Built in 1942, the New Daisy Theatre first gained acclaim as the first movie house on iconic Beale Street. In the late ‘70s, the Daisy was converted into a concert venue, with a capacity of over 1,000. It soon became one of the preeminent venues of its kind in the US, hosting artists such as Bob Dylan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Jack White and Dave Matthews to name just a few.
After taking over the historic location at 330 Beale in November 2015, partners Steve Adelman and J.W. Gibson began an exhaustive renovation of the venue, updating and upgrading every detail – from technological elements like the sound and lighting systems to a design signature that has revitalised the venue’s visual aesthetic.
“The New Daisy has such a rich history in Memphis and has been one of the lasting cornerstones of the city’s live music scene,” says Gibson. “As more audiences have experienced the changes, we’ve really been able to bring some renewed life and energy to the east end of Beale Street.”
The new custom-designed Funktion-One sound system features Evo Series loudspeakers and is gaining plaudits for its even coverage, dynamic range and generous headroom.
Sound Investment deployed a flying stereo loudspeaker system. A the top of the hang is a single, long throw, Evo 7E (40° horizontal dispersion) to addresses the balcony – even at the back of the balcony, 85 feet from the stage, there is a precise stereo image. Two Evo 6Es form the centre of each hang – their wider combined 100 (50 degrees each) horizontal dispersion is utilised to address the main audience area. The base of each hang features a pair of Res2SH mid/high sections that function as down fill to cover the area immediately in front of the stage and VIP areas. Below each hand is six F221 (double 21in) horn loaded bass enclosures.
The company’s CEO, Todd Konecny, explains: “We welcomed the opportunity to install the recently released Evo 6E and Evo 7E into such a prestigious live venue, where national acts and FOH engineers would be exposed to Funktion-One’s latest technology. New Daisy’s Evo system benefits from similar components and technology that has been developed for the Vero touring system, but in a configuration that is better suited to the venue’s room dimensions and audience layout. A unique and well-controlled mid/high pattern plus down fills yields nearly perfect coverage without combing cancellation or wall reflections.
“New Daisy’s owners were intent on providing a sound system of superlative quality for their customers, so as usual we paid particular attention to the rest of the components in the audio chain to ensure that the outstanding sonic qualities of the new Evos were not compromised. To this end, we used the Dante enabled Lab.gruppen PLM20k amplifiers and the new Yamaha CL5 console – with a Black Lion master clock across the entire network, which has an incredible impact on the sound quality and routing flexibility. Based on the feedback we’ve had from the owners, engineers and customers, we feel the current system absolutely meets the owners’ aspirations.”
Steve Adelman adds: “In today’s concert world, patrons and talent alike are more attuned then ever to the sound quality experience of a show. As the bar gets raised higher you need to deliver to stay a step ahead of the competition. With Funktion-One, we’re confident we’ve taken that next step.”
A key element behind the venue’s renewed energy is their strategic partnership with concert giant Live Nation. Since re-launching in October 2015 an eclectic array of talent has graced the Daisy’s stage, including: Ben Rector, Slash, Disturbed, Excision, Corrine Bailey Rae, Bryson Tiller, Bullet for My Valentine, Somo and The Dropkick Murphys.
“Because of its long history of being an early showcase for major talent, the New Daisy is truly unique,” says Ben Weeden, COO for Live Nation/ House of Blues. “Our team is certainly looking forward to being a major part of the continuing New Daisy story, and feel the best is yet to come.”