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The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: RawIguanaCologne ()
Date: October 6, 2019 14:30

Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there... ...and would like to share some memories. I mean, especially in comparison to th sound of the After-Steel-Wheels-era...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-10-07 13:02 by bv.

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: Chacho ()
Date: October 6, 2019 14:46

In my experience sound at stadiums sucked then and now.

As for all the other venues, it depended on the acoustics of the particular room, ranging from terrible to incredible. Also the position of your seats made a big difference. But generally speaking, no great advancements have been made over time, and the sound follows the general rule I stated above. (in my opinion)

Examples:
1. Rolling Stones, Nov 7, 1969, Moby Auditorium, Fort Collins, Colorado, seating: about 10,000: This was not a stadium but rather a gym that was being used as and auditorium for the show, so the acoustics really sucked, and my seat was in the rear to one side. Sound: poor.

2. Rolling Stones, June 16, 1972, Denver Coliseum, Denver, Colorado, seating: not sure but I think about 4000, my seat was at 12th row center: In the instance of this concert the sound was the best of my life time, and the show, the same.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-10-06 14:49 by Chacho.

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: RawIguanaCologne ()
Date: October 6, 2019 15:06

Thank you, very interesting!

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: beachbreak ()
Date: October 6, 2019 16:19

1972 Madison Square Garden seats rear center, sound was huge, excellent.

1975 same venue good sound.

Guitars were great.

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: midimannz ()
Date: October 6, 2019 22:25

1973 Western Springs open air stadium. They had a huge subwoofer on the stage, the sound system was on scaffolding
The band was sloppy in the afternoon heat, as evidenced by the cassette recording I made from very close to the stage barrier
Compared to the tours of the nineties and beyond, it was a good mix, but later days were incredibly clearer.
2014 from the front was the best sound ever.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-10-08 12:13 by midimannz.

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: Aquamarine ()
Date: October 7, 2019 02:21

To be honest, if you were at shows back in the 60s and 70s, you probably have no memory of the comparative sound quality. I don’t, anyway, though I remember a bunch of other stuff!

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: NICOS ()
Date: October 7, 2019 02:54

As Aquamarine mentioned I really don't know exactly how they sounded back in '73 Ahoy in Rotterdam I was 19 and 46 years ago.......I do remember the day well, buying the tickets driving to Rotterdam the crowd the whole thing it was great......but how they sounded... you didn't go back in does day's to listen to the sound "I wish I did then I could make a good review ;o)" but one song I remember clear Midnight Rambler" when Mick hits is metal belt on the floor and the whole arena went RED..............Talkin' 'bout the midnight gambler Bang

__________________________

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: October 7, 2019 04:40

1978, Cleveland. The sound was muddy. But it was festival seating with 80,000 people, so it's kind of hard to remember.

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: October 7, 2019 12:11

1973 - Wembley Empire Pool - Fairly muddy sound but the recording I got on Sept 8 early show was quite bright.

1976 - Earls Court - The sound was pretty horrible in that cavernous aircraft hangar of a venue. The last night I got down the very front and heard the sound off their amps (I was stood in front of Keith) and the sound was mind-blowing.

1976 - Knebworth - I was about a quarter of the way back on the slope (Knebworth Pk is in a natural valley) so I was standing parallel with the stage and it sounded OK but. Got a good recording of that one too.

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: bv ()
Date: October 7, 2019 12:37

Nothing wrong with my memory.
Tin can sound in the 70's.
Not to be compared with the sound they have now.
That is why the shows are so great these days.
Same band, but the sound is crystal clear and strong.

Bjornulf



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-10-07 12:38 by bv.

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: georgie48 ()
Date: October 7, 2019 12:38

I agree with Aquamarine and NICOS. That's a long time ago.
But I am sure the sound of the following concerts were okay to me:

1970 (October 9) Amsterdam RAI building, 20.000+++ fans. I was only some 6 to 7 meters from the stage and there all, also the sound, was fine (buffer zones too), but I remember talking to people who were "way behind" and they weren't happy at all with both sound and circumstances. Many more than the official maximum number of people were allowed in and that caused chaos and accidents.

1971 (March 9) Bristol Colston Hall, ca. 2000 fans. That one I remember very well. The location was like a theater with seats going up. I was sitting a bit lower than half way and I remember the very good sound. Street Fighting Man at the end (at that time one of my favorites) sounded fantastic!

1973 (October 2, 1st concert) Hamburg Ernst Merck Halle (many fans, but I forgot how many). Again, I was about 5 meters from the stage and all was fine there. But I don't know how the sound was at the back of that big hall.

