Sound problems plague B.J. Thomas concert

Justin Brake
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Conlee performance seems to capture the crowd

Wednesday night's show at Mile One Centre wasn't one for everybody, but the 2,500 or so that were out to see music legends B.J. Thomas and John Conlee were in the right place to experience some quality oldies.

"I hope you're ready for some old school," Thomas announced in his Texas dialect shortly after taking to the stage. The tunes he was referring to, of course, were the ones that make him a still-in-demand performer today, like "Hooked on a Feeling," "Eyes of a New York Woman," and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head."

B.J. Thomas performs at Mile One Centre Wednesday night. - Photo by Justin Brake/Special to The Telegram

Wednesday night's show at Mile One Centre wasn't one for everybody, but the 2,500 or so that were out to see music legends B.J. Thomas and John Conlee were in the right place to experience some quality oldies.

"I hope you're ready for some old school," Thomas announced in his Texas dialect shortly after taking to the stage. The tunes he was referring to, of course, were the ones that make him a still-in-demand performer today, like "Hooked on a Feeling," "Eyes of a New York Woman," and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head."

The response from the crowd, however, was lacking enthusiasm, prompting Thomas to tap his microphone and ask, "Can you hear me?"

Unknowingly, he had made the all-too common mispronunciation of Newfoundland, with an emphasis on the "found." The funny part was, in the moment of silence, nobody corrected him.

One woman did, however, project her voice enough for a good number of people to hear her say, "Come on sexy!"

By the time he launched into his 1975 No. 1 hit "(Hey Won't You Play Another) Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song", about 20 minutes into the set, he had the middle-aged-to-seniors crowd on its feet.

"Let's go back to one of my first hit records," he said after gaining some momentum. "It was my first No. 1 in Canada - I thought that was pretty cool."

It was the famous Hank Williams song "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", which Thomas and his band The Triumphs reincarnated in 1966.

Other hits followed in the approximately 17-song set, including "Don't Worry Baby," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," and "As Long As We Got Each Other," the theme song from the popular 1980s television series "Growing Pains".

But throughout the show there was an obvious displeasure in Thomas' demeanour.

The show's sound was mediocre, but when he apologized after performing "Raindrops" for being "a little preoccupied with the sound," explaining he couldn't hear himself, it was obvious his monitors had not been working.

It's enough to halt a show for most musicians, but Thomas trudged through and delivered an impressive vocal performance the entire set.

Unfortunately, whether the sound difficulties had anything to do with it or not, there was no encore.

Legendary country singer and Grand Ole Opry veteran John Conlee opened the show and was equally as well-received as Thomas.

Conlee too was in fine vocal form, delivering a string of hits like "Friday Night Blues," "Lay Around and Love You," "Lady Lay Down" and "Rose Coloured Glasses".

A short period into his set he laid down a hollow drum, announcing he had raised more than $200,000 for Feed The Children, an international not-for-profit organization.

During the rest of his set fans lined up to make donations and, since they were at Conlee's feet, shake his hand and snap a photo.

He closed with a unique adaptation of "Amazing Grace", which the crowd ate up.

The night belonged to Conlee, but you can't help sympathize with Thomas. He came a long way only to take a shot in the dark with the sound.

Luckily, for both him and the audience, he's got some experience and pulled through like the trooper he is.

Organizations: Grand Ole Opry, Feed The Children

Geographic location: Texas, Newfoundland, Canada

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  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Nice long letter JS , too bad you embarrased yourself in the first line! All because you never took the time to find out what you were talking about before complaining.

    It never ceases to amzae me how many people are out there like JS and Joni who mouth off for the sake of mouthing off.

  • Starr
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    better not, eh? What are you going to do about it?

  • andy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I would like to comment on the recent JC/BJ Thomas show at Mile One. I am part owner of the production company that supplied the equipment used. I would like to start by saying....not every problem that arrises at a concert or any event for that matter is the fault of the technicians running or setting up the equipment. At this most recent show, both artists did not show up for soundcheck. In this event an estimate is made by other band members as to what the talent would like to hear in their stage monitor. If the talent does'nt ask for anything nothing is given!!!! This is the way it happens.
    JC at this show wore in-ear monitors a much better way of hearing yourself over a loud band, BJ on the other hand opted to use stage monitors which even at best can make it hard to hear over a loud stage volume from other bandmates, also he wears a hearing aid which is probably not known by many people. This (I believe) is the reason that he could not hear. Earlier that day we made the stage monitors as loud as they could without feed-back and one of his band-mates said Thats perfect! Now turn it down so if he asks for more you can put it back to where it was

    I would also like to comment on how fast people are to judge things that they know nothing about. I would bet that many people don't know that before every concert most production companies (like us)use computer software and take room measurements to determine the best possible placement of speakers in the venue for the best possible sound to be had. We use only the latest and greatest of technology and if the the talent does'nt do it for you...it means they can't.......Also many of these bands bring their own technicians which leaves the sound in their hands...it's not the gun...it's the gunner!
    In closing I would like to mention the list of recent concerts at Mile One that we did using the same gear.......
    St.John's Comedy Festival
    OLP (Our Lady Peace)
    Chris Isaak
    Simple Plan
    Feist
    Blue Rodeo
    None of these concerts were an issue!

