The L.A Rising festival was one of the major events to date for the North American summer concert season, hosting more than 60,000 people and featuring a rare appearance by Rage Against the Machine in the band’s only concert of the year to date. The concert took place July 30 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and also featured performances by Muse, Rise Against, Lauryn Hill, Immortal Technique and El Gran Silencio. Rage Against the Machine and fellow artists galvanized the crowd with nine hours of uncompromisingly intense music delivered by a massive sound system—which included more than 250 HARMAN JBL VerTec line array loudspeakers and 152 Crown Audio I-Tech HD Series power amplifiers.
Sound Image of Escondido, California designed and deployed the sound system under the direction of Mike Sprague, Director of Touring for Sound Image. The system included 132 JBL VerTec VT4889 fullsize line array elements and 110 VT4880 fullsize arrayable subwoofers for the main system and for the three delay towers, along with eight VT4889 speakers and eight VT4880 subwoofers used for stage monitoring and side fill.
Four columns of 18 VT4889 loudspeakers and four columns of 18 VT4880 subwoofers—eight columns total—were hung on either side of four poles that held up the roof of the stage structure (along with two poles in the back). Two out fill arrays of 12 VT4889’s were placed at the left and the right of the stage facing 90 degrees outward from the front. Two stacks of 10 VT4880 subwoofers were placed at the foot of the left and right front of the stage along with 18 VT4880’s at the center of the stage to provide low-frequency ground-level coverage. There were three delay towers behind the FOH position, each with 12 VT4889’s.
A setup this large might prove daunting for many rental sound contractors, but Sprague took it in stride: “We really didn’t face any major acoustical challenges. We just put in enough PA so that all 60,000 people were covered with volume and clarity. True, we wound up having to put in a lot of speakers to accomplish that!”
“Believe it or not, we didn’t face any major challenges in setting up the system either,” Sprague continued. “Getting the delay towers in the right position was a bit of a task, and getting enough AC power from the generators to run the system wasn’t easy. Ultimately we got what we needed by using 400 amps of 3-phase power for each side of the stage and 200 amps of 3-phase for the delay towers.”
“We continue to use JBL VerTec for major events like this because our success with JBL components has been second to none, and we have a longstanding track record with them,” noted Sprague. “We useVerTec because of the superior sound quality and reliability. The Crown amps also performed as one would expect from a very reliable amplifier provider.”