Sunday April 3, 2011
Grand Garden Arena – Las Vegas, NV
This will be about the 14th time I have had the absolute pleasure of attending the Academy of Country Music Awards. As in the past, Shure has enjoyed the pleasure of being the preferred microphone of choice by both the engineers for the show as well as many of the artists who appear on the show each year.
For this years’ show, there were many Shure Endorsers that were given performance slots and the UHF-R series with the SM58 capsule was heavily featured. From the opening slot feauturing Endorser Brad Paisley’s segment with Alabama to the very last performance where James Taylor sang on a wireless 58 accompanying Zac Brown Band.
Following Brad’s opening was Shure Endorser Toby Keith on a UR2/KSM9 and then a few spots later, Endorser Dierks Bentley walked up from the backstage ramp to the front of the stage with a UR2/SM58 with no RF problems at all. Keith Urban followed Dierks wtih the same mic, as well as Best New Artist winners’ The Band Perry.
Picking up the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year award was Taylor Swift who performed her new single “Mean” on a Super 55. It was nice to see that performance make the front page news in Vegas !
Sara Evans returned to the ACMA stage with her UR2/SM58 to sing her new single “A Little Bit Stronger.” A bit later, new Shure Endorser Ronnie Dunn took the stage to perform his first single “Bleed Red,” also on the UR2/SM58. Both artists received standing ovations for these performances.
Martina McBride followed Ronnie’s performance with her brand new single that she co-wrote with The Warren Brothers – “Teenage Daughters.” Whether it’s on a wire or (for this show) a wireless, Martina always reaches for the SM58. Turns out that a lot of engineers do as well. I had the opportunity to chat with the show’s monitor engineer, Mike Parker. He stated that “The SM58 capsule is our Go-To mic on this show. It is the most consistent, reliable vocal mic for handling the variety of performers that show up every year.” Thank you for that, Mike!
We would also like to thank the show’s Production Mixer, J. Mark King, for always requesting Shure as the front runners on this show as well as Biff Dawes for his willingness to give some new mics a shot. On the opening segment with Brad Pasiley, Brad’s drummer, Ben Sesar, had some of our new Beta 98AMP‘s on his toms as well as a pair of Beta 181/C‘s for his overhead mics. Everyone on the crew was pleased with the sound and functionality of these new products.
Another big shout-out goes to ATK Audiotek for their assistance, both in the wireless and wired mic category.
Aside from my regular duties at the ACMA rehearsals, I also had a chance to catch a show on the famed Fremont Street. Endorser’s Randy Houser and Ronnie Dunn took the stage using Shure Wireless 58’s and a host of Shure mics provided by local sound company 3G Productions. Ronnie also brought his new rack of PSM900’s. The street was packed and it was great to see Ronnie kick off his solo tour in style.
On my flight back home, I experienced some of the worst airplane turbulence yet in my many years of flying. I am thankful that I am able to attend this show every year, and equally thankful to make it home safely each year.
Stay tuned for my coverage of Vince Gill and Friends at the Ryman Auditorium on April 7.