Why I’ll Never (Or Sometimes) Work On Live Stage Music/Audio Engineering- Sound Check With Childish Gambino

Last Thursday, I was given the chance to witness, first hand what a live sound check was like.


I watched as Childish Gambino worked with his band to put all of the final touches to his performance, taking place, that night, at Fox Theater in Oakland, California. Let me first tell you: I had no idea who Donald Glover, who plays the Childish Gambino, was apart from the fact that he has an acting role in the popular show, Community. Besides acting, he is an incredibly talented stage performer. He works closely with his band in order to insure an exceptional performance. Taking part in their soundcheck was an incredibly personal moment, as it is with most bands/performers. While I can’t go into too much detail, I can tell you that each person in the band is truly unique. The two violinist/keyboard players, drummer, guitarist and Glover, himself, work amazingly well together!

But this blog isn’t about how cool Donald Glover is (which I’ve realized, he is). It’s about my learning experience in a live soundcheck. Like I said, I loved it. I love being around music in any way but what I realized yesterday is working in live engineering isn’t as progressive as I had initially thought it to be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an continuously rewarding career, yet very difficult and stressful(like most careers, I guess). You’re always in a different city, you’re working odd hours, and you’re always indoors. I have no problem with any of that. Maybe I am just misunderstanding the job itself , but it just seems like once you’ve figured out how things work, you’re doing the same thing, night after night, city after city, tour after tour. While the entire, traveling all the time thing sounds super promising,  I just feel like I would rather work in a studio where everyone seems to be continuously learning from one another. But maybe that happens in live music too?  I’m just not sure. At this point, who knows what career path I’ll take?

Ok ok,that’s enough of my rambling (Thanks for reading, btw). For those of you who are reading this wanting to know what it was like being in the presence of Donald Glover, I will tell you he is an incredibly personable and very funny person, with amazing advice. After the soundcheck, my group and I had the chance to sit down with him before his performance and ask a few questions. Glover and his band gave alot of great of advice to us aspiring musicians, most importantly, telling us to keep doing and trying everything, work hard, network and, “There are no failures on a long enough road.”

Like always, no personal pictures were allowed, but we did get a few professional stage shots and one group picture. Here you go:

(Photo credit: Sara Koulouris.)


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