Christopher Rando has been in the music business a very long time for his age. At only his early 20s, he’s worked as a sound engineer at the Comcast Center, Park Avenue in Manhattan, Fenway Park and as many dive bars as you can count.
"I'm living the dream," he said.
Recently, Rando said he worked as a backline technician at the Jamin’ 94.5 concert this year at the Comcast Center.
This year saw the first (and Tweeter Center and Great Woods for that matter) concert in the venue’s history because of drug overdoses, and reaction to the incident has stirred up quite a controversy.
Rando works for Bergsten Music and is also a musician himself. He started his own production company when he was in high school in Milford, where he grew up, and developed the brand from small bars and VFWs into getting contracts for films and large venues.
One of the many parts and parcels of the music and concert industry though is audience intensity. While the Jamin’ 94.5 concert this year saw lots of and a , Rando said the concert was more under control than he expected.
“It’s funny, I thought it would be a lot worse than it was,” he said. “I couldn’t really tell what was going on outside the amphitheater, but security was tight and everything was done real efficiently. It didn’t think it was out of control… It was a successful show in my opinion.”
Rando said he had seen much worse shows in the past. He said the biggest show for police action he worked on was the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament celebration in the New Bedford area.
“They do about 500,000 plus people over four days in this sports club,” he said. “They do a great job with it, but there’s a lot of alcohol involved and therefore a lot of police activity. You see a bit more of police presence but it seems to be handled very well.”
Moshing (or slam dancing) is one of the most criticized methods of music appreciation right now. While intended to be an outward expression of appreciation, its violent nature causes injuries and, on very rare occasions, even death.
Rando said that the worst mosh pit (or circle pit) he has seen was when he was working sound at one of the yearly Metalfest concerts at the Palladium in Worcester.
“That was the craziest thing I have ever seen,” he said. “People were just hammering security, the guys were getting beat up. I mean, it’s all in good fun, it’s all part of the genre, but I feel bad for those security guys.”
On the other hand, Rando said that large concerts and crowds do not necessarily mean problems in the crowd. For Fenway's 100th anniversary this year, there were 10 stages (he worked as a production manager on five) playing nearly simultaneous music all night, with Gary Sinise headlining.
"There were nine other stages with various kinds of entertainment and all kinds of crazy stuff," he said. "It was just a big party at Fenway Park...They were all over the park... I was in charge of making sure everything went smoothly."
Rando will be heading down to Nashville to work on his own band’s first record. He currently resides in Milford.