So we’ve had some great shows lately on the road to our album. The Tractor was awesome! Thanks Mark Eskenazi for the photos and Jesse’s family for showing up in full. We could almost name every member in the crowd.
Right after that we played The Jet Bar & Grill in Mill Creek, and Stever (owner) was an amazing host and treated us and The Spinning Whips/Media Blackout amazing. We all thought our show at The Tractor was rough so we felt we really made up for it at The Jet. Our old friend Jake was mixing sound and that always makes the difference in a night…and then came Gaddfest. Which at this point I realized we’d been misspelling it for weeks at a time (Gadd not Gaad).
For those that don’t know, Gaddfest is put on by Jerry and Stacy Gadd. They have a good chunk of property down near Orting, WA in an area called South Prairie and every year for the last 9 years (minus last) for his birthday he has put on a hell of a festival in his back yard. Through a friend we were encouraged to play the event and in hind-site its probably one of the funnest gigs we’ve agreed to play yet. Tons of people, food and beer in a family style camp-out event made for an spectacular show that we had no idea we were getting into. Including a stadium sized PA engineered by Kenny K. (probably one of the most seasoned local vets in the business) and the lighting and stage we epic to say the least…which brings me to my point…the stage!
Look I’ve been saying for years that all of the local stages are old hat. Front of house sound, all flat front square shaped with one level. So how does one Orting man (Jerry Gadd) with some local construction buddies sketch out a stage design and CRUSH everyone who has a stage locally by a long shot!! HOW!? Seriously…Look at the picture below.
Rounded front stage so the monitors surround the musician and allow the crowd to gather around the stage…not just in front of it. The back half of the stage completes the “circle” design and allows a second tier for a drum riser that you could have fit 2 drum kits and horn section on easily. Not to mention the riser curves around to the outside of the main stage area on both sides and it makes a perfect height for guitar and bass amps to pump the sound so everyone can easily hear the stage mix. From the pictures the stage size is a bit deceiving, it looks small, but it was HUGE. And because of the resourcefulness of the design it took up a little less square footage than the Neumos stage.
Sure a few clubs innovate the house sound a bit (The old War Room), but those are usually dance clubs not band venues. The old format is tired, and I was reminded how refreshing it is to see someone with a little passion and ingenuity can make the smallest changes seem genius. So thank you Jerry for waking us up a bit to the reality of venues lack of imagination and inability to cater to the artists and fans alike. If (when) I open my own venue…I’m gonna have Jerry design the stage. Seem only fitting. ttys…