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The 2015 Big Blues Bender held at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada recently wrapped up with much praise for the high level of production. Las Vegas, NV based H.A.S Productions provided staging, lighting, and an all VUE-based audio design for the 4-day, multi-stage event they have had as a client since the festivals inception.
This isn’t your average festival or attendee, “the fans in the blues community are ‘audiophiles’ and have very high standards in what they like and what they will tolerate,” says Larry Hall, CEO of H.A.S Productions. “We deployed every piece of VUE Audiotechnik gear that we own for the festival”. Jay Easley, H.A.S. Productions COO says “It’s a multi-stage show with all the challenging elements you can imagine.” Starting at the top of the Plaza Hotel, the Bender Oasis stage rocked the outdoor pool area for over 1000 guests at a time taking in the likes of Tab Benoit, Walter Trout, Tommy Castro and The Painkillers. “We utilized the VUE al-8s powered by V6 Systems Engines and hs-28s which are double 18-inch subs to cover this venue,” states Easley. What was impressive was the small amount of cabinets they needed to cover the large space. “Four al-8s over two hs-28 subwoofers per side, and four al-4s as lip fills was all we used, and there was still headroom left”.
The Bender Theater stage was located in the hotel’s main ballroom where such Blues heavy weights as Buddy Guy and Robert Randolph performed. “The low ceilings posed a challenge for us on how much PA we could hang in this room” says Larry Hall. “We managed to get just six al-8s in the air per side along with hs-28 subwoofers on the floor. FOH was forced to the very back of the room due to immense ticket sales. Luckily, the smaller than typical PA for a room its size was nonetheless able to carry all the way to the back with no delay clusters”. An army of hm-112s and hm212s zigzagged the stage for monitoring. “It is always fun to see guest engineers fire up the hm-212 for the first time…the look of awe and joy is priceless” says Easley. “Follow that by the thumbs up we get from the artists on stage and it makes all the work and investment worth it. The VUE monitors are simply awesome”.
The Bender Showroom stage at the festival ran so long, the audio crew was split into two shifts. This venue was housed in the Plaza hotel’s main showroom. H.A.S. Productions loaded in al-8s, al-4s and hs-28 subwoofers along with a tall pile of hm-112 monitors. “Downbeat was 12 noon in this room each day and wasn’t scheduled to stop until 4am each night” says Jay Easley. “When you have the likes of Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials, Mike Zito, Tommy Castro, and Tab Benoit all onstage together making some amazing music, you just let them keep going no matter what time it is. We knew that coming in; and planned accordingly with our staff to ensure we were on point for our client”.
Brad Bryan, Production Manager for the Big Blues Bender comments “Larry and the crew at H.A.S. Productions nailed it for us once again. The audio quality with the VUE system was amazing, not to mention the superior level of A1 and A2 talent that H.A.S Productions brings to the party”.
“We have been using the VUE Audiotechnik systems for over a year now and have yet to run into anything that it won’t do for us. The cabinets, the amps, the service, and most importantly the support we get from VUE is amazing and makes our investment worthwhile. It really is like family and that is very important to a company like H.A.S Productions,” says H.A.S Productions Owner and man behind the wheel, Larry Hall.
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