Photos by Connor Sharpe
WE Day gives impassioned and empowered young people across Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. the opportunity to hear from global luminaries like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai in between performances by major stars like Demi Lovato and Alicia Keys.
WE is an organization that aims to empower young people to affect positive change in their local and global communities by adopting an inclusive, communal “we” mentality. WE Day is a physical manifestation of that mission, combining the energy and excitement of a live concert with education and inspiration delivered through shared stories of leadership and change.
It’s paramount that the arena full of amped-up youth can clearly hear every word of those messages, and thanks in large part to a substantial Adamson Systems Engineering loudspeaker system supplied by Cleveland, OH’s Eighth Day Sound, that’s been the case for WE Day’s 2016/17 season.
“We needed a PA that would satisfy the rider requirements of top touring acts but that’s also versatile enough to handle everything else we could throw at it,” says Lina Beaudin of Nordest Studio, the consulting producer and creative director for WE Day.
“It also has to be loud and clear enough to rise above a crowd of very energetic young people, so considering all of that, I was really confident that the Adamson product was the optimal choice. And working with Eighth Day Sound has been great – they know the products inside and out and carry a high degree of professionalism, so we couldn’t have asked for a better provider.”
The system is comprised of Adamson’s E-Series and S-Series boxes. The main left and right hangs typically have 15 E15s and three E12s per side while the side hangs have 12 E15s and three E12s per side. The rear hangs are comprised of 16 S10s per side, and the S10s also provide font fill from the lip of the stage. Sixteen Adamson E119 subs handle the low end.
FOH engineers David Donin, who mixes the performing artists, and Wade Butland, who handles the guest speakers and basic playback, laud the PA’s performance considering WE Day’s unique mix of content – especially when it comes to spoken word.
“We feel that’s the most important part of this show,” Donin says frankly. “We want these kids to hear everything people are saying and to fully absorb the message, and the music and performances are really there to support that.”
In the full arena configuration, the PA is flown relatively high compared to a standard concert set-up. “A lot of PA systems will sound very far away with spoken word when you do that, like the PA is in another room,” Donin shares.
“With Adamson, it’s in your face. It’s right there, it’s full, and there are no problems with intelligibility.”