(Another) Worse gig experience


Willdridge
Registered User
Joined: 04/04/00
Posts: 527
Well, it had to happen sometime, didn't it? I've done several gigs in my short playing stint and, naturally, I had a really, really, really, really bad gig.
My band were playing a gig in school to raise money for the Indian earthquake victims, a worthy cause. Also a stressful one! First off the bat, the amp I was using kept feeding back whenever I touched a string. Solution, turn everything down: Problem, get drown out my dummer. Solution, by-pass FX Pedal, still no joy. Solution, change cables, again, no joy. Next, swap stage sides in case it's something under the stage screwin' up the amp. NO! Send helpful sixth former running across school to get crummy little amp. Okay, so that works for awhile. Next problem, acoustic guitar can't be heard trough PA. Next, I end up knackering my cable, have to run around stage finding another cable, MID-SONG! Ended up plugging in the the 2nd output of the other guitarist's amp.
It never rains but it pours. Please, someone, cheer me up, tell me a worse gig story, I beg you!

On a good note though, everyone seemed, overall, to enjoy the gig and we raised over £100 (think that's either $80 or $120) when we charge only 50p to get in (half a £). Every cloud has a silver lining, huh?
Don't worry too much about me, ignore me long enough and I'll go away.
# 1
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 07/05/00
Posts: 2,907
My band has a way of instantly endearing some people and instantly pissing off/ terrifying others.

We had been playing a lot at this open mic, but the vast majority of the audience (if you exclude musicians) is Vermont Law School students. They're only interested in hearing lame renditions of the same tired Grateful Dead tunes we've all heard so many times, but ony if it's played by a fellow law school student. Well after several weeks of this rather annoying behavior, my band had had enough. We opened with one of our more obnoxious originals, played a few loud tunes, and closed with the Black Sabbath classic NIB. Before we were done the bar was almost cleared of law students, and at one point a party of nine left. On the other had, two of my friends spent the whole time head banging front stage center. After that, my band was banned, we were all still aloud to go and play right up until the open mic was cancelled a few weeks ago (we just weren't allowed to play together).

Also, at our first paying gig about a month ago we had a few people show up (about 15) most of them we knew. Their was a great deal of disorganization on the management's part, so our playing time was cut in half so they would have time for the DJ that was coming in at 10:30, and the regular pool league was playing too. So they pool players had the juke box going all night (and only seemed to enjoy one song we played), due to the DJ at 10:30, our set was all messed up, and none of us loosened up until the last 45 minutes of the show (at which point we did pretty good). To make matters more fun, I had just bought my Active Jazz Bass Deluxe V, and learned on stage that it's signal was significantly hotter than the signal from the EMG's in my four string. So for half the night my five string was making cackling sounds (until I figured out that if I rolled all of the active EQ down to neutral the amp could handle the load). But of the 15 or so people who showed, 9 signed the mailing list and they all seemed to enjoy the show (even if they had to be seriously egged into hitting the floor).

~And we were asked back by the management =)

[Edited by Raskolnikov on 02-10-2001 at 10:15 AM]
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator

Careful what you wish for friend
I've been to Hell and now I'm back again

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# 2
Joseph
Moderator
Joined: 07/11/00
Posts: 581
Well, at least the other members were more than willing to try and figure out what the problem was instead of lurching around aimlessly. About four or five years ago, just before highschool ended, I had a pretty well established band, except I was the only perfectionist. Before our gigs, I wanted to make sure that everything was just right, and it seemed like all they cared about was whether or not we were loud enough. One of our amps wen't out during rehearsal, everything just seemed to go wrong that night, but I was the only one who felt that we needed to do something about it. It seemed like most every musician I was involved in before highschool really had trouble motivating themselves, and refused to excercise their good sences as to what sounded good. Overall, I think its safe to say that the worst problem Ive had over the past few years is finding the right drummer, (or at least able to hang onto him.

-Joseph, :).
www.ragmagazine.com
"Swoop and soar like the blues angels."
# 3
zepo
Moderator
Joined: 03/29/00
Posts: 245
The best thing to do during a gig (not really) is to not remember to plug your guitar into the amp or at least one that is not on. When you do this you get to run out on stage jump up and hit the first chord of the evening in front of the audience and have no sound coming out of your guitar. Talk about a great feeling.
"I need a girl who's as hot as my guitar."
# 4
bigmarty
Registered User
Joined: 12/21/00
Posts: 51
Mine is a good one,me and two freinds had been rehearsing for an open mic thing at a coffee house,when my drummer brought this kid around 15 to jam with us ,he sounded good so we asked him if he wanted to join us for this little gig.He said yes and we reheased about 4 songs for a couple of days and pronounced ourselves ready.The day of the gig when we get to the coffee house the kid comes up to us and tells us he just changed his strings before he left,and can't get his guitar in tune.the place is packed and now we ask the mc to if he can skip us til we get our equipment problems fixed.We finally go on about 45 min later and packed house is now nearly empty and to make matters worse we bombed.Still I learned that it is better to get everything ready way in advance then do it last min also it would be handy to have a spare guitar ready just in case as well.I now have 2 guitras in the ready if this ever happens again if I play with another player.