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Way to go Music City Canada!

    Another good job and promotional plug!

  • JS
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Sound Equip - I realize that the artist prob did bring its own sound equip - but that's not always the case - esp w the distance involved to travel here - sometimes the sound system itself is rented from a local supplier. I'd be willing to bet that both artists used the same sound equip - with their own instruments, of course.

    I am sure sound checks were done - and was suprised there was a sound problem - esp with a stage monitor. I would think that ear pieces would be used rather than rely on stage monitors. I didn't find the sound too bad and thought it was pretty good for the soften #'s.

    BJ seemed perturbed from the get go - I thought maybe with something independent of whatever sound issue there was. I was kinda surprised that the Tele ran with the heading Sound problems plague BJ Thomas concert . While I am glad the Tele covers concerts & this review wasn't as bad as many of Justin's reviews, I think that was a poor choice of a headline.

    I think potential future Concert goers and mile one need to have accurate info on what was on the go with the sound or stage monitors or whatever - because that might affect people's willingness to attend future concerts. So, please Tele - look at your headlines!!!! (BTW, BJ Thomas is a favourite artist of mine).

    Thanks for the feedback on the concert at Disney. I have a feeling that BJ's lack of interaction is his style and that any sound issues just added to whatever was going on.

    At the same time, BJ definitely put a lot into singing of his songs and did a good jib - it was just the repoire with and projection to the audience that was a bit lacking.

    Elton John Sound was good here at Mile One - pity the poor people in Halifax - who wrote to the newspaper that the Metro Centre Sound was very bad. So - we can count our lucky stars. (But at the same time, it would be good to know that if and when there is a problem w Mile One sound - that it can be fixed - remember the old stadium - more than 1 concert was delayed to fix the sound.

    Video Screens - I think it would probably be cost effective for Mile One to buy some video screens - they could sell more tickets & it would be a little incentive for some bands to tour here. I would think the cost is coming down on these now.

    While people have ideas on these issues, I'd like the Tele to go to the source (Mile One) about these points - what was the sound problem, if any. Could it be corrected on the fly - seems like it is at every other performance? What about buying some huge video monitors - 2 for sides of the stage ala Elton John & 1 Centre ice - when people go to Mile one, they like to be able to see.

    Also, I'd like the Tele to go to the RNC & get assurance that there are lots of patrols downtown when there are concerts - so people don't have to come back to vehicles having been broken into. This did not happen to me and I've not heard it from anyone else - but it happened at Elton John & Other events & it'd be good for concert goers to know there are extra patrols - and I have no problem for the city paying for this.

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    B.J. Thomas is the performer and as with every performer, the sound system is his responsibilty not Mile One's. Didn't he even bother doing a sound check before the show?

    I saw him give a similar performance Disneyworld this past spring and judging by what's being said about last night's show, he wasn't much ebtter here.

    A lot of people who were at the Disneyworld concert left thinking that B.J.Thomas just didn't want to be there and couldn't wait to get off the stage.

    He didn't do an encore there either and had the personality of piece of driftwood.

  • Tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I guess you would have to look at who set up the stage to start to point fingers in any direction. Most concerts have sound people that travel with the performers. Might have been something a miss, but it should have been corrected with a proper sound check prior to the start of the show.

    Either way at the end of the day it sounds like neither the customers or the performers were all to happy, but not really something that the venue can control.

    Sorry to hear that so many people were left with a feeling of a poor value for the dollars spent. I am sure that if I were to have attended I too would be a little miffed.

  • Gary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Joni, and all who think this problem was the fault of Mile One need to get your facts right. Mile One do not supply any of the sound equipment. ALL the stuff belongs to the performer. They carry all the sound and lighting equipment with them where ever they go. They just want a place to set up and plug in. There has been times where the materal could not get over from the mainland ( Wind storms or snow ) and performers thad to rent equipment from local companys. But that was normally in the winter months.
    In a nut shell the problems with last nights performance was the fault of the sound people for B.J. Thomas. looks like they did not do sound checks or did not have any back up equipment. So lay off Mile One, they are just trying to provide the best concerts out there.

  • Joni
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Oh dear.... if Mile One is going to try and attract big acts, they'd better shape up. NO big record agent would want to put their protege on a stage if there are outright embarrassing sound problems.
    Tsk tsk. And for the amount of money they're asking the public to pay for tickets? Shame!

