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A Gig Gone Weird...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Dubadays, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Dubadays


    Apr 4, 2009
    So, I play bass. My brother plays guitar. Our friend plays drums. Put it all together and what do you have? A high school rock band. Our friend approached us about playing for a fundraiser for scholarships that his mom was heading up, so naturally we accepted. We put together a kick butt set, which consisted of Peaches (Presidents of the United States of America), White Unicorn (Wolfmother), Steady As She Goes (Raconteurs) and Love You Madly (Cake), all of which we played very well on. So, we go the gig, and it's in a small, hot building, FILLED with older people. We were the first act, followed by things such as opera singing, a flutist and various other "classical" acts. So, after we played, it was incredibly awkward. Sure, we got thanked for playing and "praise" for how good we were, but we got many complaints, most of which were about how loud we were (we weren't that loud). Oddly enough, in the same place with the same band I played the best gig I probably ever have. Any one else have stories of gigs that weren't what you thought they'd be?
  2. fivestringgecko

    fivestringgecko Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Denver, CO

    Sure, here's one for you. In a previous band, I played a gig at a smaller bar & grill place and they thought we were a country band. They billed us as such and even played country music all day... It's a good thing we brought our own crowd, because only a couple songs in (311 / Chili Peppers type stuff), all the current patrons got up and left, giving us weird looks. It ended up being a complete crowd swap and it was pretty funny watching it happen. lol

  3. escaraBAJO


    Apr 24, 2000
    Well, we did a gig 4 years ago. We played our stuff (original: see www.daidaiyogi.cl or www.myspace.com/daidaiyogi) near the pool of a croatian colony club and we were preceded by a very popular dancing crew at that time (popular as in pop music). The thing was that the audience was lacking people our age. There were only grandpa's and there grandsons. Nevertheless we played the hardest things in our repertoire and they really liked it (the 10 people that were watching). We saved ourselves by playing a very particular cover of "sixteen tons" that everyone loved.
    I guess the singer frightened everyone with his "throat singing" but they were very cool at the end. That's the price of accepting any venue just to play your stuff.

    There's alwas someone that enjoy your music either you realize it or not so maybe the right way to go is: play the best out of your guts and have fun. That's your gift to them.

    If they pay you to do that then your 're in heaven...
  4. Captain_Arrrg


    Jan 23, 2008
    Mountains of Colorado
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Dude, that's when you bust out the theme to Rawhide, and use the whip on the wall for the appropriate SFX.

    Rollin', rollin', rollin'....
  5. Haha that does sound like an odd experience,here mine...

    In the band that I was previously in we were asked to play in a variety show just before the holiday seasons.To my knowledge that meant that there would be tons of variety in the event.So we went to the show and we were supposed to be on halfway through,finally my guitarist and I realized that everyone else was playing acoustic Christmas songs...thats when we both realized that our set list consisted of Kiss' "Strutter" and a few other classic/hard rock songs.It was pretty awkward when we decided to break out Ironman.Fun experience though:smug:
  6. We were in, or just out of, high school and played some youth function at the guitarist's church. I originally didn't want to do it, because we didn't know any churchy songs. But he assured me that it was just a casual get together and we would be providing some temporary entertainment (we only knew about three songs), so I agreed.
    So, at the "gig," we're being introduced, and the guy is saying how we are spreading God's word through music, etc.
    We then proceed to open with Ozzy's "Crazy Train."
  7. fivestringgecko

    fivestringgecko Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, the funny thing about that is that there was a guy in the band who would've had a whip, too. hehehe

    I'm going to go buy Blues Brothers tomorrow. And take notes.

    "We're on a mission from God."


    OMG, now THAT'S funny! LOL

    Oh this is gonna be a good thread. lol

  8. Bass Pleasures

    Bass Pleasures

    Jun 20, 2007
    A couple of years back, my covers band played at a charity function at our local Hilton Hotel.