By the way the 15 yr old was asked back up to jam with the mc who looked at us like we should have been gonged off the gong show! oh well that's life :)
Can we have everything louder than everything else???
# 5
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 07/05/00
Posts: 2,907
The open mic I allways used to had serious issues. It was well run by a friend of mine (who I play bass for as a side project), but the problem (as I alluded to earlier in this thread) was the croud. Basicly, as soon as their one or two buddies were finished with their hatchet job* on "Roll Away" or "Touch of Grey" 80% of the people who were in the bar were gone. If you happened to be up before the law students up, you couldn't get anybody to dance, participate anything (though many times I could see when some of them kinda joned out a bit they'de nod their head in time, tap their foot, or drum on the table, so clearly they were enjoying the music). But the fact is, the feedback from the audience sucked, and the only people interested in the music were us musicians who came in every week for free and played our balls off.

Well, last week I found a new open mic. It's in the area's seediest bar, most the people there are only interested in getting wasted before they have to go home and go to bed for work the next morning, but these people don't hesitate to shout out and holler if they hear something they like. I have to say the more I play around the more I think the people who are barely eeking by are the ones who know how to have a good time.



*Let me put it this way, one of these law students (I'll call him "Mitch") asked me and the drummer from my side project band to back him up. We said "Ok, and immediately began a discussion on how to mess with his head when he went off to steal a beer or something because this guy has pissed us all off on many an occaision and it isn't often that he askes non-students to play with him. Well, it turns out it didn't take much to confuse the hell out of this guy. I brought out my five string (to keep me entertained) and by the second time I tossed in a low D I got a "what the hell was that?" look. I think he figured it out later, but not until after I had introduced him to my low b, bass chords and some lightning bass fills. I don't recall Mitch ever talking to me again...
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator

Careful what you wish for friend
I've been to Hell and now I'm back again

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 6
Code_Monk
New Member
Joined: 03/18/01
Posts: 22
Oh boy...some interesting one here.
Heres mine :
I joined this band on a wenesday. We had out first gig that saturday. It was just a neighborhod party, nothing special.
The material was a mix or originals and covers. I knew about half of the material we did. I basically just followed the bass player. The band was a hispanic music band that played Cumbias (50's style rock) and Rancheras (sort of country like). With me coming from a hard rock/heavy metal background (with a little classical) made for a very interesting sound. We were pretty well recieved there though.

Its the next gig that was the disaster.
The following week we were playing at this rather large nightclub (capacity of about 2000 people). We were the 5th band to play (last band of the night). By that time I had most of the material down pretty good. We get to the nightclub, and the management tells us we were not going to be allowed to play since the first band played a bit longer than expected. Well...the drummer (who handled most of our bookings) talked them into letting us play anyway by playing for free (we wanted the exposure). The house was packed.
This was my first gig with more than 50 or so people. I though I would be nervous but I wasn't.
Anyway, our first song came and went perfectly. The second song though, pretty much ruined our night. When we started playing, the only one that was playing in the right key was me! We managed to segway(sp?) into it, but not very gracefully. The management was not pleased. When we started the 3rd song, managment cut the power to the stage and told us we were done!


# 7
sixstringshredda
Member
Joined: 04/21/01
Posts: 48
haha.. Well these make me feel better; last week at a gig of which 300 people attended, I came unplugged.

During the previous song I kick the mic stand over at the aggressive part, so I took care to remove my mic from the stand before the song. After that song was over (all had went well), the rest of the band decided to start the next song when I wasnt ready. I frantically began searching for the mic (the lights were out) and the lead singer came over and pointed it out to me within a few seconds. So things are good now right? NO! I don't play at all in that song until it's time for my beautiful solo, so I'm thinking everythings good, well I go to play the solo and nothing comes from my guitar. Absolutely nothing. Apparently I had come unplugged in my frantic search for my mic.

