It’s been about 10 days since I got back from the UK mini-tour and time to give you all a summary and insider view on my amazing experience through a few words and lots of pictures. Gx
This is a great shot from the Teragram Ballroom. Wonderful place to play with a really tight sound on stage which made monitoring really good. Had a blast doing this as a team with Josh Giroux.
I was the first to get there on Day 1 at the Teragram ballroom. I love all the flight cases and behind the scenes stuff. Here’s the view from the mixing desk as the crew started to load-in and build. We have a great crew … First up is Dave who as TM and front of house sound guy has a lot on his plate yet always manages to do it with a smile. Next, Oren and Jimmy who do the on-stage tech stuff in the USA and James and Glenn who do the on-stage tech in the UK. Lastly, Mike who does our in-ear sound. All great guys and key to the success of the shows.
Me with the ever energetic boss
Looks like mid “Metal” or “Aliens”. The Virus Ti synths are the heart of the show and amazing devices. Gary has at least 3!
Heading through security at Manchester airport. I carry all the important stuff with me rather than shipping it in cargo. 1 laptop for backing tracks, 1 laptop for sounds, 1 back up laptop for the unthinkable, 2 hard drives to back up everything twice, an apogee duet interface for my laptop synths and an iPad with set lists, sound notes and reminders!!
No idea what I’m thinking! probably watching Gary’s hands to make sure I’m playing the right notes!
The meet & greet sound checks and rehearsals are a really good way of putting a bit of pressure on, making sure you are nailing your parts with an audience present. bridge the gap from the relaxed fun of rehearsals to the full audience.
At soundcheck at the Forum I believe. I was sick as a dog for the 2nd and 3rd shows but was having so much fun that I sort of forgot about it. Thick black hoodie kept out the cold.
Got to bed at 3am after the manchester show, woke at 5.30am to be at the airport for 6am for the flight to Cork. freezing
#1 rule … black, black and more black. From the left ….. Tim, Gary, Gareth … I think
Soundcheck – never too much rehearsing for me as I just love playing the songs.
Some folks got to bed at 7am only to have to be in the bus by 9am for the trip up to Manchester. It was a VERY quiet drive
Day 2 at the Los Angeles rehearsals. I didn’t use the moog for many sounds but more as a great feeling midi controller for these gigs. If I’d had more time then I would have explored what it could do. It weighs a TON! Might be best in the studio rather than on the road I’d say. Richard is in the background. High energy output has him eating non-stop all day yet he’s a lean as a boxer. A great technician too. He plays exactly the way I like a drummer to play. Intricate yet powerful. His hihat and splash work on “Everyday I Die” is a real highlight for me. I had to remember to focus on playing my parts and not just listening to him!
Mid set at the Forum I think
In my studio in LA. Left laptop is the back up, next laptop is the main one for backing tracks and cues. On the right is the Virus Ti rack which is the main thing I use for sounds at these shows. A question people ask is “how much is played live”? Well, I play as much as 2 hands can play. Some parts can’t be played live like all the “watery dripping synths” on Praying to the Aliens for example. Some parts need to be super tight like the bass arp synth on “we are so fragile” so I program those. In general though, anything that is a solo or lead line I play live along with a lot of bass synth and sub part. Gary often plays some keys too.
At rehearsals in London. Getting to hang out and interact with Tim was huge fun. Lots of check grins and laughs between us. For all you tech-heads out there my rig is as follows ….. Top Right laptop has backing tracks with clicks and cues. The iPad has “reminders”. Top keys are M-audio Axiom that I use to play the laptop on the left – I use Logic 9 for strings, piano and some synths like minimoog and modular moog. I’ve also taken a few samples from the Virus Ti so I effectively have 2 of them. The bottom keys are a simple m-audio controller that plays the Virus Ti at the top of my rack. Under that is a motu interface and behringer mixer. main stand is an ultimate support with 3 tier and a custom extension for the iPad.
“more energetic and visceral than ever” was one review …. just about sums up Gary’s amazing performances
A packed house in Manchester – bloody hot on stage – both Rich and I were baking at the back under the lights. Lots of bass on the stage – every time a bass note hit you felt it in your chest!!!
Sold-out at the Forum every night. Amazing people the Numanoids. Loyal, enthusiastic and very appreciative. A pleasure meeting them all.
Gary has the m-audio axiom playing the Virus Ti. I back up all the virus synths and create custom set-ups in the RAM so we can scroll through sounds quickly on stage.
Forum soundcheck on one of the days – loved that stage. The drums sounded incredible. Goes to show that building acoustics really make a difference.
Love this shot – we’d just come off stage after the main set of Telekon at The Teragram Ballroom. We REALLY nailed it and knew it – such fun to experience that. Tim btw is one of the most talented guys I’ve met. Bass, guitar, drums and a vocal presence to burst speakers! he’s also true rocknroll but layered with sincerity and mischief. Top dude
Mike is our monitor guy. He makes sure all our in-ear mixes are perfect. I have to say he nailed mine EVERY night. no complaints. great fun too. I’ve never seen anyone travel so light!
Backstage with Josh Giroux after the Teragram shows. Really amazing working with him. He was so “non-territorial” and very welcoming to me, “the new boy”. A much better “player” than me. We had a blast as the tech-duo. Our lego Jedi knights on the rack between us summed things up nicely ….. teamwork.
A keeper. My first setlist from the “Replicas” nite at Teragram in LA. Signed by all the band.
Gary really enjoyed looking up at the lights and backdrop, happy to see it all come together
Tim up close
The Forum is for sure my favorite place I’ve ever played so far. Amazing sound on the stage and a wonderful sight to look out and see the audience and the ornate ceiling.
A great shot of the lights in full movement at the Forum – well done Luke!
One of my favorite shots. Walking off the stage at the end of the 3-nite run at The Forum.
A great shot of Gary in action. For the record, I have to say that he is genuinely one of the most sincere, funny, intelligent and easy guys to be around. Low stress, appreciative and animated whether its talking about music, sounds, planes or life.
Love this shot from The Cork Operahouse.
Soundchecking in Cork. We arrived super early so managed to have a very leisurely “family” lunch in town prior to setting up and soundcheck. I was a bit worried about this one as we didn’t ship much gear from the Uk and instead hired a bunch of stuff in Cork to save some serious $. Therefore I was happy to arrive and see EXACTLY the same keys and stand that I had used in England. phew! This is about as close as I get to Steve who always seems a mile away on the other side of the stage. A great player with a punk attitude and some great one-liners. He nailed a tricky new pedal loop trick to end the show on the second night at the Forum and it was so good that its now expected every show! Fit as butchers dog this guy.
The Cork fans were awesome. Very appreciative of our efforts. My plan is to go back there for a long weekend and explore the town more. Lots of cobbled streets and alleyways. Never seen so many mexican restaurants outside of LA!!
“Praying to the Aliens” live at the Forum.