  • ron
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    complain, complain, complain-

  • earlyaugust
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I'm not sure what I was more disappointed to read: that B.J. Thomas's concert experienced sounds problems, or some of the outright snobby and pointless comments from both Justin Brake and readers. I have to admit, I do not take it personally when someone not from our province pronounces new-FOUND-lund instead of the usual new-fun-LAND . And, who really cares where a performer stays?! Again, I am really surprised at how personally people take such trivial matters...

    At a LIVE concert, you take the good and bad, as IT IS LIVE. So much for our so-called warm, friendly attitude!

  • Maire
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Why do those washed out performers wait till they're grumpy old men before they come to NL? If they're really concerned about giving the audience a bang up performance then the least that they can do is show up for a sound check before the concert. It's obvious that Mr. BJ wasn't quite into it!!!!

    Shame on you Telegram writer for trying to shift the attention from a mediocre performance to mediocre sound.

  • Karl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    @ JS.

    Much free time today?

    So, let me get this straight....You want the Telegram to do something, Mile One to do something, and the RNC to do something. Sounds to me that you like telling people what they should do. How about you doing something about it. If it bothers you that much, get our there with some petitions, contact council, do something other than bark orders from your computer.

    my 2 cents

  • Alex
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    JS, the facility (in this case Mile One) is not responsible for sound equipment, video screens or other technical equipment artists may use in their performance. Mile one only supplies the venue and the electricity to run the equipment. Technical glitches and/or video screens etc are all the responsiblity of the artist's road crew. If there were audio problems, it is because of faulty equipment or improper setup on the part of the road crew.

  • Marge
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    All I want to know is where did they spend the night? Better not be Halifax, that's all I am saying.

  • JS
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Wanted to comment on a couple of things:

    (1) Justin Brake's 1st sentence: Wednesday night's show at Mile One Centre wasn't one for everybody,

    That could be said about many difft genres - just shows that this probably wasn't Justin's type of music - that + the glowing review he gave to the band from the mainland that the Idlers opened up for in the spring @ the Majestic - that a fair # of people weren't hepped up on!!! So, I find it hard to trust his reviews. Who does he think the audience for his columns is? Thousands went to the concert & BJ Thomas' actual music was something many would actually like - so the comment that the concert wasn't for everyone - was not a good statement. I was glad that Justin did say that Luckily, for both him and the audience, he's got some experience and pulled through like the trooper he is. (I think a bit too flattering - esp now that we know he did no sound check & the problems at the concert were due in large part to BJ.

    By the way, when BJ said new-FOUND-lund - nobody said anything - I think many were a bit taken back by it & therefore didn't react to him with apoplause as they might have. Nobody corrected him and I could easily see that - everyone was extremely polite - and there was some but subdued applause. I sort of expected that someone there in asn official capacity or in the band would have told him about the pronounciation - most people wouldn't shout the correct pronounciation to a performer on stage. I would think that a lot of people are familiar with the correct pronounciation & the incorrect ones - and I was surpriesed tha a headline performer wasn't aware of it - I would think that is something Mile One would want to make artists aware of - and I think most would be grateful to be aware of it. The mispronounciations of Quidi Vidi by the bassist in John Conlee's band was actually greeted by applause - it was endearing and the guy was actually jubilant to be here performing and we were happy to have them - that was probably one of the most touching things about the evening. BJ just had a distance from the audience - that would have decreased the chance of the audience responding to him. His mispronounciation pretty well through people for a loop - from the beginning, I wished someone had told him about the pronounciation - but I didn't want to be the one to stand out & be the one and I think most people felt the same way. I do agree that the reduced applause when BJ mispronounced the name and his comment is the mike on put a bit of distance between he and the audience - & I think affected the repoire (which was too bad - because we really appreciate our performers). - although I agree BJ was distant from the beginning. I will also say there were many enthusiastic fans.

  • JS
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I would like Mile One to comment on the sound system problem. I was at the front - so hard to say - because the speakers were all at the front & undoubtably the sound is designed to project to the whole arena. BJ made facial expressions & looked towards the drummer the 1st time there was a fairly loud feedback/ distortion & he was definitely bothered by it the whole time. He seemed preoccupied and less enthusiastic from the beginning - which I found strange because this was the 1st time for him to play to fans in NL. I was wondering what was going on. BJ sounded pretty fine for his crooner songs - but not as good for some of the louder band songs - some of which were unfamiliar and not as melodic. As a person, BJ seems like prettyquiet and very much a southern gentleman. I did think that the silence after he mispronounced NL did affect him - but overall, the audience was feairly responsive. A fan took a pic and extended his hand - and BJ shook it - but shook it after - like it hurt - I guess trying to disuade others from doing so. A web-site interview said he never tires of singing the older songs - but he just seemed too quiet during the concert. Also interesting that he sings & even sustains notes with just opening his mouth a little way. (I looked on youtube and that seems just the way he always sings). He has some beautiful christmas videos on youtube. I felt he didn't give an encore - because he didn't enjoy the concert because of the sound.

