The Live Lab at IPR’s Edina Studios is a 7,500 square foot, fully-equipped performance space, and it was running on all cylinders as the Live Sound & Show Production students presented the Big Show: Reconstructed on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 6-9 pm. This is the second Big Show at the Edina Campus, and it is an awesome concert event which doubles as the capstone class project for the students. The multi-band live performance combines all of the student’s program classes to create a final product.
Live Sound & Show Production Program Chair Peter Greenlund says, “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,” and he noted that, “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. Greenlund says, “the students chose the musical genre and bands, and the crowd of 85+ was captivated the entire time.”
Minneapolis musician Collin Smith was the musical host at the concert. He says of his experience that night, “The students were phenomenal, if I didn’t know any better I’d have thought they were industry professionals. The highlight of the night, other 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.”
The night is sure to be remembered by all, from the bands to students, supporters, and fans. Greenlund says, “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.” Debbie Rastau, a student in the Live Sound & Show Production program had this to say about her experience working on the event, “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.” We can’t wait to see what the students will dream up for next term’s Big Show.