Los Angeles (November 21, 2003)–Last Saturday night saw one of the most buzzed-about concerts this fall take place in Los Angeles, as a charity show for the Warsaw Center for Prostate Cancer Research and Silverlake Conservatory of Music went off without a hitch at the 3,500 seat Palladium. Co-headlining the all-star event were The Red Hot Chili Peppers and System of a Down; also on the bill were ex-Minuteman Mike Watt, a solo acoustic set from Peppers guitarist John Frusciante and surprise guest appearances from Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Johnny Ramone from the Ramones.
Sound for the occasion was supplied by the Peppers’ longtime touring company Rat Sound (Oxnard, CA), which used its proprietary Rat Trap 5 PA system. With only one point of suspension available per side, the Rat Trap 5, utilized in a three-wide configuration, easily covered the Palladium’s 270 degree width. The system consisted of two clusters of nine Rat Trap 5 4-way cabinets, with a two-way Rat Underhang/Pittfill cabinet positioned on top of the cluster to cover the VIP side balconies. A total of 20 Rat Dual 18″ subwoofers fed from consoles aux sends, plus two more Rat Pitfills rounded out the system.
The house mix position was anchored by a pair of Midas Heritage 3000 consoles shared by the four bands. Lexicon, Eventide, BSS, Klark Teknik, and Drawmer processing was available for use by the engineers. Monitors were mixed on another Heritage 3000 and a Midas XL-3. BSS and Klark Teknik EQs were available for monitor tweaking. Both consoles, fed by two Rat snakes and splitters, were routed to 16 triamped Crest powered monitor mixes via a 24×12 switching unit which fed the dozen Rat L wedges, four Rat M wedges, Rat sidefills, and Rat drumfill. The Peppers also utilized several mixes of Shure PSM700 personal monitors.
As they have for the Peppers’ entire two year tour, Dave Rat and George Squiers handled FOH and Monitor engineering duties, respectively. Meanwhile, Andy Turner was crew chief, David Rayner worked as FOH technician, and monitor technician duties were handled by Pete Baigent and Tim Davis. Tom Caraisco and Cory Klapheke took on the stage patching duties.
Reportedly, the energy from all bands was extreme and the crowd rocked out, even though there were RF wireless technical difficulties (possibly caused from the extreme activity from the news station next door that evening) which caused System of a Down to go on late and John Frusciante to pause during the Peppers’ set. Ironically, the RF troubles inspired one of the show’s highpoints, as the Peppers’ Flea, Chad and Anthony adlibbed for a moment, playing Led Zeppelin songs, at once both saving the show and proving their professionalism once again.
Rat Sound Systems Inc.