In April 2021, pockets across the U.S. were seeing some light at the end of the figurative tunnel and it seemed like only a matter of time until full-scale live events would return post-pandemic; however, not wanting to wait for that still-unspecified date to deliver a high-impact musical experience to fans in the Northwest, Treadway Events and Detox Nightlife paired an enviable lineup and top-tier production technologies package – including a Trinity robotic line source system from PK SOUND – for the Road Rage Drive-In Concert at Portland International Raceway.

“This was actually the first concert Detox Nightlife and Treadway Events has ever produced, so we needed to form a great relationship with our community and attendees from the start,” shares Brandon Treadway, President & Creative Director of Treadway Events, which specializes in themed entertainment and experiential activations for brands. “To create a name for ourselves and blow away our attendees’ expectations, we knew we needed to go with the flagship system from PK SOUND. Plus, Trinity’s ability to prevent unwanted noise from spilling into surrounding areas made it an even easier decision.”

Organizers tapped freelance specialist Benny Sanchez as the Audio Contractor and Production Manager for Road Rage, which saw performers including Midnight Tyrannosaurus, Downlink, Truth, Megalodon, and Stylust command the stage over two nights from April 16-17, 2021. Sanchez explains that in a series of advance meetings, Portland city officials made it clear that noise pollution was one of their biggest concerns.

PK Sound Trinity for Road Rage Drive-In

“Thanks to Trinity’s robotic multi-axis coverage, we were able to show them EASE models on how we could achieve a safe and compliant show level that let our patrons feel the full impact of the system while keeping the neighbours happy,” Sanchez explains. “Beyond that, I can’t stress how incredible it is to have these tools and be able to adjust the system in real-time if there are any changes in weather or crowd dynamics.”

The PK deployment for Road Rage included main arrays of 15 Trinity robotic line source elements per side, delay arrays of six T10 medium-format robotic elements per side, and three additional T10s lining the stage as front fills. Low frequency came courtesy of 30 PK SOUND Gravity 218 subwoofers in a unique configuration tailored to the event.

“Because of the drive-in layout, we had more space in between the stage and first row of cars, allowing us to deploy the subs in a triple end-fire configuration and achieve the 1,200-ft. throw we needed,” Sanchez explains, noting the difference of just a few dB between the front and back of the audience area.

The entire complement of PK equipment came from St. Louis, MO’s Logic Systems Sound & Lighting, which also sent System Tech Ben Schulte and Audio Technician Nathan Hagan to realize the event alongside Sanchez and his frequent collaborator, Shane Thomas of Signal Bath Audio.

PK Sound Trinity at Road Rage Drive-In

To ensure concertgoers could safely enjoy the spectacle, the site was divided into four tiered sections with a very comfortable distance between each parked vehicle. Visitors were screened as they entered, and an expansive team of qualified medical professionals was onsite.

As Dance Music Northwest wrote in their review of the weekend: “Ultimately, Road Rage balanced COVID-19 precautions extremely well while capturing the same feeling of live music we know and love” – and both organizers and fans will attest that PK was crucial to delivering those results.

“Overall, the system blew our team’s and our guests’ expectations out of the water, and there’s no good reason we wouldn’t want to continue working with PK SOUND as we grow,” Treadway enthuses in closing. “The combination of talented and skilled crew, amazing sound by PK, and over-the-top production made Portland’s first drive-in EDM show a great success.”

Photos: PK SOUND's Trinity robotic line source system at Road Rage Drive-In at Portland International Raceway, courtesy of Detox Nightlife