New York (December 7, 2006)–The hard-working guys on the road featured in the live-sound section of Pro Sound News rarely get their due outside of the trade press, so it’s always a treat when a mainstream media release, whether a book, tv show or DVD, gives them a moment to shine. Such is the case with the new Manowar: The Day The Earth Shook–The Absolute Power (SPV/Magic Circle Music), a sprawling two-DVD set covering Manowar’s stint at Germany’s Earthshaker Fest in July, 2005. The first disc features the 28-song show, but it’s the second disc that will grab audio pros.
While most of the bonus DVD is devoted to a fan convention, a sizable amount of time is spent on the production aspects of the festival, including the stage construction shown in time-lapse (a segment titled “The House of Death”), lighting, video, and a take on the extensive audio requirements.
The event’s system, as shown, sports two hangs of 20 EAW line array boxes each, placed at stage left and right, reportedly backed by 40 EAW dual-18” subs and powered by a reputed 250,000 watts supplied by B&R Medientechnik. Jeff Hair, FOH engineer for the band, remarks on the disc that it’s “a very serious PA, about the same as being right on the jet engine of a 747, in pressure and in volume. I doubt if we’d do that for the audience because that would be unsafe. Don’t want to put anyone in compromise on this thing.”
Band leader Joey DeMaio then appears with a dB meter, expressing disappointment that readings, of 112.1 dB, are “of course, unacceptable. The specification we have set forth is 126 dB here at the [FOH] board.” After some discussion on the need to achieve spec’d levels versus the inability of the roof and stage to handle the weight of more PA, the system miraculously achieves and sails past the band’s goal. Huzzah!
One, of course, hopes that such discussion and dangerous dB levels were merely hype, not something that was actually perpetrated.