Live sound engineers suffer for their art. The hours are long, the pay isn’t always that great, but what makes it all worthwhile are those rare moments when a truly transcendent experience is created, uniting everyone in the room in a wave of joyful euphoria. And then there's days like the one that engineer Chris Blood had recently, when Boston-based indie act Mean Creek played his venue, The Beachcomber, in Wellfleet, MA.
The Beachcomber is a nice place, well-integrated into its community. You might find it bringing in national acts like Fountains of Wayne, G. Love, and The Baseball Project, or simply hosting the local Chamber of Commerce Spring Dinner. The pride that the venue evinces is also present in Blood, who keeps an eye on the Beachcomber’s audio gear, which includes a Midas Venice console, JBL SRX PA and collection of Shure SM58s, Beta57s, a Beta52 and a few DIs. It’s regular, working gear that’s cared for and treated with respect, as all tools of one’s trade should be.
So when Mean Creek (currently unsigned, though named “Best Boston Act” two years running in the Boston Phoenix) repeatedly thrashed the Beachcomber’s mics during a recent show and then claimed it was “an accident,” the engineer didn’t take it lightly. Perhaps Blood saw red. In any case, he didn’t get mad—he got even.
Within hours, he'd placed video from the Beachcomber’s webcams showing the multiple “accidents” in slow-mo, along with withering commentary, on to the internet. To be fair, Blood never identified Mean Creek in the video and made the band’s music unrecognizable, but a look at the video’s posting date and the Beachcomber’s calendar gives lie to who the culprits were.
At one point, Blood’s video commentary noted that attacking the house gear is a great way to ensure you'll never get invited back to play. Well, if Mean Creek ever does grace the Beachcomber’s stage again, one thing's for sure: The band had better bring its own mics.
What do YOU think? Did the band go too far stomping the mics? Did Blood go too far posting video? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!