100 Shows and Still Kicking in Las Vegas
“Every day I am doing something for Rod Stewart.” That’s how FOH engineer/PM/TM extraordinaire Lars Brogaard describes his #1 gig. And it's a gig he has been doing for 30 years.
Rod has been doing a long-term residency in Las Vegas that is in its' fourth year and the night we got together was show #100. The last time Lars and I talked was back in the summer of 2008. It had been a while. You can still see that interview online here. http://www.fohonline.com/current-issue/24-foh-interview/1839-lars-brogaard-what-else-are-we-gonna-do-stay-home-and-watch-tv.html
How is the 70-year-old rocker holding up? Not only did he do a rocking show but he literally kicked it. Before every show, the well-known soccer fanatic — Celtic Football Club is his beloved team — personally signs about a dozen soccer balls and then kicks them out into the audience from the stage. On the night of show #100, he hit the upper balcony level of the Colosseum at Ceaser’s Palace. Four times. Did I mention he's 70?
Gear wise, Lars brings in his DiGiCo SD7. And it is the first one. “I had the first D5 made and now I have the first SD7 made,” he said. After so many shows in the same room, they have it pretty dialed in from the get go, but Lars still insists that he do some tuning at the beginning of every run. They bring in additional subs (“Not for impact, more just for some additional warmth”) to supplement the house Meyer rig and he works closely with the man who is the glue that holds all of the residencies together. That would be head of audio Dave Torti. (A guy we really should do a whole story on at some point. But it will have to be after hockey season ends…)
Getting used to being in one place so much was an adjustment for someone who has been on the road pretty much constantly since the early ‘70s.
“I thought that being here would be terrible and there would be nothing to do. And the first time we were here, some of us went for a bicycle ride that did not go well.” The desert heat and dryness took a toll and getting through the gig that night was difficult. But they adjusted and now Lars and the rest of the crew have discovered that there is fishing and skiing and hiking and lots of stuff to keep the crew occupied outside of casinos and buffet lines. On the day before we got together, they had all finished a quick trip to Utah for some skiing.