most small 1000-4000 seated venues now have front fill speakers for the people who spent big bucks to sit in the front center. it used to be those seats only heard the stage sound which had low vocals. sometime you can see the front fills at the stage lip, sometimes they are hidden, sometimes on the side. the only problem is that i don't know how much effort is put into making them song good. i am not sure who is responsible for their mix. during the show, the foh mixer can't hear them and neither can the monitor mixer. i have been to some venues where they only put vocals thru them. but that being said, i have made some excellent recordings up front. there is a venue in dc, lisner auditorium. i was there last year on the side front row. i noticed nobody was sitting front row center, so i moved there. they had the front fills hidden under to stage facing the front row. the sound was incredible. you could not see the speakers, but you knew something was up. as far as getting caught, you can't look at your recorder. you have to set and forget. security will never see the mics. your girlfriend will never see the mics.