Hard to believe it's almost been a year! It's been a life-changing experience for Stephanie and I, packing up and moving with 8-month-old Imogen to California. After wrapping up Snowblower 2012 in Calgary and packing the PKSF inventory (and our home) into a semi, our US shows started the day after our arrival in the Bay Area. The Skrillex LA Take Over was already in full swing, and PJ (one of our lead techs) had already worked two of the five LA shows that were taking place that week. Meanwhile, Big B, Travis and I unloaded our personal gear and repacked the semi with even more sound for the last Skrillex LA Takeover show on a massive tented rooftop at LA Live, an entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles. We were also just starting the Excision X-Vision tour, and had sent a sub wall with the 12th Planet crew for a couple of months as well. On top of all that we had sent out yet another sub wall that week for Skrillex's NYC five-show Take Over. What a welcome to the states!
After a brief couple of days at our new home in South San Francisco, I flew to the UK to work FoH for Skrillex's Grey Daze Tour, 17 shows in 21 days, rocking mostly O2 venues in the UK, plus six additional days touring Germany on the tail end. It was a great experience, but I was ready to get back home to settle in with the family and get things moving with the company's new expansion. After a few renovations and a few bits of carpentry our new 5000 square-foot facility was up and operational, and ready for an action-packed spring. With the X-Vision tour still raging across North America, we also provided audio for a stage at Insomniac's Beyond Wonderland, and Paul Magnuson and I went to Miami for the Ultra Music Festival, where I worked FoH for Skrillex on his Main Stage set. The spring also saw us through our first big installation gig in the states, the Monarch Theater, a new club in Phoenix, is now home to a 30,000W PK sound system.
The Do Lab's Lightning in a Bottle 2012 initiated festival season for us, and PK was fortunate to be able to provide audio production for the main stage. I heard some amazing music over the weekend including some of my favs: Eoto, Tipper, Apparat and the Glitch Mob. I'm always blown away by the level of creative production the Do Lab offers, and LIB is their creme de la creme. Presenting an unmatched diversity of music, art, programmed and impromptu performances, workshops, food and people so unique and inspiring, it was great to see so many individuals and groups of people coming together to offer their talents.
We spent most of our summer in Canada, as much of our American inventory was used north of the border for a few weeks. I worked as a monitor/stage tech for the two-week Full Flex Express Train tour, which featured Skrillex, Pretty Lights and Diplo. After a bit of down-time, the Shambhala Music Festival was next, with four stages of PK audio keeping a 24-person audio crew very busy. Over 225 PK speakers we are that festival. Shambhala is always a special event and this year was no different. It was really nice to come home and see the Alberta and BC communities all in one place.
After another drive back down the beautiful west coast we scrambled to get ready for Burning Man while adding one more show and a new tour into the mix. Mad Decent had us come down to SoCal to do sound for their Block party in LA, the day before gates opened at BurningMan. After a mad rush to prep and ship a tour package for the 14-week Datsik Firepower tour, we drove to LA for the free outdoor street party. We had Zeds Dead, Paper Diamond, Bon De Role and a pile of other Mad Decent artists bang it out on our sound system before we packed it up, rushed north to SF, stopped at the shop for a quick truck shuffle and hit the road to the desert. Providing sound for the playa's best bass music stage, CampQuestion Mark, was well worth the hours of cleaning playa off the speakers after the burn.
Upon returning home it felt great to spend some time off the road and at my desk to catch up on things. We had a good fall run with some great artists including the continuation of the Datsik dates, a good pile of Caspa shows, VibeSquad w/ Opiou, and ill.Gates.
All in all it has been a great year and a great move. I have been able to reconnect with family and friends down here in the Bay while expanding PK's scope to one of the most culturally significant areas of North America. I feel lucky to be able to do the work I do with so many great people and projects in my life, and I'm looking forward to a killer 2013, which is already shaping up to be another one for the books!
- Arlen Cormack