Swedish House Mafia Opts for Britannia Row’s Sound Expertise for Reunion Shows

Story: Kel Murray
Photos: Per Jahnke

With over 45,000 audience members per night, over three consecutive dates, the Scandinavian dance trio returned to live performing - following a six-year hiatus - with a huge production at Sweden’s Tele2 Arena.

Production managed by Mattie Evans and mixed at FOH by sound engineer Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Sargeant, the SHM team chose to use Britannia Row for the highly-anticipated gigs.

Rabbit, whose connection with Brit Row spans two decades, noted that the company is great to work with as all of the team “get fully involved in the design of the system; it’s always good to have the best people onboard.”

Britannia Row’s Josh Lloyd was the production’s sound system designer, and Dave Compton managed the account. The full show took three days to install, with the sound department working around a very large video screen, not allowing speakers to appear in front of the LED.

An L-Acoustics system was specified to ensure an ‘intimate sound’ was experienced around the entire arena, as well as plenty of bass. Lloyd placed main hangs of L-Acoustics K1-SB, K1 and K2 with K1-SB, K1 and K2 also flown L-R for side hangs.

The size of the audience called for three delay positions: delay A had K1-SB and K2, delay B (per side) had K1-SB, K1 and K2, and delay C (per side) comprised K1-SBs, K1 and K2, creating even coverage throughout the venue.

Lloyd said: “Rabbit wanted to hear a lot of sub everywhere, so I came up with the idea of designing a centre flown sub cluster of KS28s.

“To do this in a single zone meant it behaved as though it was coming from one source, and it worked really well for these events, ensuring that an even coverage was achieved throughout the venue.”

Front fill was provided by SB18s and Kara, and ground subs were KS28s.

All amplification was via L-Acoustics LA-12X, which were flown in order to minimise cable length to the speaker hangs.

Lloyd continued: “When playing dance music of this style, the system can be put under a lot of stress, yet a recurring comment, especially from the band, is that everyone was really happy with the sound.”

Rabbit mixed on a Solid State Logic L550 and used the new SSL Fusion, a two-channel mastering unit. Britannia Row supplied the monitor package and monitor engineer, with Alex Hore mixing the band on an SSL 300 console. Brit Row also provided Sennheiser 2000 Series IEMs and customised chrome Shure Axient Digital ADX transmitters.

Compton, who attended the first show in Stockholm said: “It was Britannia Row’s first time working with Mattie Evans, and we had a lot of fun along the way with this production. We’ve worked with Rabbit for 20 years now, and it was a big challenge due to the size and importance of these shows, while factoring in the other production elements.

“If the audience, band and crew are happy, you know it’s a job well done, and I’m glad we achieved that.”