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Bad venues II- The gig report.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Paulabass, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    A lot of comments about my post of Canadian Legions. At least a few of you caught some of the more tongue in cheek aspects of the post.
    Now...the gig report.
    I got to the Legion nice an early, knowing about space/electrical issues I would run into. It was just as presumed. Choice of pitch dark, or the glow of a thousand flourescent tubes blinding us. Stage lights- yup- two garden floods. Somebody had done the wedding decor- plastic table cloths and tea lights, transforming it from a huge white expanse of late 20th. century ugliness, to a huge white expanse of 20th. century ugliness white plastic table cloths.
    A quarter circle stage (festooned with flags) was going to be a tight fit for our six piece, and only one 15 amp. circuit. I searched thru various doors and found two more circuits I could reach. Good, no room for the two towers of back-lights anyway.
    Quick and easy set-up, and monitor check, and the band arrived. (with the magic of the digital era, I just re-called our last show, and tweaked the monitors a bit) Too much gear for the space, but we made it fit. I started mic'ing the drums and was quickly told that if we were loud enough to mic the drums we would get our asses fired post haste. Ok, I snuck one mic inside the kick when no one was looking. Soundcheck only drew one irate patron who compared us to the bombing of Dresden. (our p.a.- Two compact subs, and 12" mains, pretty small for our band). (We're a jazz/lounge/pop band :0 )
    The guests and the wedding party arrived. The grooms side of the family is well known for consuming about 1/3 of Canada's gross domestic product of marijuana, so the cat-hearding began, trying to keep them in the building for photographs and the like. The Legion had provided a cannabis area, so at least they were easy to find, just follow the trail of roaches.
    We played first set of light jazz, and some pop standards, but most of the crowd was outside in the pot smoking area. Dinner, but most of them missed it cause they were outside in the pot smoking area. Speeches, for what it was worth, cause the crowd was outside in the pot smoking area. Mother/groom dance- They missed it, yup, outside. Around midnight the guests left, while we were playing our last set. The cake was uncut, and the other formalities forgotten, because, you guessed it, the crowd was outside in the pot smoking area.
    Two hundred cupcakes sat untouched, because they were for AFTER the cake was cut. We were told to help ourselves. I took twelve home.
    During teardown a groomsman paid us, and tipped us handsomely. Told us we were great, and our funk medley was the best he'd heard. (He appeared to be about 13 fat reefers into the evening, so I'm not sure WHAT he heard, but I thanked him)
    The loading door was six feet from the stage, so load out took no time at all.
    Normally it takes a while to leave a wedding, cause we're mobbed by folks who want just one more, a picture with the band, best wishes to the Bride and Groom etc. etc. but this time they were all outside in the pot smoking area.
    Easy money.
    Played a fretless Jazz, and my rusty P into my GK RB1001, with one single 12. Brought a little Boss multi effects cause there was no room for my board.

    45285493_740057656351709_8731536451113582592_n. 45339269_2011583358884917_581370587117518848_n.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  2. That's alot of activity in the "pot smoking" area. Maybe the cupcakes should have been placed in that area if they wanted them to be eaten. It's been decades since my last pot experience but I seem to remember the munchies being a big side effect. :smug: Well, kind of remember that anyway.

    No such areas here, yet, but I wonder what that will be like in the future. Since the indoor smoking ban crowds are much smaller overall in our area. But the upside was many places put in outside bars and areas to play in nicer weather to make up the business.
  3. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Well that was an experience. I feel a little sad for the bride because it seemed Mary Jane was more important than she was.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  4. Paula,
    You always have the most colorful descriptions! Love that Fender.
    I am surprised the smokers didnt at least jump on some of those cupcakes!
  5. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ they kept trying, but the mother of the bride kept yelling 'They are for after the cake's cut' which never happened.
  6. That was one of the best gig reports I've read here on Talk Bass. :laugh:
    kobass, ThinCrappyTone, pcake and 8 others like this.
  7. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    Definitely an interesting gig report. It's a shame MJ was the star of this wedding. The majority of our gigs in the summer and fall are weddings and it's a special breed of gigs. Demanding bridal couple, demanding mother/ father of the bride/groom, drunk wedding party members, event/wedding coordinators, venue owners with their own weird "rules".

    I have performed at many a wedding where we're given an itinerary and expected to follow, only to have the itinerary fall apart long before the music starts. Everything from ceremonies running long, overlong cocktail hour, wedding party arriving late, underestimation of eating time for guests, extremely long winded speeches, underestimation of clearing tables and dance floor, etc.