Ever since I take my output cord and loop it through the strap so its sure not to happen again.


the prettiest white daisies
soaking up the red...
she always loved daisies;
but they look more like roses now...
# 8
Willdridge
Registered User
Joined: 04/04/00
Posts: 527
A mistake I never made. I always looped my guitar lead, something that occured to me one late night playing (cough) with myself, if you will.
Something that didn't go wrong, but very nearly could have was:-
My band (much to my own disapproval) play alot of more "popier" songs...okay, so we play nothing but and we landed this exposiour (?!) gig with talent scouts, etc. The problem was, all the other bands were playing stuff like Limb Bizkit, Rage, y'get the picture. This led to our singer (female, younger and extremely shy) beginning to panic, after attempts by myself, fellow guitars and drummer to calm her nerves, we found ourselves with a worring bass player. Quickly followed by said fellow guitars. It wasn't until a band played Bob Marley that they relaxed and everything seemed to be alright...But then it was my turn to panic! Hands shaking, trying to set up my FX pedal, getting endless feedback because someone had turned the amp up to 10 (not good with compious amount of distorstion). Fortunatly, this tale has a happy ending. The crowd went off when we played the first song (knocking over two mointers and scaring the singer, hehe). Just goes to show, sometimes things work out and you never had anything to worry about!
Don't worry too much about me, ignore me long enough and I'll go away.
# 9
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 07/05/00
Posts: 2,907
I too learned very early to loop my amp cord through my strap. I've also begun taping down the ends of my amp cords to the floor so I can't disconnect them by kicking them. If I'm using my wireless I wrap the amp end of cords around the handles of my SKB rack. One more thing, since my head fell off my cab one time while pracitcing on a "bouncy" floor I've begun keeping cargo tie downs on hand to strap my head to my cab if it strikes me that the head might shake off the amp.

Paranoia is a very good thing when it comes to gigging.
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator

Careful what you wish for friend
I've been to Hell and now I'm back again

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 10
Martin Spaans
Member
Joined: 03/27/01
Posts: 86
The gigs we give are well prepared.
All the extra's we need... I have it with me, an extra guitar, extra strings, extra guitarwrap, water, extra mic, extra tuner etc.
All comes with experience at the rehearsels. Probably something to do with our age ha ha, we are all round 40 years.
The bass player regular unplugs himself or forget his strapp! The other guitarplayer's strings are mostly in terrible condition. The singer forget his mic. The drummer forgets his setlist. And so on, fortunately it doesn't appear all together, but you never know which one does.

# 11
sixstringshredda
Member
Joined: 04/21/01
Posts: 48
whats guitarwrap?


the prettiest white daisies
soaking up the red...
she always loved daisies;
but they look more like roses now...
# 12
Martin Spaans
Member
Joined: 03/27/01
Posts: 86
A guitarwrap is something to fold your guitar in and eat it up like Mexicans do with tortilla's.
I guess it should be strap, but my English is not to good.
# 13
sixstringshredda
Member
Joined: 04/21/01
Posts: 48
mmmm tortilla

the prettiest white daisies
soaking up the red...
she always loved daisies;
but they look more like roses now...
# 14
Christoph
is Super Fabulous
Joined: 03/06/01
Posts: 1,623
Originally posted by zepo
The best thing to do during a gig (not really) is to not remember to plug your guitar into the amp or at least one that is not on.


Ya, once I accidentally plugged my guitar into the head-phone out jack on the amp and started playing.

It's a great feeling . . .
# 15
Lordathestrings
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
The second gig I ever played was the Fall Fair at the small town I grew up in. At night, of course... Outdoors, don'cha know... in the *&#%'n rain!!! :rolleyes:

This wasn't some high-dollar extravaganza. We were on a bare wooden platform without any sort of a canopy. The stage got seriously slippery in the wet, and the only one who didn't flirt with death by electrocution was the drummer.

The climax of the evening was when I did a big 'Pete Townsend' windmill, lost my footing, and did the splits into a puddle. :eek:

Lordathestrings
Guitar Tricks Moderator

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 16
Christoph
is Super Fabulous
Joined: 03/06/01
Posts: 1,623

Ouch.
# 17
Willdridge
Registered User
Joined: 04/04/00
Posts: 527
Owww...gotta hurt. My sympathies
Don't worry too much about me, ignore me long enough and I'll go away.
# 18
Joseph
Moderator
Joined: 07/11/00
Posts: 581
Originally posted by Lordathestrings
the only one who didn't flirt with death by electrocution was the drummer.



:rolleyes:

-Joseph
www.ragmagazine.com
"Swoop and soar like the blues angels."
# 19
Bryan Casel
New Member
Joined: 05/01/01
Posts: 12
ok my band and I were playing at a huge party it was massive and at first we did grerat everyone loved us
around the 10th song while I was in a solo my rithym guitarest alowly walks up to me and his whole left hand was covered in blood,he didnt cut the ends of his strings off on the head and when he brushed his hand over them it became known to him.I tell him dude wash youre hand but like an idiot he keeps playing as blood is dripping on the stage.Finally he adresses everyone in the crowd saying'my whole hand is bloody,is this a kick ass concert or what!!!'then everyone started to cheer at the gory mess he was making and all this time I kept playing my solo.
The gig turned out ok everyone loved our band but it was really scary and gross to see all that blood.
well there you go my worst gig,by the way ihave only done 5 of them.

# 20