For gigging bands, nothing can kill a night on the town quite like an overzealous engineer, a shoddy PA, or poor acoustics. Or a hangover. And while some experimentation can help out with the first two, acoustics (and hangovers) remain a nigh-permanent issue for many venues. As a majority of them are housed in buildings not designed for live music (or at least not very thoughtfully), it doesn’t take more than a few unfortunately placed concrete walls or a big window to louse things up. While attending the recent Frightside Jam at the historic Whiteside Theatre, however, both the engineer and the music fan in me were blown away by the whole package.
Built around what seems like one-hundred-thousand-million years ago, not only does the Renaissance-influenced architecture of Whiteside make for fantastic projection, but it also minimizes a lot of the reverberations that can harass a mix or cause unwanted interactions between what a band hears on stage and what the audience hears in the galley. That, and to put it like someone in the 60s might, it looks totally boss! But I’ll give the recent 3rd Annual Frightside Jam’s opening band, the Exit Electric, some breathing room here, as its members’ perspective is likely to mean the most to bands thinking about booking a gig (and they should!):
“[It] was a surreal experience. The combined forces of local master sound engineers Cameron Denning and Mark Schurman, the lighting crew, and the Whiteside’s’ natural acoustics and architecture transformed the whole theater into a vivid soundscape that musicians dream about!”
And there you have it. Local band? Band within driving distance? Be sure to put Whiteside high on your list alongside some of the other great venues in town.
by Johnny Beaver