Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dear Mr. Mayor (about the new Sacramento Arena)

Dear Mr. Mayor Kevin Johnson,

I really appreciate what you are doing for Sacramento--and that we'll soon have a new arena, downtown, in the place that it should be.


When you work with the architects on the design, can I ask you to take one thing into consideration?


I was at the Fleetwood Mac concert last night (it was wonderful, by the way, apart from the topic of this post). And at Bob Dylan's show, a while back, and a few others. And I was looking forward to seeing Josh Groban (even though his song choices are often a little too "easy listening" for me, he has an amazing voice... but... the show's at Arco and yes, I know it's called Sleep Train Arena now, but "Arco" just doesn't go away, and I really don't know if I can bear to hear that wonderful voice at the current arena).

The sound at Arco/Sleep Train Arena sucks. For concerts. It's perfect for basketball. But for concerts, it truly... sucks.

The thing that makes the arena wonderful for basketball--the circular echo--spoils all music. There's a loud echo coming in from stage left about a second after the performers make the sound. Throughout the show.

It took about half last night's show for my brain to somehow filter out, and ignore, the echo.

So please: when the designers and the architects are working on the new arena, if it truly is to be a multipurpose arena, with both sports and shows, have them build in something that considers ACOUSTICS. Maybe some sort of switchable materials that provide optimum sound levels based on the event that's being hosted. There has to be an app for that these days.

(And to those of you who organize shows: consider hosting more at places that have been designed for performance. Such as Sacramento's Community Theater or the Memorial Auditorium. No, they are not the same capacity as the current arena, but some of the arena shows are not filled to capacity anyway.)

That's it. My ears are still buzzing, and I have to write about the wonderful Fleetwood Mac show. Rant over. Can now focus on the music, and not on the screwed-up acoustics.

Thank you for listening,


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