    We usually book a 4 hour show for weddings. We have 4 sets from 45-55 minutes in length. It has been a rare gig where we actually played all four full sets. Sometimes, we end up doing three because of non- band related delays. We take it in stride as the gig pays the same whether we play for 3 or 4 sets. (we use contracts for performance) We've done weddings where they requested we get there extra early for setup, or a little ceremony music, only to be disappointed because our downbeat time was 7:30 but we're starting at 8:30 or 9:00. Especially when you're particularly psyched about a gig.

    this is an older youtube video, but the band loves it, because we live it...

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  8. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Too funny Paula. Apparently some Canadians are fully embracing their new found legalization status. :laugh:

    The story brought back memories. I played a wedding like that once, but it was in 1972. :D

    My thoughts exactly.
  9. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    WOW! (Good report, by the way...). That's the first Canadian experience with legal pot I've really heard in detail about, but it may be what happens all the time now. (Yikes!). Hey, you can't argue with free wedding cupcakes!
  10. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    Gigs like this have been happening in colorado for years. Got to watch out for a contact high or take all the cupcakes home.
  11. Wanker_Joe


    Sep 26, 2017
    Not sure what kind of a crowd Paulabass normally runs with but this has been par for the course in my neck of the Canadian woods for a very long time haha. When my wife and I got married nearly 20 years ago now it was essentially the same thing, except we didn't have a specific cannabis smoking area. The hall owner joked that he should have charged us anyway but set up in the parking lot. Good times. I think.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  12. 4 Strings Good

    4 Strings Good

    Mar 6, 2014
    Paula, did you check to see what went into those cupcakes?
    mikewalker, ak56 and five7 like this.
  13. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Drunks could be a lot worse.
    HawldieMPB, RexxRokket and five7 like this.
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    too funny! :laugh:

    thanks for sharing the experience! :thumbsup:

  15. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
  16. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    EXCELLENT report, Paula. Very entertaining indeed!

    Touché, Cliff!

    Sore Thumb likes this.
  17. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    I remember playing at the Bourbon Street Bar in Amsterdam where the room emptied at the end of a set. I mean, everybody left! It was my first night with these guys, and I had no idea what was going on. As it happened, everyone went outside to smoke. Only difference being that they came back in when we started playing again.

    Oh, and this, I strongly believe, is the all-time greatest tb parenthetical comment:

    "(He appeared to be about 13 fat reefers into the evening, so I'm not sure WHAT he heard, but I thanked him)"

    Mr_Moo, mikewalker and Sore Thumb like this.
  18. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Paula, you’ve got a great career ahead as a humour writer: a latter-day Leacock!
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  19. Chango Malo

    Chango Malo

    Apr 8, 2017
    my responce in the past when someone questions miking up the drums is that we record everything for review later; the mikes aren't for the PA, but for the recorder.

    The fat check is the only thing good about playing a wedding most of the time.
    mikewalker and juancaminos like this.
  20. Excellent gig report.... loved the "He appeared to be about 13 fat reefers into the evening..." comment

    my band did a wedding last year at a venue that was out in the country up a long reasonably steep drive - the venue was stunning and well laid out.... except they had laid out all the tables right up to the small corner where the band was playing... there was not enough room for 1 person to stand in the corner and play - let alone a 4 piece band with amps / speakers...etc...

    The lady running the venue was not pleasant to talk to and she refused to move anything.... we explained we were a 4 piece band and we needed a bit more room and that the bride had hired us some months before, but the lady said "I don't care - I am the manager here and what I say goes"!

    The brides brother then came along with all the wine for the evening and he saw our predicament and said to the lady "you can just move these 2 tables to this area and the band will have plenty of room" the lady was adamant nothing was going to be moved, so the brides brother reminded her it was them (bride and groom) who was paying for the venue, so in the end she relented and we got 2 tables moved

    But that wasn’t the end of it… we started setting up, drummer hits his kick drum once (yes just once – with no mic on it) and the lady rushes up and says “that’s far too loud… you can’t have the music that loud sorry” so we finished setting up and got told the lady had gone out, so we did a sound check with everything mic’d up

    When we played the first song the look on the lady’s face was priceless…. So we quickly went into the next song and everyone came up to dance and had a good time…. I saw the lady having a talk to the bride, then she just walked off in a huff.

    When we had finished the bride and groom came up to us and thanked us for a good night… and said the lady had come up to her twice to ask her to tell us (the band) to turn down, but the bride apparently said to her "this is MY band for the night and if I want them to play like this then they can"!

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