Selling out 50+ dates on last year’s ‘Big Revival’ tour, and grossing more than 100 million dollars in ticket sales, put Chesney among the Billboard Top Five touring artists of 2015. The country legend’s last three tours have confirmed the standing of NEXO’s STM Series in the hierarchy of large-format PA systems, capable of handling the biggest venues in the USA and flexible enough to scale up and down through different sizes of venue.
Outlining his artistic objectives for 2016’s ‘Spread the Love’, Kenny Chesney commented, “the sound is building on last year’s incredible system… I want as little between me and the fans as possible, and I think we’ve managed to achieve that in a really good way.”
Although Tim Holder was a fresh face at the front-of-house console, the PA system of 320+ NEXO cabinets was essentially the same as last year, adding just a small number of STM ‘omni’ cabinets to handle extra delay towers for the largest stadia. Working with Holder were system engineer Chris ‘Sully’ Sullivan, patch master Rich Rossey, and techs Justin Meeks, Phil Spina, Carl Schmidt, Annie Hallquist and Tanner Frees. Chesney’s own monitor engineer was Phill “Sidephill” Robinson and the band monitor engineer was Bryan “Opie” Baxley. The man in charge of it all was production manager Ed Wannebo.
For main PA, Morris designed and supplied the STM modular line array, deploying 22 sets of M46 main and B112 bass cabinets plus 3x M28 downfills per side of the stage. Aux hangs used 18 sets of main and bass per side, plus the 3 downfills in each array. NEXO’s newest STM cabinets, the compact M28, were used for the 270 hangs and delay towers – 60 in total.
“This was one of the few changes to the 2015 system,” explains Morris’ senior audio engineer John Mills. “Wherever possible, we deployed a third tower to handle extra delay, so we added more M28 cabinets to the inventory. With such a great output for a small box, they save not only on weight but also budget. And in the main arrays, with 15 degrees of splay and a few less dB in output than the M46, the M28 is the perfect companion for the down fill option.”
For subbass, the system used 48x STM S118 single 18” subs flown behind the main arrays, bolstered by 32 of NEXO’s RS18 sub cabinets on the ground, running in cardioid mode. All the subs were running at 60Hz, a change from the crossover point of 85Hz used the previous year.
Completing the NEXO box count, 12x PS10-R2 compact cabinets provided front fill.
All NEXO cabinets and amplifiers were supplied to Morris by Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, with NEXO field engineers visiting the tour to offer back up support to the Morris team. During the course of three national tours with Kenny Chesney, Morris technicians have provided invaluable input for the development of NEXO’s STM suite of products, resulting in numerous enhancements to the system which are being rolled out to international concert system users.
“Kenny Chesney is the highest-profile touring performer to embrace the STM Series,” comments NEXO sales director Denis Baudier, “and the professionalism of his team and the expertise of Morris engineers have proved to the touring industry that NEXO sound reinforcement can operate at the very top level. The modular design of the STM gives the tour’s system engineers a lot of room to manoeuvre, but winning the approval of a hands-on knowledgeable artist like Chesney is the best endorsement for the sonic performance of the system.”