One of Japan’s most popular bands, Sekai no Owari, held a two-day show, named Twilight City, at Nissan Stadium, Kanagawa, Japan’s largest concert venue. With 70,000 people arriving at the football stadium on each night, this became the band’s biggest gig yet.

Supported by American pop-star, Austin Mahone, audiences were treated to first class sound delivered from Martin Audio’s premium MLA system.

FOH engineer, Yusuke ‘Nobi’ Kobayashi from Delta Acoustics, who had supported the band’s entire tour, contacted MSI Japan for additional support at these special gigs since the two companies have a good working relationship. MSI Japan’s Bun Hote has had previous experience working both with the band and with Nobi. So with this cooperation, the two men were able to start planning the system design six months months before the event.

When it came to the choice of PA they reviewed many options. However, the restricted array positions and concerns about noise pollution led them to the conclusion that the Martin Audio MLA was the only system appropriate for these shows.

The main stage set featured a huge 40-metre high tree monument, symbolising the imaginary world of the band, and the production team were careful to preserve the sightline to this impressive structure while at the same time concealing the back facing elements of the rig to those seated behind the stage (as requested by the artists).

Since there were only a few positions available for the delay towers the sound team needed to set optimisations so that most of the area was covered from the main system and the remainder from the stage side. The weight of the rigging was another challenge that production would generally have needed to face but once again Martin Audio’s MLA showed its advantages when it came to loading.

They opted to place three separate MLA arrays on the stage side – the main array outer array and a further outfill still, projecting 180 degrees from the stage.

The main array consisted of 23 x MLA and an MLD Downfill and nine MLX subs (three back-facing to create the cardioid effect).

The side array consisted of 21 x MLA and an MLD Downfill, plus and nine MLX subs following the same cardioid principal. The wider outside array consisted of 16 x MLA elements with no subs.

There were also additional subwoofers on the ground, with six positions of double stacks stacks, producing an array that again implemented the cardioid settings.  Finally, four positions of two Martin Audio W8LM Mini Line Array provided infills.

Bun said, ‘Most of the area was aimed from the stage side. The delay systems were only for the intelligibility but we could listen to the show very clearly from the end of the row.’

The venue had a sound threshold of 95dBA (measured at certain locations within the venue) and care had to be taken in the optimisations to preclude neighbour complaints – a task which MLA was equal to.

Fortunately for the audience, the storms that had blighted set-up day disappeared, and the weather was fine for both show days.

Summing up, Nobi, who mixed the sound at front-of-house, explained, ‘This was a biggest gig ever for both the band and for me. To make it a success, we needed to achieve absolute consistency of the SPL – and quality of sound to match – as well as meeting the noise pollution regulations. Thanks to the careful planning by our production team I was able to deliver the passion and emotion of the artists without compromise.’

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