Most important ... great memories! Thanks RawIguanaCologne!

smileys with beer

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: georgie48 ()
Date: October 7, 2019 13:23

Quote
bv
Nothing wrong with my memory.
Tin can sound in the 70's.
Not to be compared with the sound they have now.
That is why the shows are so great these days.
Same band, but the sound is crystal clear and strong.

Most of the time, bv. But it depends sometimes on the location.
The Amsterdam Arena in 1998 1st concert .... horrible, both at the back and in the front (every hit of Charlie came out twice, and I had a very hard time to figure out what the first songs were which they were playing ... and I was front of stage!). I had tears in my eyes from sadness. The soundboard is perfectly fine, though.
2014 Dusseldorf .... way too loud. When Ronnie did his, way too load, solo on YCAGWYW for instance, the choire totally disappeared ... soundboard again, fine.
All in all, the sound of course has improved incredibly over the decades. No comparison really between the 70s and today.

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: bv ()
Date: October 7, 2019 13:32

Well if you were front stage then may be you got a great sound in the 70's, but we did not end up there always, and for 75% of the venue, to be honest, it was tin can sound like a big echo. The past few years it has been the other way around, crystal sharp guitars and sound for more than 75% of the crowd.

Bjornulf

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: Papo ()
Date: October 7, 2019 13:42

Agree with Bjornulf, stadium sound has improved greatly over the past few, maybe the past ten years, as has arena sound.

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: frankotero ()
Date: October 7, 2019 13:58

My first gig was in 1981, I would say these last tours sounds much better. Imagine what they could have done back then with today's technology. I'd be crying tears of joy.

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: tatters ()
Date: October 7, 2019 14:56

The Stones sounded muddy. The New Barbarians sounded really muddy. It sounded good to me. I just assumed that was they way it was supposed to sound. After all, Ya-Ya's sounds pretty muddy, too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-10-07 14:56 by tatters.

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: georgie48 ()
Date: October 7, 2019 15:36

Quote
bv
Well if you were front stage then may be you got a great sound in the 70's, but we did not end up there always, and for 75% of the venue, to be honest, it was tin can sound like a big echo. The past few years it has been the other way around, crystal sharp guitars and sound for more than 75% of the crowd.

I believe you right away. Those unhappy people in 1970 in Amsterdam had a similar experience. The power and resolution of the emplifyers in the early 70s were very poor in comparison with those of today. So actually all the "younger" fans should not complain winking smiley
The first computer I worked with (cost over half a million guilders in those days) in 1970 would look like a total joke (or even ridiculous) even in comparison with my current iPhone ...
The power of the Stones is that they survived all those decades of changing technology ... and how!

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: TravelinMan ()
Date: October 7, 2019 15:47

Experts come in early and an tune the speaker systems nowadays, because those places weren't built for concerts.

I'm pretty sure The Stones were one of the first to do those stadium concerts for that 1972 tour.

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Date: October 7, 2019 17:26

The venues made big difference. In 78 saw them in giant outdoor stadium, but actually pretty good sound. Then days later inside a small venue in NYC and they were ON FIRE!! Great sound.
But next year at MSG the Barbarians were just a rambling mess; performance wise and sound wise. Yes memories get hazy, but the one fact that remains crystal clear is that Stanley Clarke stole the show, pure and simple.

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Date: October 7, 2019 17:53

Quote
Palace Revolution 2000

But next year at MSG the Barbarians were just a rambling mess; performance wise and sound wise. Yes memories get hazy, but the one fact that remains crystal clear is that Stanley Clarke stole the show, pure and simple.

I think it was just big fun for a musician like Stanley Clarke to play with some Stones members, no matter the musical level.

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: HonkeyTonkFlash ()
Date: October 7, 2019 19:01

My first concert was in 1978; stadium show. I was high up in the stands at about the 50 yard line on Keith's side. Being my first big concert I didn't have anything to compare it to, but I thought it sounded pretty decent. Volume was not as strong as in later years. When they first came on, I had no clue what the first song was due to the screaming and cheering. Didn't know it was Let it Rock until I read it int the paper the next day. After the first song, the crowd calmed down and everything else came across loud and clear.

"Gonna find my way to heaven ..."

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: October 8, 2019 00:15

Quote
Silver Dagger
1973 - Wembley Empire Pool - Fairly muddy sound but the recording I got on Sept 8 early show was quite bright.

By any chance have you found an upgrade of the tape you shared a few years ago?