    John Conlee wore ear pieces - that he took out after each song - I couldn't see whether BJ had earpieces in due to his hair style - one would think so. I actually wish he had delayed the concert til they fixed whatever was problematic for him. I would hope that if an artist ever has to do this, the crowds would understand. Personally, I think it was BJ's repoire that was the issue - much moreso than the sound. I'll bet people in other parts of the arena didn't have a problem w sound. BTW, BJ Thomas was born in 1942 - so he's 66 - doesn't look like he's 66!!! + his 1st hit was in 1965. As you can see from the pic, he is a very slim man & had a very large (I'm guessing diamond) ring on his right hand. When he went off stage, there was a staff person holding out a marker for him - but he decided to just leave w no encore. BJ still has a nice voice - again not sure of the projection through the room - but I don't think it was too bad. Highlights vocally were: Rock & Roll Lullaby (very soft & smooth), Hooked on a feeling (Lively & strong), Don't Worry baby (beautiful falsetto on the Beach Boys song), Raindrops, I can't help believing, eyes of a new york woman, Suspicious Minds (homage to Elvis - also strong & lively). I was impressed when he asked if there were any songs, old songs that anyone wanted played and a few people yelled Billy & Sue a song from 1966 that I never knew - it was impressive that the band just started into it immediately - and it must be so cool to have a band that can play any of the songs in an instant. BJ said in an interview that he plays 70 - 80 gigs a year - so playing these songs is like breathing to these excellent musicians. BJ was obviously very pleased to get this request and he had a glimmer in his eye while playing it. He did show this at some other times as well and did make eye contact with and wave to difft people in the audience and seemed to play to the whole room. This guy is an excellent crooner.

    John Conlee said he got here the day before & he wanted to come back - and
    that if he did, he was going to Connies? again for Fish & Chips. His bass player said he was moving here and was going to live in Quee De Vee Dee in the gut!!!!! Both bands were awesome - standouts were guitarist Steve and the
    his amazing keyboard player - he did some Smoke on the Water & I think Chariots of the Gods.

    John Conlee used a wireless microphone while BJ used a wired one. John Conlee's voice was still decent - sure it wasn't as good as when Rose Coloured Glasses came out 30 yrs ago in 1978 - but nice to hear that distinct voice in person. John just exudes music and beat - little quiet snaps of the fingers & moving his hand as if helping the music to flow - like a conductor. With the 1st beats of almost every song, John put in his earplug and a beautiful big smile every time. He was really happy. BTW, John Conless was born in 1946 - making him 62 (4 years younger than BJ Thomas). His former jobs were as a disc jockey (I could see that) and an undertaker. He was really proud to announce that they have 3 children and that his 3rd grandchild arrived at 6pm the night before and that the mother and child were doing well.

    I'd still like to know from Mile One as to what happened with the sound and/or monitors. There was some crackling with John Conlee's wireless microphone as well.

    Also, wondering why the speakers are at the front for recent concerts or if this is the best set-up. I think at the Melissa O'Neil Rex Goudie concert years ago, there were speakers mid stadium - sound wasn;t that great at that one either 9just too loud for my taste).

    Also, wondering about if Mile One could get some of those large video screens - like at Elton John Concert. In addition to the 2 at the sides, would be good to have one high centre ice. I would like the Telegram to report on this from Mile One. This is a wonderful facility and I think sound is usually great - would like to know what the problem was last night, if something can be done on the fly - when there's a problem again and about the video screens.

  • JS
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Thanks Andy for replying.

    As you probably know, concert goers paid $ 60 through admission.com for tickets - so, when considering attending future concerts, I'd like to know that the sound will probably be decent.

    Thanks for clarifying that the sound equip was locally supplied - certainly some people didn't realize that - but it makes a lot of sense for acts that are flying in & out.

    Also, thanks for explaining the problem with the stage monitors during BJ's concert.

    That drives home the point of people protecting their hearing at concerts - I'd like to see foam earplugs sold and promoted as being on sale at concerts - because there have been times at concerts when I wanted them.

    Seems there were at least 3 sound issues with the concert (1) BJ's not hearing the monitors well, (2) monitors turned up high so he'd hear better, causing feedback and (3) sound balance thr mile one. Another person & I were seated in difft areas of the centre and we both felt that the band overpowered the vocals - again not sure what others thought.

    I attended the Chris Isaak concert - and while I found it loud (again sitting near the front), my opinion is that the sound quality and voice/band balance was good. I thought sound at the Feist concert was superb.

