backing tracks.

The sound at Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne was atrocious. The house PA is a cluster of horns with what appears to be a sub (well, not horns) hanging from the roof. About half the stalls wasn't covered by that. They set up a pair of RCF powered speakers on either side of the stage. These were rather shrill and didn't cover the space adequately. "It's too loud", said Daniel with all the auditory sensitivity of a 3-year-old. (When's the last time you heard 20k?)

What should they have done? You can't run a kiddies' show loudly. But something like a normal clustered concert system or even some mini-line arrays would have been nice.

Still, at $20 a ticket (list price ... I was skinned by an ebay scalper), you wouldn't get that.

What's a sound guy to do...?


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