How HAIM’s Women In Music Pt. III tour is ‘pushing the laws of physics’

HAIM’s recent Women in Music Pt. III tour, in support of their Grammy-nominated 2020 album of the same name, is currently “pushing the laws of physics”, according to system engineer Tom Stegemann, who has been using a scalable L-Acoustics K2 system, as the shows move between amphitheatres, arenas and clubs from one night to the next.

The tour, which kicked off in Las Vegas in April, took in 27 scheduled stops across the US, Canada and Europe. However, due to issues caused by the pandemic, a number of venue changes have had to be incorporated, masking a scalable system and essential part of the tour.

The full rig for the tour, sourced by the Production Resource Group’s (PRG) Los Angeles office, features 32 K2 enclosures, flown 16 per side, with 12 Kara per side as outfills. Eight more Kara line the stage lip as front-fills, with four ARCS II boxes on hand as utility fills as needed. Meanwhile, 16 KS28 subs are deployed to reinforce the K2 with added low-end extension. Everything is powered by 36 LA12X amplified controllers running on an AVB network through a pair of L-Acoustics P1 AVB processors.

“What’s great about the K2 is how versatile it is,” said Scott Jarecki, HAIM’s PA technician on the tour. “We’re working in a wide range of venues, and the system can scale very nicely for any of them.”

He cites how the KS28 subs can be used either in stacks of two, set eight feet apart across the stage, or in an arc on the ground in front of a stage. Various PA configurations were largely mapped out before the tour began, due to Jarecki and Stegemann working out designs for each venue and performance ahead of time with L-Acoustics Soundvision predictive software and the FIR filters.

“We know when we roll up exactly how much PA we need to take off the truck, from Madison Square Garden to a club date,” Jarecki continued. “It scales incredibly well and no matter what configuration of the system we end up using, it still sounds familiar to our front-of-house mixer, Scott Adamson, with all the voicings Scott expects to hear and how it will react in the house. The system is very flexible and adapts to the venue.”

Stegemann also commented on the K2 rig’s flexibility. “There have been times on this tour where we are pushing the laws of physics, getting the K2 boxes to throw as far as 300 feet in some cases,” he explains. “It’s a very good rig to tech because it lets us push it beyond the envelope when necessary, so that front of house and the farthest seats both get the right experience.”

The L-Acoustics system was designed by Randall Knight, audio project manager at PRG’s Toronto office. “It was always going to be L-Acoustics; HAIM’s production manager, Chip Valentino, requested it,” he said.

Knight also considered the band’s widely-ranging venue itinerary and calculated that the K2 and Kara enclosures would provide the best balance of coverage and budget: “You must keep both of those things in mind for touring these days, and L-Acoustics gives us the tools we need to pinpoint that.”

HAIM’s 2022 North American tour leg kicked off on April 24th in Las Vegas and wrapped up its 27th date in Bend, Oregon, on June 14th. From there, the band heads over to the UK and Europe for 15 more stops, starting at Glastonbury Festival on June 25th and running through its closing London date on July 21st, before returning to the US for more shows.