For three days in August, an estimated 100,000 fans converged at the sold-out Outside Lands festival in San Francisco. With must-sees including Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Metallica, and Foo Fighters, this year’s impeccable lineup at the Lands End main stage was supported by Meyer Sound’s freshly unveiled LEO large-scale sound reinforcement system. LEO’s exceptional fidelity made an instant impression on many attending industry professionals who encountered LEO for the first time, including Another Planet, producer of Outside Lands.
“Faithfully reproducing music for 65,000 is no easy task, but the Meyer Sound LEO system this year did an incredible job,” states Gregg Perloff, CEO of Another Planet Entertainment. “Legends like Neil Young and Stevie Wonder sounded better than I had ever heard them before, and LEO also made it easy for sound crews to do their job. LEO is definitely raising the bar for how live music should be appreciated.”
To cover the main audience area to a distance well past the first delay tower, more than 275 feet from the stage, sound provider Pro Media/UltraSound of Hercules, Calif. erected two main arrays of 15-each LEO-M loudspeakers at one end of Golden Gate Park’s oval Polo Field. Equally potent bass power was produced through side arrays of 12-each 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements and a center grouping of 10 700-HP subwoofers, all in cardioid configurations. Six MICA line array loudspeakers were used as downfills under the LEO-M arrays, along with dual out fills of 10 MICA loudspeakers each.
Big Mick Hughes, long-time FOH engineer for Metallica, mixed his first live show on a LEO system at this year’s Outside Lands. “The Metallica kick drum uses a considerable amount of high frequencies in order to create the attack required. There are parts in the show where the volume of the kick can hit a typical system’s high-frequency limiters. To my amazement this was not the case with LEO,” says Hughes. “LEO is such a unique animal. I think it’s a really exciting time for people to be able to hear things in this manner for the first time. LEO is going to make engineers expect more from all speaker systems.”
Two delay towers (a second at 500 feet) each held 16 MILO line array loudspeakers as dual hangs of eight, while CQ-1, CQ-2, MSL-4, and UPA-1P loudspeakers were deployed for, respectively, front fill, VIP stands, and a VIP tent. System drive and alignment were supplied by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with four Callisto 616 and two Galileo 616 processors.
Pro Media/UltraSound also provided a full complement of Meyer Sound MJF-212A stage monitors, dual hangs of five MILO loudspeakers per side as side fills with a pair of 700-HP subs, as well as the Avid D-Show FOH console used by some opening acts. Additional headliner-supplied consoles were by DiGiCo (SD5, SD7, and SD8), Midas (Heritage 3000, XL-8), and Yamaha PM-5D.
Derek Featherstone, Pro Media/UltraSound’s VP of tour and rental division, headed technical planning and coordination. “We were all impressed with how quickly the system came together sonically and how much headroom there was,” says Featherstone. “With this amount of power, the 1100-LFC had no problem keeping up with the LEO-M cabinets.”
Jason Mills served as FOH system engineer; Tom Lyon as system tech; Ian Dubois as crew chief; Tony Norris and Rick Stansby as stage techs; Nick Abru as tower tech; Sean McAdams as PA tech; and Nathan Harlow as overnight system engineer.