    I would still hope that if there is a sound problem at a concert - that it can be attended to right there & then - seems to me, there's at least one person by the soundboard at every concert & that the sound is adjusted as needed. Seems to me that the sound technician would still use his/her own ears or a computerized system to adjust levels.

    I don't know what could be done in the case of an artist not hearing the monitor. I guess this is something the artist has experienced before & hopefully can get resolved - because I'm sure it would make performances much better for him.

    I think BJ said some of his band were with him for ~ 30 years - so they have a good idea of what he wants. However, if the vocalist being there for sound checks can make a major difference to the sound, it seems that would be reasonable to have in the artists contract with Mile One.

    Andy, thank you & others involved with the sound at Mile One for doing what you can to make concerts sound as good as you can - it does make a difference to the audience.

  • tony
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    things happen
    it's the human factor
    gear fails, the room changes acoustically,
    cables get pulled apart, whatever

    it's the human factor
    you are not going to mile one to watch a movie that has been over-produced, and had multiple takes to get it 'just right'

    it's a LIVE show.

    now, that being said, things/issues/problems can normally be dealt with, and fixed.

    i worked a show tonight in gander with 4 bands. And, between sound check and the show a button got pushed changed the level of an input for a keyboard.

    we found it, and dealt it
    it's unfortunate that it happens, but, the show goes on, and, you fix it.

  • Petrov
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    If BJ's monitor was working as expected why didn't he ask to have it adjusted or is it just that his ego was providing too much feedback. Conlee wanted to play for the crowd not just their money.
    If Mile One is going to survive, publicity like this attempt at covering a music venue WON T help get bigger and more poular bands into NL.

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Nice long letter JS , too bad you embarrased yourself in the first line! All because you never took the time to find out what you were talking about before complaining.

    It never ceases to amzae me how many people are out there like JS and Joni who mouth off for the sake of mouthing off.

  • Starr
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    better not, eh? What are you going to do about it?

  • andy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I would like to comment on the recent JC/BJ Thomas show at Mile One. I am part owner of the production company that supplied the equipment used. I would like to start by saying....not every problem that arrises at a concert or any event for that matter is the fault of the technicians running or setting up the equipment. At this most recent show, both artists did not show up for soundcheck. In this event an estimate is made by other band members as to what the talent would like to hear in their stage monitor. If the talent does'nt ask for anything nothing is given!!!! This is the way it happens.
    JC at this show wore in-ear monitors a much better way of hearing yourself over a loud band, BJ on the other hand opted to use stage monitors which even at best can make it hard to hear over a loud stage volume from other bandmates, also he wears a hearing aid which is probably not known by many people. This (I believe) is the reason that he could not hear. Earlier that day we made the stage monitors as loud as they could without feed-back and one of his band-mates said Thats perfect! Now turn it down so if he asks for more you can put it back to where it was

    I would also like to comment on how fast people are to judge things that they know nothing about. I would bet that many people don't know that before every concert most production companies (like us)use computer software and take room measurements to determine the best possible placement of speakers in the venue for the best possible sound to be had. We use only the latest and greatest of technology and if the the talent does'nt do it for you...it means they can't.......Also many of these bands bring their own technicians which leaves the sound in their hands...it's not the gun...it's the gunner!
    In closing I would like to mention the list of recent concerts at Mile One that we did using the same gear.......
    St.John's Comedy Festival
    OLP (Our Lady Peace)
    Chris Isaak
    Simple Plan
    Feist
    Blue Rodeo
    None of these concerts were an issue!

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Way to go Music City Canada!

    Another good job and promotional plug!

  • JS
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Sound Equip - I realize that the artist prob did bring its own sound equip - but that's not always the case - esp w the distance involved to travel here - sometimes the sound system itself is rented from a local supplier. I'd be willing to bet that both artists used the same sound equip - with their own instruments, of course.

    I am sure sound checks were done - and was suprised there was a sound problem - esp with a stage monitor. I would think that ear pieces would be used rather than rely on stage monitors. I didn't find the sound too bad and thought it was pretty good for the soften #'s.

    BJ seemed perturbed from the get go - I thought maybe with something independent of whatever sound issue there was. I was kinda surprised that the Tele ran with the heading Sound problems plague BJ Thomas concert . While I am glad the Tele covers concerts & this review wasn't as bad as many of Justin's reviews, I think that was a poor choice of a headline.

    I think potential future Concert goers and mile one need to have accurate info on what was on the go with the sound or stage monitors or whatever - because that might affect people's willingness to attend future concerts. So, please Tele - look at your headlines!!!! (BTW, BJ Thomas is a favourite artist of mine).

    Thanks for the feedback on the concert at Disney. I have a feeling that BJ's lack of interaction is his style and that any sound issues just added to whatever was going on.

