Nov. 5, 2015 in LIVE SOUND magazine
September 29, 2015
Gand Concert Sound (GCS), Elk Grove Village IL aka “The NEXO guys” recently completed a record summer month as well as their single largest day, by cabinet count, in the 39-year company’s history. “July has become the month to beat after last year’s record month for GCS,” states Gary Gand, President.
“We had 450 NEXO cabinets in use on one day in mid July.” said Tim Swan, Vice President. Chicago’s annual Pitchfork Music Festival was held in Union Park. The Red and Green stages were once again handled by GCS. Headliner’s included Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and Chance the Rapper.
Chance Tour/ Production manager and monitor engineer, Aaron Patkin, said “Pitchfork was our big hometown show for Chance this year, so it was super important for us to knock it out of the park in front of a home town crowd. We brought in a ton of additional production from eight foot tall risers to background singers, a custom built logo to a huge lighting package. We even maxed out the I/O on the monitor desk. Gand’s crew went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that not only did we have everything we needed, but that the groundwork was laid for us to succeed at having our best show of the year. The whole team killed it, and I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone at GCS making sure that Chance the Rapper and The Social Experiment was heard loud and clear not only by the crowd, but by each other.”
The same day, Mile of Music, held in downtown Chicago featured two live band stages and one mile of speakers pumping music out to runners along a path near Lake Michigan. Rivers Edge Park in Aurora IL features a large GCS NEXO house system that hangs all summer for a variety of national acts. July shows included Smash Mouth, Toad the Wet Sprocket, REO Speedwagon, Little River Band and Hall & Oates.
What kicked July over the top was the Tri-Annual ELCA(Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) festival held at Detroit’s NFL home Ford Field. GCS and NEXO premiered the first arena-sized GEO T system in 2002 at the Georgia Dome. Gand has been handling this event for the last five sessions including the Alamo Dome in San Antonio TX and two festivals at the Superdome in New Orleans.
“We thought this would be a great opportunity to test out the newer NEXO STM rig which I heard outdoors at the NEXO factory in France,” Gand says. Yamaha team members assisted GCS in setting up the rig. The STM configuration consisted of 36 x STM M46 Mains, 36 x STM B112 Bass, 28 x STM M28 Side and downfills, 36 x STM S118 Subs, and 38 x NX4x4 amps. Thunder Audio of Livonia MI provided 24 x Geo-T speakers for delays.
The front end featured 4 x Yamaha CL5 consoles, a CL1 with Lake MY16 cards for summing all consoles, 4 xRIO3224-D and a RIO1608-D, creating one of the largest Dante networks to date (short of the recent Olympics).
Gary Gand noted that everyone from the ELCA agreed that this was the best sound ever for the event and that every seat in the house was covered in highly intelligible speech as well as gut wrenching music. From spoken word to whispers to acoustic duos, the 12 piece house band, earth shaking DJ’s, pounding metal bands, to gospel choirs, the STM system sailed right thru the challenges of the 80,000 seat stadium.
ELCA Director Heidi Hagstrom said, “The sound was awesome.”
Aug. 12, 2014
Gand Concert Sound Reports Record-Breaking Month In Serving Top Festivals & Backline Clients
Gand Concert Sound of Elk Grove Village, IL (a.k.a., “the NEXO guys”) just wrapped up a record-breaking month of July 2014, beating the company’s previous record for total gear and events served that was set in May, 2013.
GCS vice president Tim Swan notes “Our new warehouse is making it possible to handle the summer festival season with over 250 NEXO loudspeakers moving in and out on a daily basis.” GCS has also added Yamaha Commercial Audio CL5 and Avid VENUE Profile digital consoles in the past year to meet national band riders.
Most recently, GCS provided sound reinforcement and support for both the Red and Green stages at the annual Pitchfork Music Festival, held for three days each summer in Chicago’s Union Park. The company’s inventory of NEXO GEO T arrays delivered clear audio to more than 55,000 fans on hand for a wide variety of music, including alternative rock, rap and hip-hop, EDM, hardcore punk, experimental/avant-garde rock, and jazz.
Meanwhile, at Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park, one of the longest running music festivals in the U.S., GCS band gear guru Ken Stevens provided a valuable helping hand after coming on board this year to handle the expansion of the company’s backline presence.
GCS president Gary Gand states, “We started in the instrument rental business in the mid 1970s out of our award-winning retail music store, and quickly moved into concert sound and permanent installations in the following years. Now we’ve come full circle with a big expansion in back line.”
Bands on the “Gand List” of recent clients include:
- Jimmy Vaughn
- Kendrick Lamar
- St. Vincent
- Maroon 5
- 10,000 Maniacs
- Joan Jett
- Dirty Dozen Brass Band
- Sonny Landreth
- Pusah T
- Mint Condition
- Cold War Kids
- The Head and the Heart
- Portugal the Man
- Average White Band
- Thao and the Get Down, Stay Down
- Blue Oyster Cult
- George Thorogood