Jet Get Born… Again
Jet remind us what made them one of Australia’s most successful rock bands of all time with a killer show
By Cat Strom.
Photos: Troy Constable
Aussie rockers Jet have completed their 15th anniversary national tour in celebration of their 2003 debut album Get Born. Entitled the Get Re-Born tour, the Sydney show was at the Enmore Theatre where The Vines were support act for a night best described as controlled chaos. This was a gig that went off!
At FOH was James ‘Oysters’ Kilpatrick on a DiGiCo SD10 with a redundant Waves Extreme Server. James doesn’t use any of the DiGiCo processing but every single channel has Waves processing on it to try and emulate the sound of Get Born. “The drums are all Solid State Logic channel plug-ins, the guitars and vocals are all on Shep Neve 1073 and the keyboards are Abbey Road EMI with analogue drive and distortion,” he said.
“Everything on it is Waves, such as H Vintage compressors on guitars and bass and I’m only using really the pre on the console, mutes and faders. The rest is made up with Waves C6 multi band compressors that kick in when the band really starts to rock to try and manage the high end from getting out of hand.”
“It’s a lot different to the type of work I’ve been doing recently as there are no sequencers or samplers, it’s entirely organic. It’s really a hands-on, old school mix which I’m really enjoying. It all fits in one layer on the console too so I don’t have to change pages!”
James said the mix was entirely about the tone with ‘vintage’ instruments. Luke Stabb (guitars) and Casey Hilliard (Drums/Keys) are specialist backline techs who meticulously tuned drums and replaced heads, set guitar levels and tones for every different room. This included adding or changing cabinets depending on the size and environment so the backline was always at its optimum sound for the venues they worked in.
“From a backline point of view the key to the overall sound is the blend of clean and overdriven tones,” added Luke. “Most of the amps are running loud(ish) but still relatively clean. This contributes to the large sound of the band. The amps are not compressing the sound with distortion. We will swap out amps depending on rooms if they are too loud or bright/dull. There is the occasional use of pedals to push the amps harder.”
Lead guitarist Cameron Muncey has two amps, one running clean and the other more distorted. He switches between the two as desired for certain songs but on the whole they both run together. Lead singer Nic Cester has a Selmer Treble and Bass 50 mk1 (1964) amp while keyboard player Louie Macklin’s keys are Nord Stage 2 and a Hammond XK-1c.
“The bass has a DI pre and post the pedals as well as a mic,” said Luke. “The pre DI is to get a clean sound when the bass fuzz is in use.”
Chris Cester’s drum kit was a Ludwig Classic Maple with a 22” kick drum and centre tom mount for cowbell, a 13″ by 9” mounted tom, a 16″ by 16” floor tom and two 14” by 5” Supra-phonic snare drums. Bass player Mark Wilson had two Fender Super Bassman 300 watt bass heads and a Fender Super Bassman 810 speaker cabinet.
As the band have played together for such a long time, James reports that their playing is pretty even and there’s not a lot of cueing, just for guitar changes and backing vocal parts.
“As there are a lot of monitors, guitar amps and no IEMs, I do cue the backing vocal mics on and off just to try ease up on the spill a bit,” explained James. “I’ve got it down to 12 control groups, in fact it’s set up just like an analogue console so I have two hands on the faders and no automation!”
Rod Matheson ran monitors also with a DiGiCo SD10, using d&b audiotechnik side fill, M2 wedges and subs. However it was not overly loud onstage with the band going for tone over volume. The band like it fat onstage so the subs are usually to fill drums and bass out. A Porter and Davies’ Buttkicker was added as part of the drummers’ monitors.
“I can honestly say for such a powerful act, I hardly ever noticed the backline or monitors even in the smaller shows. Tones and levels were first rate,” said James. Microphones included Sennheiser e935s on vocals, except for Nic who used a MD 431. Guitars were mic’d with Shure SM57s as they can handle a lot of pressure and are not too bright. A standard Sennheiser kit was deployed on the drums.
JPJ Audio supplied the control package and David Darlington as the tech whilst in-house PAs were used.
Lighting designer Anthony Petruzio had never worked with Jet before this tour however a good rock band is very much his genre so he was in his element. Recently Anthony started working for TLC Global but was given time off by TLC Global’s Dave Taylor to do the tour. Anthony resisted the temptation to load his show up with TLC product although there was some GLP and Portman gear.
“Davey was happy for me to keep touring as we try not to be just suits selling the products,” he said. “He likes that we’re using the products and we’re in touch with what’s going on. At this point, I’m not quite ready to give up touring although I am winding it down as I get older.”
The brief was basic; keep it simple and produce an old school rock show without lots of colour – which is exactly the type of show Anthony likes to design and does best.The gear was a mixture of old models and the latest tech wonders. There were 8-way ACLs with PAR36 ACL lamps in them as the band like a lot of tungsten.
“They like that warmth which is why I brought in the Portman P2 Hexalines retro fixtures as well,” said Anthony. “I use a lot of CTO and whites in the start of the show, the Get Born artwork is all black and white so I didn’t want to put too much colour into at least the first part of the set.”
The six Portman P2 Hexalines are placed at a couple of different heights, along with lots of blinders and 4-lites on the ground, the ACL 8-liters in the air as well as a few DWE duets. Primarily used as eye candy, the P2 Hexalines do pack quite a bit of punch especially when all six are on at once.
“I don’t know that I’d replace a DWE with one but it does give you that blinder effect and a couple of times I flash them a bit, although mainly I use them in the softer songs with a few chases across them,” commented Anthony.
“Basically I just wanted some more tungsten that wasn’t ACLs or blinders … an old school feel in a new school kind of way.”
In the air were 16 Martin MAC Viper Profiles, a fixture that Anthony particularly loves saying they are nice and bright, with decent gobos. “However I don’t use that many gobos on this show,” he said. “They also have a nice zoom range and I always like to have an iris. I’m not much of a beam person, I’d rather iris down a profile spot than have something like a Sharpy.”
For wash there were ten Claypaky A.leda B-EYE K10, six at the back and four in front of the amplifiers. Downstage were MAC Auras for side and front light plus another four DWEs for up light. Eight GLP JCD1 strobes, four at the back and four in front of the cabinets were prominent in the lighting design.
“I use them primarily as a wide angle wash light on this show,” said Anthony. “I fell in love with them a year ago when I had them on Airbourne. Again I wanted a wide angle wash light like a Stormy but once I also tried the strobe part I removed all of the Atomics I had on my touring floor package.
“I use them as strobe and a big bang blinder on this show but mainly as a back wash light. I don’t move them too much, in fact there’s only one cue in a song where I tilt them. I try not to overuse that but they have nice little effects within their strobe function such as zigzags.”
Regular old school Profiles were used for front light as Anthony preferred the warmth of tungsten just to lift up over the top of any side colour or front colour. As Anthony said, nothing is as nice as just two profiles onto somebody.
Control was an MA Lighting MA2 light with Phaseshift Productions supplying the tour, except for Perth. “It’s a rock show, it’s nothing hard, just follow what they do,” concluded Anthony. “I’m pretty happy with the way it has come up.”
This article first appeared in the print edition of CX Magazine July 2018 pp.20-22. CX Magazine is Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues. Read all editions for free or search our archive www.cxnetwork.com.au
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