Magazine article Guitar Player

Carl Verheyen on Performance: All Hail the Road Crew!

Magazine article Guitar Player

Carl Verheyen on Performance: All Hail the Road Crew!

Article excerpt

I'VE ALWAYS BEEN VERY appreciative and respectful of the crew on tour. A road crew for a big rock and roll production is divided into various teams. A stage manager, a production manager, and a tour manager direct these teams to make sure the sound crew, lighting crew, truck and bus drivers, limo drivers, pilots, electricians, carpenters, and all band personnel work together to make the show happen each night in a different city.

The lighting team includes riggers and spotlight operators, plus a lighting designer who runs the light show. They are the first into the hall to wire the lights onto the trusses and "fly" them over the stage before anything else can be set up. A video crew operates cameras and runs films. The stage crew handles setup of the stage itself--including carpet, risers, and power. The sound crew handles the P.A. system, front of house sound, and monitors. Backstage, there's a production team that advances the next show and a tour accountant who settles the money and deals with the tour's operating costs--including providing per diem funds for the band and crew. A catering staff provides three meals a day for the entire crew, including dinner and after-show food for the band.

Then there are the techs who handle our instruments before, during, and after the show. Many famous guitar players have their techs switch amp channels, hit pedals, and even route their signals to different amps--all the while tuning a guitar for the next song in the show. I've always preferred to do the sonic changes myself, instead of being tied to the same tones every night, but I can see the advantages of having a tech script out and handle the guitar sounds for guitarists who run all around the stage. …

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