d&b GSL delivers for Green Day at Estadio Velez Stadium, Buenos Aires.
In 2017 American punk rockers, Green Day, undertook a year-long world tour taking in Australia, Europe, Canada, USA and South America. In November when the band arrived at the 49,540 capacity Estadio Velez Stadium in Argentina, audience, crew and band were in for a real treat and an audio first. Here, the PA was the d&b SL-Series, GSL System, the brand new member of the d&b large format PA family making its South American debut. BALS Buenos Aires Live Shows, one of Argentina’s largest rental firms, was the local provider for sound and lighting. Their GSL system arrived just the week before the Green Day Show – and the results were exceptional.
The Estadio Velez in Buenos Aires is a forty five thousand capacity Sports stadium, now firmly established as a leading venue for Global events and tours. The BALS sound crew were more than keen to work with the new system. GSL sits as the defining apex of the d&b line array family delivering power and performance innovations that position it well above the iconic d&b J Series.
When the audio crew for Green Day arrived at the stadium, led by Kevin Lemoine, the band's long standing FOH Engineer, and Clark Thomas, System Tech, they were full of anticipation. As long term users of the J-Series and declared d&b fans, the crew were very much looking forward to using GSL. The team were not disappointed. “Next year, we’ll just have to tour with this system,” Clark Thomas concluded within only a couple of minutes.
After hearing the PA installed at the Estadio Velez, pre-gig the reaction from the BALS audio engineers was a mix of astonishment and disbelief, noting the evenness of coverage on the pitch, the lower tiers, and the tiers at the opposite end, as well as the absence of the low end rumble behind the PA. And that was without subs. Macaio, the d&b distribution partner in Argentina, mentioned that it was the clearest sound they had ever heard in the stadium.
"This is the best expression of live mixing I have ever encountered.” Lemoine commented. “Now I want to try different microphones on sources because I can actually hear the nuances of them. Different compressors, different pre-amps, and different EQs, because now they can really and honestly be heard. This is a thrilling idea really, and the thought of using the GSL on a daily basis cannot happen fast enough. From someone that is familiar with every major PA system, it’s nice to know what is really the best, and I can’t wait to hear it again.”
After the concert itself, Kevin more than agreed with Clark, saying, “The new d&b GSL system is by far the best PA system on the planet. It’s staggering, really, the wonderful amount of pure, clean emotion that screams out of this box. Never have I experienced such a huge amount of control and handling from a sound system. Every minute EQ sweep, every minuscule fader push, every slight bit of effect coloration; all was heard in the truest sense, and as intended with the GSL.”
From a system tech perspective, Clark Thomas was happy with the performance of GSL for a number of reasons. Moving from GSL for mains to J-Series for side hangs, he found the transition was pleasant and smooth. He adds, “GSL is the nicest PA I have ever had the pleasure of working with. It is truly a full range, high fidelity system. It throws quite far while maintaining tonal balance, and I feel it’ll work wonderfully with any style or content. And I must say, I could not hear any noise coming from the rear of the array when I walked around.”
By today’s standards, Green Day is a straightforward line-up consisting of three front liners with a couple of guest musicians, amounting to only twenty two channels at the FOH desk. What the band “lacks” in channel count, Kevin makes up in toys, because he works almost exclusively analogue and uses a choice collection of boutique outboard gear. The sonic outcome at The Estadio Velez Stadium to a sold out audience of thirty seven thousand, was exquisitely controlled by Kevin’s able hands. Green Day’s sound is full of dynamic highs and lows. No problem for GSL, which handled the two-and-a-half hour stream of guitar-loaded hits without breaking a sweat.