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Nice band, shame about the service.


markrice
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I've been a fan of the band since the moment i heard 'Under a Blood Red Sky' for the first time, on vinyl, back in 1983/4 as a lad. Since that time i've seen the band a number of times, in the UK, starting with the Joshua Tree tour, then Zoot TV/Zooropa (the one at Wembley with Salman Rushdie) and into Vertigo and beyond. 

Last year i took my lad to his first concert at the first Wembley show. We paid for decent tickets (£80+) and made a weekend of it in London. 

I have to say i left disappointed; visually the show was amazing with the set design being absolutely fantastic with the claw and all that but i was so let down by the sound. This is not the first time a U2 gig has left me deflated - i luckily saw them twice on the Vertigo tour (Manchester and then Twickenham) and the Manchester sound was not good - i put this down to the new (at the time) City of Manchester Stadium. 

But since Wembley (another new stadium by the way) it's niggled away at me. My lad's first gig and in our seats we couldn't make out much of what Bono was saying (or singing) and the quality was far from good. 

But it's not the show i want to say too much about as the band, especially U2, would not put on a show at a venue if they thought it was going to be less than perfect. It took me a while to write to Principle Management in Dublin because i just love the band and it seemed strange to complain but in the end i did because you cannot take away my lads first ever concert and wanted to let my feelings known. 

So i wrote a well worded letter explaining my frustration and guess what - nothing! Over 12mths and nothing, not a jot, an apology or even an acknowledgement. Now i'm sure they have lots of mail (mainly fan mail) but i think it's just either very poor or just plain arrogance of them not to reply! 

Not good enough really. And whilst i'm ranting i also purchased this websites membership and was promised a Zoo TV live disc of which i only received one half. I emailed and they promised to send the other half - nothing since so i have one half of a Zoo TV live disc and a concert that wasn't all that good! 

Thanks U2.  
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Could have been a lot worse . It could have been Coldplay

roll.gif

no serious, sorry to hear bout your disappointments. and maybe it sounds lame, but you cant blame the band can you? they put people in charge, so they can focus on songs, music , writing.
i do think you deserve a reply to your email.
how you experience a concert is very personal, i heard people complain bout the sound in brussels too, but from where we were the sound was great! my friend , who came along with us and who had also been there for the vertigo concert, told us the sound was so much better this time. we had seats at the balconny, while she had GA and pretty far from stage for vertigo. so that could explain the difference.
as for the fan-gift-cd, i hear lots of people complain bout not receiving it, i had mine without any problem 2 times in a row and didnt have to wait for more than a week. i also recieved my order from the shop quick and without any mess up. so you gotta have some luck there. but i agree, that should be taken better care of.
hope you get to see another concert with your son, wont be the same, cause wont be the first , i know, but i hope it will be great and you will both enjoy it!
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Wow! I see this at every concert. People saying that the sound quality is great. Then turn around and see others say it sucks. Here's the thing, sound quality/mixing is very subjective. All FOH engineers have their views on what sounds great and what doesn't. The way we go about it is if it sounds good to the engineer, and the majority of the crowd is liking it (watching their hips shake, their heads bob, and their mouths singing along) then it's a good thing! You can't please everyone, especially when it's a small minority. What do you consider too loud? What do you consider a great mix? I could get a handful of people to listen to a live band, and each one will have a different answer. Were you drinking at the time? Take that into consideration too. You've also got to take into consideration the venue itself. If you're a frequent concert goer for that venue, and you know it sounds like absolute shite in there, then guess what?! Stadiums and arenas were built for sporting events, and to try and pack as much people as they can, while trying to make a profit. Realistically, if they did try to sound proof these venues, I don't think they can stay alive for more than a few years. Guess what? Concert tix will be higher since bands are made to pay at least 17% of their ticket revenue to each venue (for rental). It is a double-edged sword for U2, coz they're too big to play theaters (high tix prices, and Bono will have to sing more - his voice needs more rest now, considering his age). Yet, arenas and stadiums aren't your best acoustically sound venues...concrete walls everywhere! Joe O' Herlihy (FOH engr. for U2) has been with them almost from the start. He records every show and has U2 listen to it...now that's from the FOH area (sweet spot). If you're up close to the stage, or somewhere around the nose bleeds, of course the sound quality won't be as good. Imo, I think it sounds good, but I'm more of a bass person. I'd fatten up the bass a little more to 'hug' everyone. Maybe bring up the drums a little bit. But then again that's my opinion. The highlight is more on Bono and the Edge. For me, the Popmart tour was not as good sounding as their last 3 tours. I thought the Elevation tour was the best sounding. Others will say otherwise. Joe is up there with all the other great FOH engineers. As far as replying, it is very unrealistic for a band of this magnitude to reply to every mail. Just with the schedule of any national act, they would need to hire secretaries to reply, which I know, you wouldn't want them to do. Next person, reading your rant is probably wondering why you think your letter is more important than theirs. Getting a reply from the crew personnel? With their hectic schedule, they probably only have 15mins. to say 'hi' to their loved ones, across the pond, and trying to fit in some nap time and pre-production/advances for the shows ahead. This is the nature of our business!

