Peter Fox on tour with his new album
“Love Songs” live with Sennheiser
Around 20,000 music fans enjoyed the live party of the year at the NDR 2 Plaza Festival on 8 September 2023. The headline act for this open-air event in Hannover was Peter Fox, who electrified the crowd with an extremely danceable mix of dancehall, hip hop, Afro beat and R&B. His voice could always be heard clearly and his song lyrics were easy to understand – despite his band’s powerful, high-energy sound. This was due not only to the skills of the experienced sound crew, but also to the high-quality digital wireless microphone systems from the Sennheiser Digital 6000 series.
For the final concert of the “Love Songs” tour in Hannover, Pierre Baigorry, aka Peter Fox, used an SKM 6000 handheld transmitter with an MD 9235 cardioid capsule, which he uses at all his gigs. The same was true for co-front man Benji Asare, whose vocals were the perfect partner for Peter Fox’s tonality and flow – a fantastic Berlin-Hamburg connection!
For the Love Songs tour, Peter Fox (right) and co-front man Benji Asare used Sennheiser SKM 6000 handheld transmitters with MD 9235 capsules
Five handheld transmitters and a spare equipped not only the two lead vocalists but also some of their guests. Five EM 6000 two-channel receivers communicated with the proven WSM software via a Cat5 network cable. To ensure reliable reception, two Sennheiser A 2003-UHF passive directional antennas were strategically positioned at the sides of the stage.
“For larger festivals, it’s common practice to be sent a table of wireless frequencies in advance that has been calculated for the conditions at the venue,” said monitor mixer René Köpke. “But even so, performing at the Olympiastadion in Munich is always challenging. There’s an extreme amount of wireless traffic in the air and there’s also a huge broadcasting tower right next to the location. But wireless transmission with the Sennheiser Digital 6000 series worked perfectly throughout the entire tour.” Jonas Geschwandtner (formerly Rihn) accompanied Peter Fox’s tour as frequency coordinator.
“We did one of the shows in pouring rain, and the capsules of the handheld transmitters got wet,” Köpke added. “But I always have enough replacements with me, and I was also able to dry the microphone heads after the show. I got some salt from the catering people and put little bags of salt in the microphone drawer. When I tried the capsules out a few days later, they were working perfectly again!”
Wireless monitoring with the Sennheiser 2000 series
The stage side fills and wedges were primarily used to deliver sound for the numerous dancers, while monitoring for the musicians was provided by wired (drums, keyboards, DJ) and wireless in-ear systems. The Sennheiser 2000 series beltpacks received their signals from two A 5000-CP circularly polarised antennas. The monitor position and other areas at the back of the stage that were not directly covered by these antennas were covered via an A 1031-UHF omnidirectional antenna. Köpke ensured he had sufficient bodypack receivers available to equip any guests taking part in the shows at short notice or to quickly provide the musicians with a replacement if the need arose.
Sennheiser microphones for drum kits and talkback
An exceptionally talented performer in Peter Fox’s current line-up is drummer Jay Cobain, who always adds a superb groove to the sound. To ensure his carefully tuned drum kit sounded as good as possible, the production team chose a variety of microphones from Sennheiser and Neumann. In and at the bass drum, a Sennheiser e 901 condenser boundary microphone with a half-cardioid pick-up pattern and a Sennheiser e 902 dynamic microphone with a cardioid pick-up pattern for low frequencies were used. “I don’t actually need the boundary mic for my monitor mix, but our FOH mixer, Guido Craveiro, likes to use it to emphasise the attack components of the kick,” Köpke explained. The snare positioned to the left of the drummer was miked with a Sennheiser e 905, while the hi-hats 1/2 and cymbals had a Neumann KM 140 (KM 100 output stage with AK 40 cardioid capsule).
To allow the musicians on stage to communicate with each other, five dynamic Sennheiser e 935 vocal microphones with Optogate PB-05E plug-in modules (with infrared sensors that switch the microphones off when not in use) were deployed. “These are all talkback microphones,” Köpke explained. “Our musical director, Moses Yoofee, can speak to all the musicians from his position at the keyboards and can count in certain parts or pass on information. Communication also works in the other direction, of course. Only the vocalists were excluded from the talkback at their own request.” The show was not synchronised with a time code and the loops that were manually started by DJ Luke rarely lasted longer than two bars, all of which had an extremely positive effect on the overall groove and feeling of the musical performance.
Peter Fox had already delivered a fantastic show at the Expo Plaza back in 2009, and his 2023 performance was a seamless continuation of that legendary concert. In addition to tracks from the 2008 cult album “Stadtaffe”, he also performed individual songs from the band Seeed and, of course, from the current album “Love Songs”, which topped the charts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland straight after its release. The good weather in Hannover on the 8 September ensured that all those present were able to enjoy a memorable late summer evening with an unbeatable soundtrack.
The final concert of the “Love Songs” tour was marked not only by excellent music, but also by the lively action on stage. Around 50 dancers made a major contribution to the incredible atmosphere with their club vibes and uncomplicated choreography. The party reached fever pitch throughout the Plaza and on the podium. What is remarkable is that Peter Fox’s cosmopolitan mix of music appeals to different age groups and sections of society, allowing everyone to dream of a better world with more tolerance and less exclusion: with love as an antidote – one of the song titles on the new album – to the toxic trends of our time.
“Fifteen years after the release of his ground-breaking album “Stadtaffe”, Peter Fox has now presented his “Love Songs” in 2023, and his tour of the same name has been a resounding success,” said Thomas Holz, Sennheiser Relations Manager. “With Seeed, Pierre Baigorry and his Dancehall Caballeros have been relying on wired and wireless Sennheiser microphones and in-ear solutions for many years. And for his solo project under the stage name Peter Fox, audio products from Sennheiser play a key role in providing outstandingly good live sound.”
The high-resolution images accompanying this press release and additional photos can be downloaded here.