Note to Joe O'Herlihy - Upper Deck sound worthless in high stadiums - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-01-2009, 09:14 AM   #1
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Note to Joe O'Herlihy - Upper Deck sound worthless in high stadiums

The sound was so bad in the upper deck at Fed-Ex I thought it deserved a thread to see if there's a remedy before the show hits other large, vertical stadiums. I was actually on the floor (like most on this board) and had a terrific time at a fabulous show but many of our friends were in the upper deck and had a miserable time, as did many, many others based on reviews on various sites. I've never had so many so people say they didn't get their money's worth at a U2 show - heartbreaking. And I've never seen such variety in reviews - great time for those below - almost worthless time for those up top. The band would be devastated to know so many people couldn't connect with the show due to poor sound.

The particular problem at Fed-Ex was the combination of the vertical rise of the stadium and the configuration of the speakers on the claw. The sheer rise of the stadium kept too much of the echo inside the stadium. I wasn't at the Paul McCartney show but I've heard the sound was much better - probably because the sound WASN'T 360. Stadium sound is rarely great but it's manageable when one bank of speakers overpowers the others - if the speakers are all competing at near equal volume you have serious problems.

Some ideas for the crew:

1) Walk around the upper deck during soundcheck to get a feel for the sound - you may be appalled.

2) Consider adding another bank of speakers somewhere, somehow to cut through the echo - I doubt this is feasible but it should at least be consider. Again, Fed-Ex itself was at least 50 percent of the problem but other stadiums with a high vertical rise could be a problem as well.

I'm a lifelong U2 and was really shocked at how many people had a terrible experience. It was so bad that many casual fans won't give the band a second chance if they want to continue to play in stadiums. Sorry to be so negative but I know the band and everyone on the crew are professionals and want to give EVERYONE a great experience (that's the whole point of the tour)
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:39 PM   #2
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I had GA at Gillette but all the online comments I have read indicated that the same was true for Gillette Stadium as well, in the upper deck. Stadium sound is usually iffy, but I would guess that it might have something to do with the claw set up. A security person told my friend that the delay in letting people in the night I went was related to Bono no being happy with the sound. I doubt that he goes into the upper deck to listen so I don't know if that was related at all. I know nothing about sound and speakers but I'd like to think they check it out from all decks. My friend was in the 200's, the second deck there, and she said the sound was pretty good there.

At Gillette people in the 300's moved to walkways and to a walkway that goes over a stadium entrance, the one that leads to the lighthouse. Don't know if you can do that anywhere at Fed Ex.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:45 PM   #3
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Sound in the upper level of Giants in the very back was perfect. DC has a shitty stadium

SMB
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:44 AM   #4
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Yeah, my parents were in the 300s for Gillette night 2, and they said the sound was awful. Such an echo that they sometimes could not tell what Bono was saying, not to mention singing. Fortunately they still loved the show due to the amazing special effects and the whole energy of Bono and gang. I'm actually surprised they took it so well. I would have been soooo angry! (haha I never get to use the angry smilies, and they're just so great)
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:19 AM   #5
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sounded fine at soldier field.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:31 AM   #6
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Sounds like our stadium. It's like that at every concert. Sounds get worse the higher you go up to the stands. The echo is annoying. Don't think it's U2's fault. Stadiums just aren't made for rock concerts.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:35 AM   #7
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yeah, i think it's just certain stadiums as well. i sat in two different sections each night in chicago, and i noticed on one side there was an echo (though not really noticeable, especially not during the songs), yet the other night in a different area there was no echo.

i'm guessing just with the layout of stadiums and maybe even the outdoor aspect just means the acoustics won't be perfect.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:38 AM   #8
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i feel like the sound in stadiums is way better than in arenas.

i was in the rafters for Springsteen (arena) and sometimes didn't even know what song he was playing.

both nights for U2 were nearly perfect, though i was GA and 100s.
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:15 AM   #9
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^ some arena ceilings vibrate like crazy, almost like the sound of steel wires on a snare drum, there just isn't going to be perfect audio period.