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Wow! I see this at every concert. People saying that the sound quality is great. Then turn around and see others say it sucks. Here's the thing, sound quality/mixing is very subjective. All FOH engineers have their views on what sounds great and what doesn't. The way we go about it is if it sounds good to the engineer, and the majority of the crowd is liking it (watching their hips shake, their heads bob, and their mouths singing along) then it's a good thing! You can't please everyone, especially when it's a small minority. What do you consider too loud? What do you consider a great mix? I could get a handful of people to listen to a live band, and each one will have a different answer. Were you drinking at the time? Take that into consideration too. You've also got to take into consideration the venue itself. If you're a frequent concert goer for that venue, and you know it sounds like absolute shite in there, then guess what?! Stadiums and arenas were built for sporting events, and to try and pack as much people as they can, while trying to make a profit. Realistically, if they did try to sound proof these venues, I don't think they can stay alive for more than a few years. Guess what? Concert tix will be higher since bands are made to pay at least 17% of their ticket revenue to each venue (for rental). It is a double-edged sword for U2, coz they're too big to play theaters (high tix prices, and Bono will have to sing more - his voice needs more rest now, considering his age). Yet, arenas and stadiums aren't your best acoustically sound venues...concrete walls everywhere! Joe O' Herlihy (FOH engr. for U2) has been with them almost from the start. He records every show and has U2 listen to it...now that's from the FOH area (sweet spot). If you're up close to the stage, or somewhere around the nose bleeds, of course the sound quality won't be as good. Imo, I think it sounds good, but I'm more of a bass person. I'd fatten up the bass a little more to 'hug' everyone. Maybe bring up the drums a little bit. But then again that's my opinion. The highlight is more on Bono and the Edge. For me, the Popmart tour was not as good sounding as their last 3 tours. I thought the Elevation tour was the best sounding. Others will say otherwise. Joe is up there with all the other great FOH engineers. As far as replying, it is very unrealistic for a band of this magnitude to reply to every mail. Just with the schedule of any national act, they would need to hire secretaries to reply, which I know, you wouldn't want them to do. Next person, reading your rant is probably wondering why you think your letter is more important than theirs. Getting a reply from the crew personnel? With their hectic schedule, they probably only have 15mins. to say 'hi' to their loved ones, across the pond, and trying to fit in some nap time and pre-production/advances for the shows ahead. This is the nature of our business!
thanks for taking the time to reply, so i thought i'd respond back to you. 

you're right with many of your points, sound is very subjective and does depend on a number of factors - many of them listed in your reply. 

just to clarify, i hadn't been drinking (i had my 12yo son with me at the time and am not a big drinker), whilst my tickets were not the best in the stadium they we're the next best (price-wise) but to be fair i haven't blamed the band for the poor sound quality as i realise the venue choice has a huge bearing on this - hence the point i made about seeing 2 Vertigo shows, within days of each other, one with great sound and the other not. 

however i have said that it was not just poor quality we actually could not make out what Bono was saying - which as you will know is a big part of U2 concerts - but also we couldn't even make out the words to the songs, which is why it's a good job we know them! personally, and you may disagree, i don't think that's acceptable. 

really though, my frustration is aimed at the lack of a reply - and no, i wasn't expecting a direct response from U2 - i'm 42, not 14 after all - but, given it's been 12mths i did expect at least an acknowledgement from the management company, to whom i wrote. and i think my expectation is a realistic one. my letter wasn't a rant it was well thought out, considered and polite and yes, it was a letter not an email. so i had taken the time (and effort) to seek out an address, write and post my letter and yet this still has not prompted a reply. 

again, you're right, my letter is no more important than the next person's but it is to me. if i take the time to write to someone i think it's only fair i get a reply but i haven't, not even a standard one. it took me a long time to sit down and write my letter because the last thing i wanted to do was complain about what was meant to be a great day watching my favourite band but i was disappointed for my son. this was his first gig and he was so looking forward to it and, sadly, it was a bit of a let down. 

U2 is a global brand and every global brand needs to have it's infrastructure and U2 have theirs. my letter should have been dealt with and replied to by someone without this affecting any schedule, phone call home or sleep time for the band themselves. all i expected was a simple reply, just as i did from this website when i emailed them to ask after the missing 2nd half of my Zoo TV disc - again nothing which, for me at least, is a big disappointment. 

again, thanks for taking the time to respond - at least someone does!  

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as for the secretaries, bflorendo, i think you'll find them in every fanmail-office of any big artist. for a small local band, singer i guess its doable to read and answer their own fanmail. but not for a famous artist, how could it?

can you even imagine the pile of letters they receive every day? thats why i would never bother writing to my favourite singers/artists.
and ofcourse the crew is working day and nite too while touring.
but i do think if you write a complaint to this site, whoever's in charge , cause of stuff you didnt receive, they should reply to that and make sure its taken care of. its customers-service. you were promised something, you didnt get it.
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a question for Markrice,

 

where abouts in the stadium were you when you experienced bad sound?

U2 360 Tour - Seated

Wembley Stadium, Middlesex, 

Fri 14 Aug 2009, 17:00 

Seat location: section BK 118, row 25, seats 204-202

Total Charge: £283.75

i also experienced bad sound at the City of Manchester gig on the Vertigo tour, was on the floor for that one but not that close to the stage... but the sound there was much better than that experienced a Wembley. why do you ask? 
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So if you couldn't make out the words to the song, here's what I'm thinking, it be one or a combination:

 

1. The vocals sounded 'muddy', not enough sibilance or top end. High on the low-mids/bass frequencies. Or vocals coming out of the subs...a big no no! That's systems tuning.

2. The instruments drowned out the vocals.

3. Too much reverb FX on the vocals.

4. Acoustics of the venue creating too much reflective reverb. (If it's indoor or partially covered, I can see this happening). Most probable.

5. Vocals not compressed enough. (I highly doubt it, Bono's vocals go through the Manley compressor-probably the best vocal compressor out there).

6. It could be just Bono too. (Just the way he's holding the mic, but if it was the entire show, then I highly doubt it).

 

Again, it might have sounded perfect at FOH, but not where you were standing. At sound check, the high end is more present, since there's no bodies to absorb those frequencies. I always suggest concert goers to get tickets by FOH, for the best audio quality. $55 for GA! Not bad of a deal!

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