MLA Provides its Signature Consistency and Tonality for Legends Tour

Pics taken at SSE Arena, Wembley

The Legends Live tour brought together some of the great names from the 70s and beyond.

Presented by Tony Denton Promotions, the package was headlined by Suzi Quatro but also featured David Essex and Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers, with Showaddywaddy making way for Smokie at the mid-point of the tour.

Capital Sound are past masters at providing sound reinforcement for such package tours, with their short turn-around times. Having recently supported the 40 Years of Disco tour, they were out in force with a full inventory of Martin Audio’s pioneering MLA PA.

Working under the experienced production management of Richard Ames, Capital’s project manager (and monitor engineer for this tour) David Preston oversaw a sound-optimised set-up in the arenas, and system tech Dan Fathers was able to gauge his optimisations accordingly.

The fact that coverage can be fine-tuned electronically to cope with any last-minute changes in venue usage and ticket sales, without the need to re-rig, remains a key benefit of the MLA system.

They were joined in the Capital Sound team by crew chief Jonny Buck, who doubled as stage tech with Barney Cushman. All the bands brought their own FOH engineers with the exception of David Essex, whose house sound was mixed by Dan Fathers.

Typically, Capital fielded 11 MLA elements and an MLD Downfill enclosure stage left and right, with reduced outfill hangs of five MLA Compact boxes, since no coverage was required for the upper tribunes, which weren’t in use.

As this was not a sub-heavy tour, Capital Sound fielded just eight MLX subwoofers, three per side (in cardioid formation) and a pair in the pit. Six W8LM Mini Line Array were used as front fills—two on the outer sides, and a pair either side of the central position, and a pair of XD12 on stands to fill the void under the main PA. Finally, Cap supplied 16 LE1500 as stage monitors, run active biamped.

Summing up David Preston said the tour had been an all-round success. “All four bands had their own backline and we were only allowed a 10-minute change over. But we smashed it, and managed to bring this down to six minutes.

“As for MLA it provided its usual consistency, and in addition to the excellent coverage, the sound engineers commented on the remarkable tonality of the system.”

One of them was Suzi Quatro’s FOH engineer, Gerry Bryant. “It’s the best sound I’ve ever had at Wembley’s SSE Arena,” he said.