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: mickschix ()
Date: October 8, 2019 01:28

Boston Garden, June 1972, second show after they were busted at Warwick, Rhode Island airport....Stevie Wonder opened, I was seated stage left, above the stage, great location. The sound was GREAT, really balanced, not tinny at all...a bit loud at times. Mick's harmonica on Rambler was raw and beautiful, and MT's Love In Vain was exquisite. July 1975 at the Boston Garden with the penis balloon and DOO DOO Heartbreaker set, again the sound was fine. I keep a journal so if it was off I would have said so....move ahead to August 8, same year, Buffalo....98,000 plus at Rich Stadium, I'm front & Center on a clear beautiful warm night. I was amazed at their sound..even my Dad said so as he waited outside for me! I remember " Angie" & " Wild Horses" being so sharp & clear, some of the best versions that I've ever heard...not a sound other than Mick's voice and the band with the perfect volume..the crowd was so quiet, almost like being in church for those 2 ballads! So, I can say that for certain the sound has improved over the ages but I've never been to a Stones concert where the sound sucked and I've seen 40 shows.Oh, I saw the stadium show in June 1978 , the Some Girls Tour I call it. Again decent sound, I thought the band rushed through the set a bit but found out later Mick was quite ill with a 103 fever so that might have been why! He was a real trooper, did 95 minutes SICK!

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: StonedAsiaExile ()
Date: October 8, 2019 03:22

Greensboro, NC 1975....one of the loudest shows of my life...fairly clear (I was up front, twixt Mick and Keith) and my 15 year old ears rang for the next 3 days. The Who 4 months later was just as loud.

1978 shows...muddy in back, pretty clear up front and center.

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: CBII ()
Date: October 8, 2019 03:48

Sound systems for live shows were in general awful back in the 60's and most of the 70's due to the limitations of the equipment. Pretty much anytime we were in the first few rows of a show the majority of sound was coming directly from the stage with the exception of the vocals.

Best sound for ampliphied live shows have always been the small clubs.

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: midimannz ()
Date: October 8, 2019 12:11

Quote
Aquamarine
To be honest, if you were at shows back in the 60s and 70s, you probably have no memory of the comparative sound quality. I don’t, anyway, though I remember a bunch of other stuff!

I recorded mine ...

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: beachbreak ()
Date: October 8, 2019 15:00

To my ears the 1970's shows sounded better than the 1999 show I went to at the Hartford Civic Center where the sound was very bass heavy and bouncing all over the arena. Surprisingly the Goo Goo Dolls (opening act) sounded great. Maybe the Stones sound was TOO LOUD for the arena?

Re: Would like to know about the sound at shows in the 70s from people who were there...
Posted by: NICOS ()
Date: October 8, 2019 23:02

Quote
georgie48
Quote
bv
Nothing wrong with my memory.
Tin can sound in the 70's.
Not to be compared with the sound they have now.
That is why the shows are so great these days.
Same band, but the sound is crystal clear and strong.

Most of the time, bv. But it depends sometimes on the location.
The Amsterdam Arena in 1998 1st concert .... horrible, both at the back and in the front (every hit of Charlie came out twice, and I had a very hard time to figure out what the first songs were which they were playing ... and I was front of stage!). I had tears in my eyes from sadness. The soundboard is perfectly fine, though.
2014 Dusseldorf .... way too loud. When Ronnie did his, way too load, solo on YCAGWYW for instance, the choire totally disappeared ... soundboard again, fine.
All in all, the sound of course has improved incredibly over the decades. No comparison really between the 70s and today.

The Amsterdam Arena in 1998 pity remember this one very well I rather forget it........I had a bad seat probably next to georgie48 way back from the podium ................man what was the sound BAD it sounded as you were sitting in a cookie tin.

__________________________

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: buttons67 ()
Date: October 8, 2019 23:53

first concert hampden park glasgow 1990, i was halfway up the terrace opposite the main stand, sound wasnt great concert was good but nothing more.

murrayfield edinburgh next, 1999, was up in the seats to the side of the stage but nearer the back, again sound wasnt great, good gig though.

o2 centre 2007, was near the back of the seats directly opposite the stage, sound wasnt great, concert was better than average.

warsaw 2018, on pitch, near the back but behind the right speaker in the middle, couldnt see much but the sound was louder and more intense than the previous 3 and the concert was in most parts great,

Re: The sound at shows in the 70s
Posted by: johnnythunders ()
Date: October 9, 2019 10:09

My first show was Earls Court 1976 where the echo in the venue was very noticeable: soundboards show that the band played better than it sounded on the night. I was so disappointed that I bought a ticket for Knebworth where the sound was much better, apart from a surfeit of Billy Preston.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-10-09 14:24 by johnnythunders.

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