1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Argghhh bad gig!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Nowhereboy, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Nowhereboy


    Mar 3, 2013
    This is the first time I've ever really experienced this, we have played some great sets recently.

    To cut a long story short, I got stuck at work and couldn't avoid being late, we couldn't sound check and had to use the other bands amp's which were really bad, to top it off we had no monitors so I couldn't hear anything! When we started playing the first song I litteraly wanted to curl up and disappear I thought it sounded that bad! It was an unfamiliar crowd and the atmosphere was awkward.

    The rest of the band had been drinking as we were paid in beer tokens and they didn't seem to notice the above problems. I was driving however and in a really bad mood. This also made me worry a bit as I couldn't believe they thought it went ok.

    Anyway after the show it turns out the audience voted us to go through to the next round (it was a battle of the bands night).

    I have no idea how we won unless the promoter who is completely up our ass rigged it for us.

    I've got work in 4 hours time and I'm completely shattered! Note to self, NEVER accept a gig last minute without enough time to prepare and especially not mid week when I have work the next day.

    Man, it's such a horrible feeling leaving a gig unsatisfied.
  2. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Beer tokens?
  3. aquamentus


    Apr 15, 2005
    Keokuk, IA
    This is about the one year anniversary of my worst gig ever. I was playing in a four piece acoustic-ish pop/country/rock band and played the Christmas party for a steel foundry's union. Yes, we played Katy Perry acoustic covers for a bunch of methed out steel workers. The only time I was certain I was going to get jumped in the parking lot after a gig. A true nightmare.
  4. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Wow! I'm glad everything worked out for you. I guess you guys are well-rehearsed and know your material. Sometimes you don't get the best situation in which to play so you just play your best and trust it sounds OK out front. Perhaps the beers helped the other guys relax and have fun. I'll bet it was magic! One can only imagine what you guys sound like when you're firing on all cylinders. Good for you.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  5. Nowhereboy


    Mar 3, 2013
    Thanks man, yea we know our set inside out.

    I guess thats why it bothered me so much, it just didn't sound half as good as it should have done.

    It's funny how a gig can completely influence my mood, I'm generally a bit down about it, guess I'm a perfectionist.

    And yea Biggbass, we got paid in beer tokens. We would have normally passed on this style of gig but the winner of the "battle of the bands" takes home a decent chunk of cash and some free studio time. If we win the next few gigs we will get a nice payout.

    We did actually record this gig and the guitarist has a copy on his laptop, I'm very curious to see what it came out like. I'm hoping it wasn't as bad as I thought.
  6. kikstand454


    Sep 28, 2012
    I've had many similar bad gigs and just as in your case.....it wasn't as bad to the audience as it seemed to me. ( I've had my fair share of audience tragedies too....)

    Relax a little about the performance and realize it couldn't have been as bad as you thought. Learn from all the mistakes, and don't repeat them. Move on...... its only rock and roll! :beer:
  7. Topspin

    Topspin What's my name again?

    Dec 15, 2010
    I played Tom Sawyer with a pick once. Shame on me.
    Makes you really appreciate the good gigs, huh? :D
  8. Mike11121


    Sep 17, 2007
    100% on that. Strangely, disasters aside, some of the gigs that I have been least satisfied with immediately afterwards are the ones that we have received the most praise and reward for over the years. If you have high standards for yourself (and you sound like you do - that's a good thing BTW), I can almost guarantee that your audience will very often like your sets more than you do.

    As kikstand says, try not to beat yourself up too much. Just learn what you didn't like from that one and how to stop it happening again. In the end, the crowd determines what they like.
  9. Nowhereboy


    Mar 3, 2013
    Thanks guys!

    Yea the bad gigs sure do make me appreciate the good ones a lot more.

    I feel better today, tho I've been completely shattered. Only ended up getting about 2 hours sleep last night and I've just got in from a 10 hour shift at work.

    Time to relax!
  10. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

    If somebody recorded it, you might be surprised at how it sounded to the audience. We had one where there was almost no audience, and we felt completely deflated afterwards. One of the maybe three people in the audience took a video on a cell phone or something, and when we saw it we were all really surprised at how well we played. We thought is completely sucked. You never know.
  11. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Subjective experience is funny. After our last gig, I walked up to the guitarist and was about to say "Nice job, best gig yet!!!", and he beat me to the punch and said "Worst gig I've ever played".

    Well, the rest of us had kept our stage volumes low and our amps close to us and pointed at our heads. The guitarist had his Hiwatt going through a Leslie about 25 feet away from him. So, guess what, he couldn't hear himself.

    The audience thought we (including the guitarist) sounded great. Yeah, subjective experience is funny. His was wrong, mine was right. Funny.
  12. Nowhereboy


    Mar 3, 2013
    It's all a bit strange really. I guess it shows how much your mood can influence things.

    For example last night I felt uncomfortable on the stage, kinda bored and just not feeling it at all, naturally I felt like it sounded bad.

    My half drunk guitarist on the other hand was jumping about and enjoying himself, he said "meh a few little mistakes but it sounded mint". This is the first time I've ever really experienced this kind of imbalance between us, normally we agree 100% on everything.

    I find it strange how two people on one stage can have totally contrasting opinions of how the gig went. I guess it all boils down to that "feeling", that illusive and hard to explain thing that normally overcomes me when playing, it just didn't happen for me last night for whatever reason.
  13. Nowhereboy


    Mar 3, 2013
    Glad I'm not the only one! haha. This is probably quite common actually.
  14. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    Personally I think I've only rarely every had even the slightest idea of how I actually sounded to the audience, while on stage. You can always guess, but anytime you're running through a PA it's just impossible to tell exactly how you sound in the audience, from the stage.

    I've always had an opinion of how I've sounded, but the "bad" gigs often sound really good when you listen back to recordings, and the "good" ones don't.

    Bill Bruford mentions this a bit in his autobiography. His theory essentially, is that the distractions that make a gig seem bad often force to perform better.
  15. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    When I was younger, playing with less experienced folks, it was generally 4 people on one stage with totally contrasting opinions.....

    Even with more experienced musicians this is still a pretty common experience.
  16. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Yeah, it's true. Makes me nostalgic for the days of all-acoustic instruments... At least that way, you know how your instrument sounds, and other than hall acoustics, that's the way it sounds to the audience.
  17. Nowhereboy


    Mar 3, 2013
    This makes me feel pretty lucky actually. I have been gigging with this band for a year and this is the first time I've experienced it.

    We click very well as a band, we are all best friends and have jammed together for years. When I think about it, it could be a lot worse. I've seen bands that look like they barely know each other and have 4 separate opinions/egos clashing. We have never had that problem.
  18. Nowhereboy


    Mar 3, 2013
    Worth mentioning that was the first gig I've ever played without monitors too, don't fancy doing that again in a hurry.
  19. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada

    First show i ever did, I was nervous as hell, playing in front of 200+ people and I had to plug straight into the PA because my amp was causing a buzz and I didn't have a monitor. I played the whole show "deaf". I was really concerned throughout that no one could hear me and that i jsut looked like a useless moron up there, but apparently the crowd could hear me very well and i sounded great and i got compliments on my bass playing so it wasn't the worst gig i played....just really annoying though. It's a good thing i could play those songs blindfolded.
  20. Reading the title, I thought maybe you had a gig on a pirate ship :)