    There was a three-course dinner, a fashion show and auction, a disco and then us.

    The dress code was 'Black tie' and I have to say, you've not lived until you've had tubby middle-aged fellas squeezed into tuxedos pogoing to "Town called Malice"; or elegant 60-year-old ladies in ballgowns bopping away to "White Riot"!

    They loved it and so did we.

    Fast forward to more than a year later.
    One lady had enjoyed us so much that she said she'd book us for her 40th.
    She was as good as her word and we rolled up to this swanky country house-style hotel.

    Well, we started playing, feeling slightly awkward, as the guests were again dressed in all their finery and there was a member of hotel staff stood at the door dressed like some sort of courtier to the Queen, dishing out canap├ęs to people.

    We played half a dozen songs to virtual silence, a tiny bit of polite applause, perhaps.

    At this point the consensus was "Play the sets, do a professional job, take the money and go home".

    Then, we opened up "Mr Brightside" and the dance floor was invaded by the birthday girl and her friends and the whole evening suddenly turned into a party!

    Come the end of the show, I recall being down on the floor doing the old phallic-symbol, cock-rock business (ironically, of course, the song was that heavy metal classic 'Louie, Louie' ;)) whilst the rather cute birthday girl straddled me.

    Happy days.
  9. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Wasn't that blues brothers lol.
  10. ilikethump


    Jun 17, 2008
    My band was asked to play a clubhouse party. We're an originals rock band with a few covers (such as Wheezer, etc). We're pretty upbeat but also pretty loud... think an odd blend of The Toadies/Wheezer/Jimmy Eat World. Anyway, the hostess had rented out a clubhouse in a nice neighborhood and claimed that there would be 80 people and four kegs.

    Pretty ideal, right?

    So we're fully decked out in our street clothes lugging our amps to the door ready to have some fun... walk in the door and... uh oh...

    It's a nice little cocktail reception... apparently a girl had gotten engaged and they wanted to throw a celebration party. There are a lot of older people in suit and tie milling about sipping on drinks. There is no background music whatsoever. The girls are all in sundresses and the dudes have bowties on, and there is cake in the corner and big signs saying congratulations to the happy couple. We just had to start laughing as they eyed us nervously during setup. We did the best we could, setting up the PA to play some party music at low volume to kind of give the music an introduction. True to expectation people cheered when we started, suddenly realized that they couldn't talk amongst themselves anymore and fled to the great outdoors. Funnily enough, about three older ladies stayed and danced in the middle of the floor!

    We got some compliments at the end of the show and people asked us to play some more songs so we put on a quick acoustic show that seemed to go over much better. Hey, at least it's a good story right?
  11. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    About four years ago, I played a gig for a large association of horse riders. The event was an all day thing, with us playing in a bar adjoining the hall.

    We started at 9pm as, as requested and played country music. Now, we are not a country band, but if you're creative enough, you'd be surprised how much you can country-fy music.

    Nobody was there. Maybe 20 people. The story was it, that it was a long day and everyone was tired and most had gone home. GREAT...this could be an early night.

    So, after two sets, they told us we could pack up. We decided to run through 3-4 songs we had added to our list and decided to run through them since we wouldn't see each other before the next gig.

    So we launch into Chilli Peppers, Led Zep, Aerosmith. People started coming out of nowhere. The place was filled after three songs. Now...we couldn't leave.

    What a laugh.
  12. Hutch1


    Mar 19, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    Halloween, 1988, I think it was. I was in a hard-rock, classic rock band, and we drove from St. Paul to Sidney, MT for a bar gig. The bus got about 5 mpg, and we filled the tank ten times or so on the way--and ran out of gas east of Fargo. That's another story . . .

