How many acts do you know of that can take 800 rooms for their entourage? The answer is only one: The Jackson Family.
Dwarfing even the Presidential entourage, the Jacksons took over a major portion of the new MGM Grand Hotel to rehearse and stage their internationally televised "Jackson Family Honors" performance.
The huge production, which seemed to adhere to no ordinary budgetary constraints, was performed through an all Apogee sound system at the new 16,000 seat MGM Garden arena.
Veteran sound reinforcement company Burns Audio provided the system which was designed and mixed by the man who is arguably the present day audio star of specialty productions, Patrick Baltzell. Mr. Baltzell, who specializes in televised events, will be mixing the house sound for the upcoming Grammy Awards for the sixth year in a row, again through an all Apogee sound system. When asked about his choice for Apogee for the main and monitor loudspeakers, he cited an extensive background and experience with the product, which he feels has superior sonic characteristics and more predictable behavior than other brands.
The system for the Jackson Family event consisted of Left / Center / Right clusters, each made up of six Apogee 3X3 concert loudspeakers flown 3 over 3. Below each cluster, three Apogee AE-5 NC (narrow conical) loudspeakers were used for downfill. Eight AE-12 subwoofers provided sub-bass, while three additional 3X3s were placed in the rear of the arena for delay fill. Four more 3X3s were used as sidefill stage monitors to augment the eighteen AE-6 and eight AE-3M wedge monitors. Finally, twelve AE-3s were used for fill-in for the front rows.
The main house console was a Gamble EX series with Yamaha PM-3000 and Soundcraft sub-mixers. Vega wireless mics, Apogee power amps and Crest power amps rounded out the system.
The program honored Barry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, and Elizabeth Taylor for her work in the fight against AIDS. It featured performances by Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Janet Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Dione Warwick, The Michael Peters Dancers, Bruce Hornsby and others. Although Michael Jackson only sang a few lines at the very end of the program, much to fans dismay, the program received numerous standing ovations throughout its diverse three hour span. Ticket prices ranged from $150.00 to $1,000.00.