MLA sizes up the Nissan Stadium
JAPAN: Completely filling the largest concert stadium in Japan for two consecutive days is surely a dream for any aspiring musician. Even for Sekai no Owari, one of the country’s most popular bands, it was their biggest ever gig. With support from American pop-star Austin Mahone, the band performed to 140,000 fans across the two days at the Nissan Stadium in Kanagawa, with the music supported by a complete Martin Audio MLA speaker system designed and deployed by MSI Japan.
Prior to the gig, the band’s FOH engineer for the tour, Yusuke ‘Nobi’ Kobayashi from Delta Acoustics, contacted MSI Japan for additional audio support at the Kanagawa gigs. The two companies reportedly enjoy a close working relationship, MSI’s Bun Hote having worked with both Mr Kobayashi and the band previously. Together, Mr Hote and Mr Kobayashi began working on a system design a full six months before the concert was due to take place.
The main stage set featured a 40m-high tree monument, challenging the production team with preserving the audience sightlines while at the same time concealing back-facing elements of the rig to those seated behind the stage. This, together with restricted array positions and concerns about noise pollution, led to the specification of the MLA system.
With few positions available for delay towers, the teams were also tasked with ensuring that most of the area was covered by the main system and the remainder from the stage side of the stadium.
The eventual design saw three separate MLA systems placed on the stage side: a main array, outer array and an out-fill system projecting 180-degrees for the stage. The main system comprised 24 MLA and an MLD down-fill, together with nine MLX subwoofers (with three back-facing to create a cardioid configuration). The side array consisted of 21 MLA and an MLD down-fill, with the same setup here as with the main array. The wider outside array consisted of 16 MLA elements with no subs. Additional low-end came groundstacked subwoofers, with six double stacks positions producing a cardioid array. Finally, pairs of Martin Audio W8LM mini line arrays provided in-fill at four positions.
‘Most of the area was aimed at from the stage side,’ recalled Mr Hote. ‘The delay systems were only for intelligibility but we could listen to the show very clearly from the end of the row.’
Fortunately for the audience, the storms that had blighted setup disappeared, and the weather was fine for both show days. ‘This was the biggest gig ever for both the band and for me,’ concluded Mr Kobayashi. ‘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.’