    At the same time, BJ definitely put a lot into singing of his songs and did a good jib - it was just the repoire with and projection to the audience that was a bit lacking.

    Elton John Sound was good here at Mile One - pity the poor people in Halifax - who wrote to the newspaper that the Metro Centre Sound was very bad. So - we can count our lucky stars. (But at the same time, it would be good to know that if and when there is a problem w Mile One sound - that it can be fixed - remember the old stadium - more than 1 concert was delayed to fix the sound.

    Video Screens - I think it would probably be cost effective for Mile One to buy some video screens - they could sell more tickets & it would be a little incentive for some bands to tour here. I would think the cost is coming down on these now.

    While people have ideas on these issues, I'd like the Tele to go to the source (Mile One) about these points - what was the sound problem, if any. Could it be corrected on the fly - seems like it is at every other performance? What about buying some huge video monitors - 2 for sides of the stage ala Elton John & 1 Centre ice - when people go to Mile one, they like to be able to see.

    Also, I'd like the Tele to go to the RNC & get assurance that there are lots of patrols downtown when there are concerts - so people don't have to come back to vehicles having been broken into. This did not happen to me and I've not heard it from anyone else - but it happened at Elton John & Other events & it'd be good for concert goers to know there are extra patrols - and I have no problem for the city paying for this.

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    B.J. Thomas is the performer and as with every performer, the sound system is his responsibilty not Mile One's. Didn't he even bother doing a sound check before the show?

    I saw him give a similar performance Disneyworld this past spring and judging by what's being said about last night's show, he wasn't much ebtter here.

    A lot of people who were at the Disneyworld concert left thinking that B.J.Thomas just didn't want to be there and couldn't wait to get off the stage.

    He didn't do an encore there either and had the personality of piece of driftwood.

  • Tim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    I guess you would have to look at who set up the stage to start to point fingers in any direction. Most concerts have sound people that travel with the performers. Might have been something a miss, but it should have been corrected with a proper sound check prior to the start of the show.

    Either way at the end of the day it sounds like neither the customers or the performers were all to happy, but not really something that the venue can control.

    Sorry to hear that so many people were left with a feeling of a poor value for the dollars spent. I am sure that if I were to have attended I too would be a little miffed.

  • Gary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Joni, and all who think this problem was the fault of Mile One need to get your facts right. Mile One do not supply any of the sound equipment. ALL the stuff belongs to the performer. They carry all the sound and lighting equipment with them where ever they go. They just want a place to set up and plug in. There has been times where the materal could not get over from the mainland ( Wind storms or snow ) and performers thad to rent equipment from local companys. But that was normally in the winter months.
    In a nut shell the problems with last nights performance was the fault of the sound people for B.J. Thomas. looks like they did not do sound checks or did not have any back up equipment. So lay off Mile One, they are just trying to provide the best concerts out there.

  • Joni
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Oh dear.... if Mile One is going to try and attract big acts, they'd better shape up. NO big record agent would want to put their protege on a stage if there are outright embarrassing sound problems.
    Tsk tsk. And for the amount of money they're asking the public to pay for tickets? Shame!

  • ron
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    complain, complain, complain-

  • earlyaugust
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    I'm not sure what I was more disappointed to read: that B.J. Thomas's concert experienced sounds problems, or some of the outright snobby and pointless comments from both Justin Brake and readers. I have to admit, I do not take it personally when someone not from our province pronounces new-FOUND-lund instead of the usual new-fun-LAND . And, who really cares where a performer stays?! Again, I am really surprised at how personally people take such trivial matters...

    At a LIVE concert, you take the good and bad, as IT IS LIVE. So much for our so-called warm, friendly attitude!

  • Maire
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Why do those washed out performers wait till they're grumpy old men before they come to NL? If they're really concerned about giving the audience a bang up performance then the least that they can do is show up for a sound check before the concert. It's obvious that Mr. BJ wasn't quite into it!!!!

    Shame on you Telegram writer for trying to shift the attention from a mediocre performance to mediocre sound.

  • Karl
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    @ JS.

    Much free time today?

    So, let me get this straight....You want the Telegram to do something, Mile One to do something, and the RNC to do something. Sounds to me that you like telling people what they should do. How about you doing something about it. If it bothers you that much, get our there with some petitions, contact council, do something other than bark orders from your computer.

    my 2 cents

  • Alex
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    JS, the facility (in this case Mile One) is not responsible for sound equipment, video screens or other technical equipment artists may use in their performance. Mile one only supplies the venue and the electricity to run the equipment. Technical glitches and/or video screens etc are all the responsiblity of the artist's road crew. If there were audio problems, it is because of faulty equipment or improper setup on the part of the road crew.

