Phil Scobee, head of audio for Dale Morris Leasing, specified the desks, which were provided by Sounds Great of Springfield, Missouri. "Both the Series FIVE and SM20 have been fabulous so far out on the road," says Scobee. "Every opening act that has used them has been absolutely thrilled. They're accustomed to frequently dealing with older, often outdated gear, and here we are showing up with an older board for our main act and bringing out brand new consoles for the openers! In fact, Brian Vasquez, Kenny's front-of-house engineer, really likes the Series FIVE and is seriously thinking about switching over to it when he gets a couple of weeks off of the main tour.
"People have really taken particularly well to the Series FIVE; it has all of the features that everyone's looking for in a front-of-house desk right now. It's very flexible, sounds great, withstands a lot of punishment and abuse, and is very easy to get around on. Even if you've never mixed on a Series FIVE before, when you finally do, it's laid out so well that it feels just like you've worked on one for years.
"Dale Morris has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Soundcraft. In fact, we still have two old blue Series 200 desks from Alabama's Electrotec tours in the mid-'80s that are still kicking here at the shop in Nashville. When Soundcraft builds them, they're built to last."
Opening acts on the Kenny Chesney tour run the gamut from acoustic duos to full eight or nine piece bands. "The Soundcraft SM20 is perfect for running stage monitors for our opening acts; we'll never use up 20 mixes," adds Scobee. "For a small compact footprint like that, it's a great little console."
The SM20 feeds a dozen custom two-way EAW wedges positioned around the stage and powered by biamped Crown MA-24x6s. Meanwhile, signals from the Series FIVE front-of-house desk route out to an all-Crown Macro-Tech amplification system that drives an EAW KF750 rig complemented with KF755 downfills and SB1000 sub enclosures. The tour's entire equipment inventory belongs to Dale Morris, which allows Chesney and his entourage to hit the road without the need for an outside touring company.