Show Production alumni David Coyle and Donovan Friedman were recently in Central Florida as part of the road crew for Stevie Nicks, who has teamed with Rod Stewart for the “Heart and Soul” tour – a 22-date, 8-week summer trek across North America.
During the tour’s stop in Orlando, David and Donovan used a free afternoon to revisit their old stomping grounds and catch up with friends and former instructors on campus. We also grabbed a few minutes with them, where they spoke to us about their roles as monitor engineer (David) and monitor technician (Donovan), as well as what it’s like working with such an iconic vocalist.
Full Sail: What’s a typical tour like for the monitor department?
Donovan Friedman: My main responsibilities are to oversee the stage as far as audio is concerned – so all the inputs, microphones, side fills, and then also taking care of the monitor engineer and what they might need. It’s a lot to keep on top of.
David Coyle: As a monitor engineer you have a very personal relationship with most of the artists. What they listen to [in their monitors] sometimes may only be the kick drum or the guitarist – whatever they’re keying off of. So you have to interpret what they’re telling you to do, then make that happen.
FS: Have you enjoyed being able to work so closely with a legend like Stevie Nicks?
DF: Stevie is a sweetheart, she really appreciates the people working for her. When you’re in the middle of the show you want for her to have a good time up there, and that has to do with the relationship between her and her crew. I also worked for her last year doing solo stuff, then the 2009 Fleetwood Mac tour, and how she treats everyone just goes far beyond.
FS: Do you have a favorite moment during her set?
DC: When “Edge of Seventeen” comes on every night it’s always the one they really hit, and the crowd is going crazy. It’s something that she really enjoys to sing, and when the artist enjoys what they doing that’s really the highlight of the evening for me.