  • Marge
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    All I want to know is where did they spend the night? Better not be Halifax, that's all I am saying.

  • JS
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Wanted to comment on a couple of things:

    (1) Justin Brake's 1st sentence: Wednesday night's show at Mile One Centre wasn't one for everybody,

    That could be said about many difft genres - just shows that this probably wasn't Justin's type of music - that + the glowing review he gave to the band from the mainland that the Idlers opened up for in the spring @ the Majestic - that a fair # of people weren't hepped up on!!! So, I find it hard to trust his reviews. Who does he think the audience for his columns is? Thousands went to the concert & BJ Thomas' actual music was something many would actually like - so the comment that the concert wasn't for everyone - was not a good statement. I was glad that Justin did say that Luckily, for both him and the audience, he's got some experience and pulled through like the trooper he is. (I think a bit too flattering - esp now that we know he did no sound check & the problems at the concert were due in large part to BJ.

    By the way, when BJ said new-FOUND-lund - nobody said anything - I think many were a bit taken back by it & therefore didn't react to him with apoplause as they might have. Nobody corrected him and I could easily see that - everyone was extremely polite - and there was some but subdued applause. I sort of expected that someone there in asn official capacity or in the band would have told him about the pronounciation - most people wouldn't shout the correct pronounciation to a performer on stage. I would think that a lot of people are familiar with the correct pronounciation & the incorrect ones - and I was surpriesed tha a headline performer wasn't aware of it - I would think that is something Mile One would want to make artists aware of - and I think most would be grateful to be aware of it. The mispronounciations of Quidi Vidi by the bassist in John Conlee's band was actually greeted by applause - it was endearing and the guy was actually jubilant to be here performing and we were happy to have them - that was probably one of the most touching things about the evening. BJ just had a distance from the audience - that would have decreased the chance of the audience responding to him. His mispronounciation pretty well through people for a loop - from the beginning, I wished someone had told him about the pronounciation - but I didn't want to be the one to stand out & be the one and I think most people felt the same way. I do agree that the reduced applause when BJ mispronounced the name and his comment is the mike on put a bit of distance between he and the audience - & I think affected the repoire (which was too bad - because we really appreciate our performers). - although I agree BJ was distant from the beginning. I will also say there were many enthusiastic fans.

  • JS
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    I would like Mile One to comment on the sound system problem. I was at the front - so hard to say - because the speakers were all at the front & undoubtably the sound is designed to project to the whole arena. BJ made facial expressions & looked towards the drummer the 1st time there was a fairly loud feedback/ distortion & he was definitely bothered by it the whole time. He seemed preoccupied and less enthusiastic from the beginning - which I found strange because this was the 1st time for him to play to fans in NL. I was wondering what was going on. BJ sounded pretty fine for his crooner songs - but not as good for some of the louder band songs - some of which were unfamiliar and not as melodic. As a person, BJ seems like prettyquiet and very much a southern gentleman. I did think that the silence after he mispronounced NL did affect him - but overall, the audience was feairly responsive. A fan took a pic and extended his hand - and BJ shook it - but shook it after - like it hurt - I guess trying to disuade others from doing so. A web-site interview said he never tires of singing the older songs - but he just seemed too quiet during the concert. Also interesting that he sings & even sustains notes with just opening his mouth a little way. (I looked on youtube and that seems just the way he always sings). He has some beautiful christmas videos on youtube. I felt he didn't give an encore - because he didn't enjoy the concert because of the sound.

    John Conlee wore ear pieces - that he took out after each song - I couldn't see whether BJ had earpieces in due to his hair style - one would think so. I actually wish he had delayed the concert til they fixed whatever was problematic for him. I would hope that if an artist ever has to do this, the crowds would understand. Personally, I think it was BJ's repoire that was the issue - much moreso than the sound. I'll bet people in other parts of the arena didn't have a problem w sound. BTW, BJ Thomas was born in 1942 - so he's 66 - doesn't look like he's 66!!! + his 1st hit was in 1965. As you can see from the pic, he is a very slim man & had a very large (I'm guessing diamond) ring on his right hand. When he went off stage, there was a staff person holding out a marker for him - but he decided to just leave w no encore. BJ still has a nice voice - again not sure of the projection through the room - but I don't think it was too bad. Highlights vocally were: Rock & Roll Lullaby (very soft & smooth), Hooked on a feeling (Lively & strong), Don't Worry baby (beautiful falsetto on the Beach Boys song), Raindrops, I can't help believing, eyes of a new york woman, Suspicious Minds (homage to Elvis - also strong & lively). I was impressed when he asked if there were any songs, old songs that anyone wanted played and a few people yelled Billy & Sue a song from 1966 that I never knew - it was impressive that the band just started into it immediately - and it must be so cool to have a band that can play any of the songs in an instant. BJ said in an interview that he plays 70 - 80 gigs a year - so playing these songs is like breathing to these excellent musicians. BJ was obviously very pleased to get this request and he had a glimmer in his eye while playing it. He did show this at some other times as well and did make eye contact with and wave to difft people in the audience and seemed to play to the whole room. This guy is an excellent crooner.