    We got to the bar and realized that it was a solidly country bar. The "good" thing was that we didn't anger the bar's country crowd, since I can't recall anybody in the bar, except the bartender, who was throwing chairs on top of tables when we were barely into our last set. Good times, good times.
  13. I play in a hardcore band. We do all our own songs except for an occasional cover for the sake of irony (Kid Rock, Soulja Boy, POD, etc.). A few months back, we got booked to play at some bar that we have never been to, but that seemed like a pretty legit venue. We'd heard good things, and the other band that was playing liked our stuff pretty well.

    Anyway, we get there, and the soundman comes up to us. He warns us that the clientele was mainly, in his words "douchebag frat boys" and that they don't like it when the music is too loud. To put this into perspective, we generally PRACTICE at the 105db range.

    After that, we get approached by the lead singer of the other band, who was putting on the show, who asked us how long our set was. We usually plan to play for about half an hour. They were expecting us to play for closer to two hours. We offer to make awkward stage banter to stretch our set longer.

    We launch into our set. At the end of our first song, some fiftyish guy wearing cutoffs and a purple wifebeater yells "We can't hear the lead singer!" By the end of the second song, he and his buddies leave.

    That was one of the more awkward gigs I've ever been a part of.

    I also played a bat mitzvah with my old metalcore band.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    First show I ever did in a pro band. I was 15 but the rest of the band members were in their 30's. We played classic rock and blues. We got booked in (you guessed it) a COWBOY bar. The whole night was freaky. The last song comes around and the bouncer wlaks up to the stage and puts his GUN on the stage and says "You boys is cuttn it off NOW". The rest of the band was talking S#$T to him but I was scared to death! They had to call me all week and talk me into the next weekeneds shows. About a year later I could laugh about it. Since then I've been in countless bands that were booked for shows that were not suited to the band. Wedding parties that only wanted dinner music (Top 40 band), biker bars that only wanted hard rock (same top 40 band). I actually FORMED a blues band that way once. A variety band I was in got booked for a party on a nearby lake. Turns out they had wanted a blues band. I knew tons of blues but nobody else in the band did. We fumbled through one set. During a break a couple of guys who were attending the party asked if they could do some blues with me. My band didn't mind. Me and that guitar player and drummer finished the night. We formed a band that played for several years.
  15. Hutch1


    Mar 19, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    I must say, that's a slightly more forceful hint than putting the chairs on the tables!
  16. Lunchbox4u_6


    Dec 1, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Played in a Nu-Grass style band (Old Crow Medicine Show, Yonder Mountain String Band covers..band was electric guitar, electric bass, acoustic guitar, cello, and banjo) and we got booked to play Knucklehead's pub...It's a biker bar...a real biker bar. Luckily one hippie guy showed up, got drunk, started dancing and got everyone else involved because he was hilarious.
  17. Allmanfan456


    Jan 23, 2009
    Haha thats happened to me too man! I was playing a benefit concert and guess whos in the audience? Pretty much all elder people. A lead guitar and vocalist sounding like Lemmy, a out of the ordinary bassist (at least in my town) and a drummer who plays like Keith Moon + playing Spanish Castle Magic by Hendrix = Silence after we finish. People were confused. It was so funny! We followed a cello player and a bunch of acoustic acts. So we felt very out of place.
  18. mightypog


    Apr 21, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the heads up, I'm playing there this fall!
  19. sarcastro83


    Jul 27, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    I played a bubble tea cafe once... what a bloody dreadful time that was...
  20. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    my drum n bass/ electronica band got booked for the decibel festival in seattle a couple years back. made my way out there, not cheap or fun
    (i came from d.c. and had a fair amount of gear to haul).
    once i got out there, the promoters started to be sketchy because they overbooked the festival. we were added to the end of a bill, fine,
    at least we didn't get the shaft....well....
    the sound system at the venue kept tripping the breakers all night(not enough power, bad planning) and it just got worse as the night went on.
    needless to say, once it came time for our set, i had had enough stupidity and said thanks, but no thanks and left.
    luckily i had a decent gig in vancouver the next night to make up for it.
    never again without a deposit.

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