The Big Show: Reconstructed

Institute of Production and Recording (IPR) live sound and show production students host the second annual Big Show: Reconstructed in the Live Lab at IPR’s Edina Studios The Live Lab is a 7,500 square foot, fully-equipped performance space, and it was running on all cylinders with a multi-band live performance that combined what the students’ passion with what they learned in the classroom to create this amazing final product.

“These classes include recording to live sound, lighting, maintenance/repair, and event production. New elements added this year included moving trusses and video walls which further enhanced the concert and showcased the student’s advanced skills, and ability to improvise under pressure,” said IPR’s Live Sound & Show Production Program Chair Peter Greenlund. “With the additional lighting elements, students were required to fabricate many custom, high voltage components. They pulled it off with shining colors.”

This year, The Big Show featured the band Sawyer’s Dream whose music is “comprised of complex instrumental arrangements and intricate four-part harmonies,” according to the band’s website. Minneapolis-based Stone Arch Isles, a quickly rising indie band, was the other headliner.

“The students chose the musical genre and bands, and the crowd of 85+ was captivated the entire time,” said Greenlund.

According to Minneapolis musician Collin Smith, musical host at the concert, “The students were phenomenal, if I didn’t know any better I’d have thought they were industry professionals. The highlight of the night, othe

r then the honor of being musical host, was the amazing job that the engineers did with the band Stone Arch Isles. Obviously, it all starts with the source, so hats off to the band for having a sweet sound. But man…four part harmonies and you could hear each one crystal clear. So impressive.”

Greenlund comments that each of the Big Show’s always experiences unforeseen variables. This year, scheduling final rehearsal with the band’s personal schedules created the variable of no final sound check for the headline band. This created a throw-and-go which forced the students to open the show with no prior rehearsal. Scary. But they pulled it off.”

“The highlight of the Big Show was being able to see everything we did fall into place, as well as watching these bands form a relationship together,” said Debbie Rastau, student in IPR’s live sound and show production program.

The night is sure to be remembered by all, from the bands to students, supporters, and fans. We can’t wait to see what the students will dream up for next term’s Big Show.