    John Conlee said he got here the day before & he wanted to come back - and
    that if he did, he was going to Connies? again for Fish & Chips. His bass player said he was moving here and was going to live in Quee De Vee Dee in the gut!!!!! Both bands were awesome - standouts were guitarist Steve and the
    his amazing keyboard player - he did some Smoke on the Water & I think Chariots of the Gods.

    John Conlee used a wireless microphone while BJ used a wired one. John Conlee's voice was still decent - sure it wasn't as good as when Rose Coloured Glasses came out 30 yrs ago in 1978 - but nice to hear that distinct voice in person. John just exudes music and beat - little quiet snaps of the fingers & moving his hand as if helping the music to flow - like a conductor. With the 1st beats of almost every song, John put in his earplug and a beautiful big smile every time. He was really happy. BTW, John Conless was born in 1946 - making him 62 (4 years younger than BJ Thomas). His former jobs were as a disc jockey (I could see that) and an undertaker. He was really proud to announce that they have 3 children and that his 3rd grandchild arrived at 6pm the night before and that the mother and child were doing well.

    I'd still like to know from Mile One as to what happened with the sound and/or monitors. There was some crackling with John Conlee's wireless microphone as well.

    Also, wondering why the speakers are at the front for recent concerts or if this is the best set-up. I think at the Melissa O'Neil Rex Goudie concert years ago, there were speakers mid stadium - sound wasn;t that great at that one either 9just too loud for my taste).

    Also, wondering about if Mile One could get some of those large video screens - like at Elton John Concert. In addition to the 2 at the sides, would be good to have one high centre ice. I would like the Telegram to report on this from Mile One. This is a wonderful facility and I think sound is usually great - would like to know what the problem was last night, if something can be done on the fly - when there's a problem again and about the video screens.

  • JS
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Thanks Andy for replying.

    As you probably know, concert goers paid $ 60 through admission.com for tickets - so, when considering attending future concerts, I'd like to know that the sound will probably be decent.

    Thanks for clarifying that the sound equip was locally supplied - certainly some people didn't realize that - but it makes a lot of sense for acts that are flying in & out.

    Also, thanks for explaining the problem with the stage monitors during BJ's concert.

    That drives home the point of people protecting their hearing at concerts - I'd like to see foam earplugs sold and promoted as being on sale at concerts - because there have been times at concerts when I wanted them.

    Seems there were at least 3 sound issues with the concert (1) BJ's not hearing the monitors well, (2) monitors turned up high so he'd hear better, causing feedback and (3) sound balance thr mile one. Another person & I were seated in difft areas of the centre and we both felt that the band overpowered the vocals - again not sure what others thought.

    I attended the Chris Isaak concert - and while I found it loud (again sitting near the front), my opinion is that the sound quality and voice/band balance was good. I thought sound at the Feist concert was superb.

    I would still hope that if there is a sound problem at a concert - that it can be attended to right there & then - seems to me, there's at least one person by the soundboard at every concert & that the sound is adjusted as needed. Seems to me that the sound technician would still use his/her own ears or a computerized system to adjust levels.

    I don't know what could be done in the case of an artist not hearing the monitor. I guess this is something the artist has experienced before & hopefully can get resolved - because I'm sure it would make performances much better for him.

    I think BJ said some of his band were with him for ~ 30 years - so they have a good idea of what he wants. However, if the vocalist being there for sound checks can make a major difference to the sound, it seems that would be reasonable to have in the artists contract with Mile One.

    Andy, thank you & others involved with the sound at Mile One for doing what you can to make concerts sound as good as you can - it does make a difference to the audience.

  • tony
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    things happen
    it's the human factor
    gear fails, the room changes acoustically,
    cables get pulled apart, whatever

    it's the human factor
    you are not going to mile one to watch a movie that has been over-produced, and had multiple takes to get it 'just right'

    it's a LIVE show.

    now, that being said, things/issues/problems can normally be dealt with, and fixed.

    i worked a show tonight in gander with 4 bands. And, between sound check and the show a button got pushed changed the level of an input for a keyboard.

    we found it, and dealt it
    it's unfortunate that it happens, but, the show goes on, and, you fix it.

  • Petrov
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    If BJ's monitor was working as expected why didn't he ask to have it adjusted or is it just that his ego was providing too much feedback. Conlee wanted to play for the crowd not just their money.
    If Mile One is going to survive, publicity like this attempt at covering a music venue WON T help get bigger and more poular bands into NL.