It doesnt help if it's windy, cold and humid, which I heard it was in DC. cold air condenses sound waves, warmer air masses widens sound waves. warm air in the seats rises, cold air aloft (in the rafters). bloody hell, The Edge should know this he's our scientist.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:26 AM   #10
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I was in the upper level for the second ny show and the sound was perfect from where I was sitting.
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celebration View Post
The particular problem at Fed-Ex was the combination of the vertical rise of the stadium and the configuration of the speakers on the claw. The sheer rise of the stadium kept too much of the echo inside the stadium. I wasn't at the Paul McCartney show but I've heard the sound was much better - probably because the sound WASN'T 360. Stadium sound is rarely great but it's manageable when one bank of speakers overpowers the others - if the speakers are all competing at near equal volume you have serious problems.
McCartney at Fedex had an echo too. Fedex is basically just giant, vertical concrete walls. I was in RZ and had an echo. At Scott Stadium last night, I was in RZ again and there was no echo - it was crystal clear. Scott Stadium is lower and has one open end, which helps. Low, flat stadiums are much better IMO.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:01 PM   #12
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i wanna go to Vegas now....

anyone wanna chip in a ticket and flight for me?
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
I had GA at Gillette but all the online comments I have read indicated that the same was true for Gillette Stadium as well, in the upper deck. Stadium sound is usually iffy, but I would guess that it might have something to do with the claw set up. A security person told my friend that the delay in letting people in the night I went was related to Bono no being happy with the sound. I doubt that he goes into the upper deck to listen so I don't know if that was related at all. I know nothing about sound and speakers but I'd like to think they check it out from all decks. My friend was in the 200's, the second deck there, and she said the sound was pretty good there.

At Gillette people in the 300's moved to walkways and to a walkway that goes over a stadium entrance, the one that leads to the lighthouse. Don't know if you can do that anywhere at Fed Ex.
Wille mentioned on his diary on U2.com that Gillette was the biggest challenge acoustically on the tour so far...I wonder if he thinks Fed Ex may have topped that.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Bonneau View Post
Sound in the upper level of Giants in the very back was perfect. DC has a shitty stadium

SMB


I sat behind the stage in the 300 level for NJ1 and the sound was spectacular. I also second the fact that DC has a shitty stadium. Go Eagles
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Celebration View Post
The sound was so bad in the upper deck at Fed-Ex I thought it deserved a thread to see if there's a remedy before the show hits other large, vertical stadiums. I was actually on the floor (like most on this board) and had a terrific time at a fabulous show but many of our friends were in the upper deck and had a miserable time, as did many, many others based on reviews on various sites. I've never had so many so people say they didn't get their money's worth at a U2 show - heartbreaking. And I've never seen such variety in reviews - great time for those below - almost worthless time for those up top. The band would be devastated to know so many people couldn't connect with the show due to poor sound.

The particular problem at Fed-Ex was the combination of the vertical rise of the stadium and the configuration of the speakers on the claw. The sheer rise of the stadium kept too much of the echo inside the stadium. I wasn't at the Paul McCartney show but I've heard the sound was much better - probably because the sound WASN'T 360. Stadium sound is rarely great but it's manageable when one bank of speakers overpowers the others - if the speakers are all competing at near equal volume you have serious problems.

Some ideas for the crew:

1) Walk around the upper deck during soundcheck to get a feel for the sound - you may be appalled.

2) Consider adding another bank of speakers somewhere, somehow to cut through the echo - I doubt this is feasible but it should at least be consider. Again, Fed-Ex itself was at least 50 percent of the problem but other stadiums with a high vertical rise could be a problem as well.

I'm a lifelong U2 and was really shocked at how many people had a terrible experience. It was so bad that many casual fans won't give the band a second chance if they want to continue to play in stadiums. Sorry to be so negative but I know the band and everyone on the crew are professionals and want to give EVERYONE a great experience (that's the whole point of the tour)
Fed Ex Field Upper Deck for any show sucks! When it opened for the first concert ever in 1997 the Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon tour they said it had the best sound than any stadium in the US even for concerts. The sound does bounce around up there. It was a terrible experience in the upper deck for that show in 1997 and its not U2's fault its the stadium. Technically I would ask the promoter for a refund since you could not hear the show due to the upper deck sound sucking. They should never sell upper deck seats at Fed Ex Field.
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