Dave Mason and his band were taking care of business–literally–on the trade floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, with some help from Gand Concert Sound. Chicago (February 14, 2008)–The Chicago Board of Trade’s trading floor is usually the site of lots of hooting and hollaring, but usually it has to do with the buying and selling of stocks. One Saturday night a few weeks ago, however, it had to do with the Dave Mason Band rocking out before a crowd of 500, with some SR help from Gand Concert Sound (Glenview, IL).
The event was a three-fold celebration: the CBOT and the Mercantile Exchange celebrated their recent merger; Gelber Financial celebrated its 25th anniversary by throwing the party on the CBOT trading floor; and it was Gary Gand’s birthday. “So I invited all the millionaires I know to party down with me at the CBOT with a rockin’ band,” he joked.
The headliner in question was the Dave Mason Band. Mason wrote many of Traffic’s hits including the Woodstock anthem “Feelin’ Alright” which has been covered by 65 artists to date. All aspects of the production were handled by Gand Concert Sound; sound, staging, video background, stage crew and backline were planned and coordinated, under the direction of Gary Gand with help from lighting designer Mark G. at VLS Inc. Gary said, ” The client wanted to put on a big rock show at the CBOT. I figured they were going to stage it outdoors in the parking lot. When I asked where; they said on the trading floor. I asked if that had ever been done. They said never. I said count me in!”
Just getting into the CBOT trading floor is a security issue. Since 9/11 the trading floor has been closed to the public. Gand’s idea was to bring in a full size stage, with lighting trusses, rear projection screen, full monitor and FOH positions smack dab in the middle entry of the fourth floor facility. The concept was accepted and one area of the floor was actually demo’d to make space for the stage. The venue was being remodeled to make room for the 1000 additional traders moving in from the Merc, so the timing couldn’t have been better.
Acoustically the room, which is roughly the size of an airplane hanger, sounded phenomenal. The room is treated with sophisticated wall panels so the traders, who still use “open outcry”, can hear the trades being shouted. Gand commented, “I told them that if this financial thing ever goes bust, the place would make a really righteous nightclub.”
The show loaded in starting at the end of trading on a Friday for a Saturday night show and out before 7 AM when the facility had to be operational. As the financial center of bond and commodity trading, gold and precious metals futures and grain futures in the USA, billions of dollars of trades take place every day.
This was an old-school analog gig with Soundcraft MH4 at FOH, Midas H3000 for monitors, the GCS proprietary 4-way speaker system loaded with JBL components, Crest 8001 amps, BSS crossover, Klark Teknik EQ’s, Drawmer and dbx comps and gates and effects from TC, Lexicon, Yamaha and Eventide. Mics from Shure, Sennheiser, and AKG covered the stage. Nexo PS15’s powered by Camco V6’s made up all stage monitors and front fills.
Gand said “Rigging was out of the question, so we went with a big stereo ground stack of front loaded cones for a studio monitor feel along with plenty of front fills. The audience of 500 people were drinking cocktails right in front of the band and we wanted them to be in the sound field at all times.”
Gand Concert Sound