Monday, April 21, 2008

Acoustically challenged?

I had an e-mail from a reader over the weekend complaining about the sound system at Time Warner Cable Arena (formerly Charlotte Bobcats Arena) during the Carrie Underwood/Keith Urban show Friday night.

She said it was so loud and the music was so distorted that she left after Urban's second song and said she'll never attend another concert there.

I went to the show as well (read my review here), but from my seat in the lower section, I really enjoyed it and didn't think too much about the sound other than that it was loud -- but hey, it's a concert.

What did you guys think? Was the sound that bad up in the upper bowl? Have you been to other concerts there and left with similar feelings?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

It isn't an opera - it is a concert. She needs to get over it. Same thing goes for people at Bobcats games - don't tell people to be quiet, it is a basketball game not a Broadway show! Some people need to lighten up.

Anonymous said...

Depends on where you sit. If you are close to the wall all the sound is going to bounce back and cause interference and really screw up what is being played

Anonymous said...

Depends on where you sit. If you are close to the wall all the sound is going to bounce back and cause interference and really screw up what is being played

Anne Howe said...

Yeah, this whiner hasn't been to many live concerts, that much is evident. It's pretty clearshe thought Carrie Underwood was gonna sound just like she does on the radio. - Well, guess what?

The Arena is a multipurpose building. It's not gonna have the world's best acoustics, not every tour is going to have the greatest equipment, or the earth's finest sound guy... But every other city is in the same boat pretty much.

You should educate yourself instead of whining and know in ANY pro sports arena, you will not be provided with the optimum listening experience.. Thats what music clubs are for.

Live events are just that. You want perfection, stay home and listen to Carrie Underwood on your iPod.

Anonymous said...

I went to see Tim McGraw four times 1)Charlotte areana 2)Greensboro 3) Loiusiana just recent when Tim McGraw got grabbed by a beast on the stage; I thought the Greensboro arena was the best I had heard ; I thought the Charlotte was okay and didnt think it was to loud. You should have seen Faith Hill giving that beast hell for grabbing him. I knew something happened because he was red as fire. McGraw got his ring swiped while he was shaking hands with fans; I thought it was a prank or something in his own State.

BA said...

Probably not the Bobcats sound system. Were there massive lines of speakers hanging from the ceiling on either side of the stage? I'll bet they hired in sound from somewhere else, or possibly, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are carrying their own rig. Might not be Bobcat's arenas fault at all.

Looking at the tech specs for the arena, it doesn't seem that they list what they have in the way of audio for concerts...

Here's some info on the technical side of their show:

http://mixonline.com/live/tourprofiles/audio_keith_urban_carrie/index1.html

Anonymous said...

It isn't an opera - it is a concert.

Both are musical performances, Einstein. If the acoustics in the arena stink, then that's yet another reason not to go there. I would certainly not heed any call to "get over it" if I had shelled out good money to attend a concert.

Anonymous said...

Operas are also played in opera houses, which are designed for the sole purpose of the opera. An arena is built for just about everything other than optimizing the sound of somebody screeching into a mircrophone, without the benefit of Pro Tools to clean it up.

Anonymous said...

I've been to concerts in arenas all around the country, and the Charlotte arena acoustics are much better than most. Blame the sound guys, not the building.

Anonymous said...

Most people who attend concerts have listened to their Ipods and car stereos turned up so loud that their hearing is damanged. Therefore, the loud concert volume doesn't bother them as much as it does someone who has the sense to protect their hearing. In 20 years, stocks in hearing aids will skyrocket - get in now!

Anonymous said...

Skip the huge, outrageously expensive shows and put your hard earned money to good use at the smaller venues around town where you CAN hear the music as it's supposed to sound in a great room. It IS possible for a concert to be a pleasant listening experience.

Bryce said...

Going to a concert is more than just the music, it is the whole experience that the artist wants to give you. Yeah the music at an arena is louder than say a smaller more intimate venue, but you are going to a A-list concert if you are seeing it at the arena.

The acoustics in the building are great for an arena. I have worked in numerious sports venues that host concerts and basketball, and TWC Arena is by far the best. At least on the east coast.

The tour brought in their own sound for the event, the Bobcats system was not used; I was there and sat in the lower bowl. At a couple points in the night I did head upstairs to check out the sound and light from the upper bowl perspective. It wasn't all that bad, but really could have been better. The sound engineer clearly did not spend that much time tuning the system for the upper folks. Shame on him.

All in all, I don't think after one mediocre experience that you should right the arena off. It will have many more fantastic artists coming through now that AEG Live is involved in marketing the building and Charlotte as a viable stop on many of these A-list tours. I think Charlotte over the next few years will see a boom in great shows.

Enjoyed Keith and Carrie, now it is on to Kanye in a couple weeks. It couldn't get more night and day, but it's all about the experience.