Periphery’s Live Sound Engineer Alex Markides’ FOH “Playthrough”

Now, I understand that we sort of cater to the nerd set, because that’s who we are, and that’s what we love. Someone recently referred to one of our posts as “excessive nerd shit”, which is in fact spot on. So hopefully that’s you today, because if so, you’re going to LOVE this video, and if not you are going to be bored out of your skull. Either way, today is the day that you learn why A.) your live sound guy is not as good as you think he is and B.) why front of house is so damn important.

The guys on stage will always get most of the credit. It’s just us pocket protectors who are peering over the edge of the booth trying to see what’s going on with the mixing and lights. But today is the engineer’s moment in the sun. Oh he’ll keep soldiering on, working just as hard as the musicians, and without him the music doesn’t happen. Today, however, we get to see his PERFORMANCE.

And it is a performance, a mirroring and enhancement of what’s going on onstage, a dance of balancing the elements, and it requires constant vigilance. You can even see him keeping time with his fingers a tappin’ so that he hits his part on time. This is a far cry from the guys who have a laptop with Solitaire running the whole show and pretty much set it and forget it. This requires an intimate knowledge of the band’s set and of every spot to hit that button for a long delay tail on the vocals for dramatic effect, bring the rhythm guitars down for a solo, and make sure everything sits in it’s correct spot.

Also note the use of a decibel meter, so he knows how loud it actually is (ever have a local sound guy who’s deaf as a stone and insists it’s not too loud? Argument ensues.)

So enjoy Periphery’s front of house sound guy Alex Markides working his magic in this “playthrough” of what he does while the band is playing their song “Ragnarok” (which doesn’t show the hours of setup and teardown I’m sure he has to do as well). Remember this next time you’re wondering why concert tickets are so expensive.

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As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.