Installation 21 Jan 2018

Rochaus Rocks with RCF

When Kevin Krak designs a facility for a client, his goal is to present the “wow” factor. Krak is CEO of Gallant Building Solutions. The company designs properties for company headquarters, corporate offices and commercial spaces for many Fortune 100 companies. Their goal is to provide an enhanced, efficient and stimulating workplace environment.

That’s exactly what he’s done with the new club Rochaus in West Dundee, Illinois.

“Live music is my hobby, my passion,” says Krak. “I love concerts and love the performers’ relationship with the crowd, it’s all an experience.”

With that, Krak was driving through the small Chicago western suburb and saw a for sale sign on a building that recently housed a rock club.

“I had been in the club when it was in operation, and knew what a great old theater it was. Being in the construction business, and knowing some of the history and where the bones lay, I saw the possibility of turning it into a special entertainment venue,” and he bought the property.

Originally built in 1912 as a vaudeville theater, the venue served as a tour stop for everyone from the Three Stooges to Bob Hope. From there it evolved into a movie theater until even second-run movies could no longer support keeping it open. In 2002, new management turned the venue into a rock club, but that went dark in 2011.

Developing the concept for the Rochaus, Krak didn’t want it to be just another club, but something special. “I felt like I needed to be the steward of this 115 year old building.”

I saw the possibility of turning it into a special entertainment venue

During the interview, Krak talked about other venues he’s visited and his vision was to create a club that has a personality, offers an intimate environment for the audience, and most importantly creates a space for the artist. “I don’t intend to be a bar owner,” says Krak. “The Rochaus is creating a space for musical performance. Creating a space for the artist.” He continues, “The artist is the most important factor. If you can provide them a comfortable space, a venue with the appropriate accoutrements and a performance stage they enjoy working on then they will give the audience an exhilarating show.”

In the concept of the Rochaus, Krak notes, “putting on a successful performance is all about the power of the product. We’re as responsible for the music as the artist is.”

The outside of the venue maintains the movie theater marquee motif. Once inside, it is a modern, cosmopolitan look. The main floor is dual tiered. The rear area including colorful backlit bar. The main floor open, able to accommodate SRO crowds or with the ability to put in tables and chairs dependent on the performance and audience. A balcony area is more like a lounge, with couches and plush chairs to enjoy the performance as if sitting in your living room.

When it came to staging, Krak quickly found out that he was not in the entertainment business, and found some of the companies who initially offered design assistance didn’t understand the concept he intended for the space. Companies came in and wanted to put in a club system. “We wanted a performance system,” says Krak.

With that, he called on FM Productions and Sounds Cool Live Audio to design a stage system artists would be happy to perform on.

Familiar with the quality and artist acceptance of RCF, Sounds Cool Live Audio owner Brian Wynn installed a line array system comprised of 16 HDL20-A dual 10” two-way active cabinets along with 8 SUB9006-AS dual 18” active subwoofers framed in under the stage. Two RCF HDL10-A dual 8” active cabinets were mounted on the front lip of the stage for front fill with two additional cabinets installed for balcony fill.

Two full size MIDAS Pro 2 consoles handle both FOH and stage systems with two MIDAS DL233 48x48 double pre-amp stage box, four 12-channel EMG drop snakes for up stage and down stage, and two spare CAT5e lines are run from stage to front of house position for signal distribution.

Stage lighting is controlled by a Martin M1HD Universe console. Lighting includes 24 Martin Par2 RGBW Zoom, 12 Martin Par1, 4 ADJ Encore Profile Ellipsodal, 8 Martin MH7 Hybrid moving fixtures, two haze machines and two crowd blinders.

We wanted a performance system

As previously mentioned, the Rochaus is designed as much for the artist as it is for the audience. Load in is easy, direct to the stage.

And when Krak acquired the building, he also bought the adjacent former three-story hotel. To start, in there he has outfitted a “Green Room” – a comfortable lounge space for the artists to relax and prepare for the show.

Opening night featured Living Colour. Other shows scheduled include Trent Tomlinson, Diamante and Saving Abel. “We want the entertainment schedule to be diverse, and not specialize in a targeted format. And we want to offer the area the opportunity to hear new emerging artists and provide them the respect they deserve with the facilities we offer to them,” says Krak.

Of the opening night, he notes, “The whole system was immersive. And the vocal intelligibility impressive.”

Wynn adds of the opening night show, “we were hitting 115 dB and the clarity was astounding.”

“The whole system was immersive. And the vocal intelligibility impressive.”
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