The Makings of a Concert: What Really Goes on Backstage 12 March 2013 Admin Wedding Posts When people go to concerts, they are usually amazed with the whole set up and wonder how the band or musician managed to come up with the package. Nothing good comes easy, so you can be sure that coming up with the entire masterpiece takes a lot of preparation. Heavy artillery and several tractor trailers filled with production gear are normally moved to the venue. Plenty of action takes place backstage, which is why people are not granted free access; one has to have a backstage pass. A large team of highly skilled professionals are usually featured backstage, who work on the lighting, sound and video production. Technical Crew At the backstage of any concert you would find the technical crew, who control all the technical aspects of the event. The technical crew features so many different kinds of professionals like the Stage Manager, Lighting Desk Operator, Props, Sound Desk Operator, Sound Manager, Master Electrician, Desk Electrician, Back-stage Crew, Followspots, Mic Manager, Stage Hand and Flymen. The stage manager is the senior, most technical crew member. Stage managers have to be present from the rehearsals to the actual performance, to ensure the final product shown onstage is of standard. Generally the tasks of a stage manager include event co-ordination, running of the lights and sound, and cueing onstage action. However, the roles of all the technical crew members change depending on the nature of the event. Lighting In large concerts, stage managers control and supervise the lighting conditions at the stage as well as in the entire room. Together with a lighting technician, the stage manager controls the spotlights and ensures that the right lighting materials are used. Lighting plays a special role of setting the mood for the show, and should therefore be properly done. As soon as the lighting set up is completed to perfection, an artist takes over and plays the lighting board like an instrument to give various effects in the room. There are also explosions and flames that are featured in some concerts, which are produced by the gas passed through dragon heads. Sound Sound is normally affected by the environment. The size and shape of the building as well as the temperatures inside the building affect the quality of sound produced. Other than the lighting conditions, stage managers are also responsible for the sound system. Stage managers work with sound technicians to find out the sound required for the concert, and also make the necessary microphone and amplifier adjustments. Sound adjustments do not revolve around just turning on the speakers and listening to the music. The right measures have to be put in place to ensure everybody in the audience hears the sounds produced equally well. Final Preparations Musicians and other artists usually prepare themselves backstage. The area can easily become crowded and noisy due to the number of tasks that are carried out there. It is the duty of the stage manager to ensure there is tight security, and clear the area for the celebrities to have ample time and space for the necessary preparations. Different stars have their own unique last-minute preparations before a show. O-town for instance, usually engages in a moment of prayer. Matchbox Twenty on the other hand would sing the first verse and the chorus of the song "Always and Forever." With the assistance of the stage manager, caterers, personal make-up artists and other professionals, all the needs of the celebrities are usually provided at the backstage. Other tasks carried out backstage include video preparations and curtain raising, among many others. The halls are usually packed with people, and not everybody can secure him/herself a seat in the front row. For everyone to get a good glimpse of the band, video screens controlled backstage are featured at strategic points in the room. The stage manager is the most important person in the preparation of a concert, as most tasks usually fall on his/her hands. However, in every unique role played, the stage manager would work with the professional who is specialized in that particular sector. Eric Halberg is a music technician and roadie. He enjoys writing about the life behind the stage and his articles mainly appear on music blogs. Visit www.GetDirectTV.org to learn about their music packages.