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Casino Gigs!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by nboyer941, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    I've been playing in casinos lately and I thought it'd be cool to have a discussion about casino gigs. What do you think of the venues? How are you treated? How is the sound? What do you bring for a rig? Free rooms? Food? Girls? crowds?

    I play with a variety dance band. We are a 5 piece band with a sequencer. Bass, guitar, drums, sequencer, fronted by two girl singers/dancers.

    Our last one was fun. It was last weekend at the Wisconsin Dells. Big casino, 2 free nights of hotels, 3 days of free food. We had to pay for beer for the most part. The crowds were awesome. We weren't a headliner or anything.....its just a live band playing on the stage of the gaming floor type of thing. The stage sound was poor, mainly because we were too lazy to spend any more time setting levels. I was told the foh was excellent.

  2. Warfender


    Oct 25, 2009
    Not a bad gig depending on payment. We play at a couple different ones around. We get $$$, no rooms but on live 25 mins away, free buffet, no drinks since a law. We provide own PA. They provide ample lighting. Tip usually $50-$150 depending on night. We've got up to $250 in tips.
  3. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    Wow, we've never gotten tips at a casino. We are playing treasure Island Casino on new years and get paid double time. $300 for that gig per person.
  4. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I used to play in Vegas for weeks at a time. The Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo and Excalibur.
    This was My deal:
    6 days a week.
    3 one hour shows per night, xtra 1/2 hour Fridays and Saturday.
    $950.00 per week free and clear. Food, Travel, Lodging all taken care of.

    Good or bad? You decide.
  5. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I havent played any casino gigs, as Im just a naive artist trying to make my way creating my own music, but my girlfriend recently re-joined her old coverband just because they are doing well paying casino gigs on occasion. Her re-joining was recent, so we havent yet seen how it will go down, but she was told she'd be making about $500 and getting a free room for the night. Thats the reason she rejoined, so we can go party!
  6. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    My new cover band I think would make for a great casino band. I have no experience dealing with them, but the drummer has played the new casino in Bethlehem, PA. He said that they were expected to bring people???? Which I thought was stupid. I guess its not a secret that you can pressure bands to bring their friends no matter where you play. I was hoping that this could be a place to play with a built in crowd and a nice guarantee. Any one have experience with the Atlantic City scene?
  7. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    It's definately not for everyone..

    I'm one of the freaks that would rather play to a guarnateed audience than express my original inside.

    Overall --- it takes some time to get used to low volume... the venue could care less if you can hear your self.. it's all what's out front....

    I recently redid my rig to not have a stage amp -- this is a perfect world for a casino.


    Overall it's cool if you like covers, audiences and getting paid ---- the caviat is that you must be a corporate type thinker and remember the patrons are there to gamble --- not party with the band.
  8. jhfishn

    jhfishn Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Mays Landing, NJ
    Well ............. Atlantic City is dead!

    When this place first opened all the houses had full time musicians. I am talking benefits and all!

    This was one of the conditions that gaming came into new Jersey in the first place. The Casino Control Commission enforced entertainment as well as restaurants etc to keep the place from becoming just a slot town.

    Well ........... around the late 80's the Commission did away with the entertainment rule (now who was it that got paid off) and the casinos started to get rid of the lounges and musicians and all other entertainment in favor of more slots. :spit:

    The major acts in the showroom are now pretty much self contained so even the contracted showroom work dried up. :rollno:

    The only houses now with music outside of the showrooms are the Borgata, Harrah's, a small room in the Tropicana and the Hilton. Mind you ... most of these are karaoke with singers and maybe 1 instrumentalist. The Borgata and Harrah's are pretty much the only place you will see any bands excpet during the summer when they have the beach bars open. And ... even there you will see sequenced entertainment (I use that term loosely) :eek:

    Most of the musicians have gotten other work or have left the area and really the best source of paid gigs around here are the weddings. A good jazz gig will fetch you maybe $50 to $100 and the local bars are only paying $300 to $400 a night for the entire band. :help:

    Alas my friends ..... Atlantic City is dead! :crying:
  9. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I played in AC quite a bit also. Ceasars, Showboat. Trump Marina. i'm talkin 1998/1999
    Ceasars' Baccus Bar was the funniest. We used to wait for the back line to be delivered from another part of the casino to the bar we were in sometimes for hours.
    If we were scheduled to start at 9, it would be common for us to go on at 10:45 / 11:00 through no fault of our own. The casino didn't seem to care. They just were behind schedule all the time.
    Not all places were like that. The Showboat ran a tighter ship if I remember correctly. They used to have a nice PA and stage set up for us on time.
    In CT, The Mohegan Sun Wolf Den is a Great venue if you can get in. Mark the Wolf Den manager/artist relations guy is just a super dude and treats the bands wonderfully.
  10. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    That's sad too hear. But I guess its to be expected considering the world is coming to an end:mad::bawl::crying::rollno::(:scowl::atoz:

    Well at least that's how I feel lately.
  11. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    Any chance you could put in a good word for an New Wave/POP 80's tribute act from NJ? ;);):D:D

    I was hoping when I made the change to covers from originals it was going to be easier to get a decent pay check. Guess not:atoz:
  12. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I'm too busy trying to put in a good word for me! LOL!
  13. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    So far for my band it's been a great time for us with good money and first class PA support, food and rooms, at our most recent show ( Halloween we had 2400 people) was a very gratifing experience. We're definately looking to play a few other of the local casinos here.
  14. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN

    Our stage volume last weekend was so loud I thought I was going to be deaf by the end of the day (I had my 9 db ear molds in). As far as foh....The sound man told me he didn't get the PA to "open up" until he surpassed 102 db. It was loud in there.

    It would have been a perfect gig to not bring an amp and just use a di box.
  15. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    Sounds good to me. Just be careful with the buffets. I know a guy who started to get free buffets at casinos and he said he gained 98 lbs in 6 months.

    Also, 3 one hour shows is a lot better than what I'm doing......one four hour show with three breaks. blah...
  16. This thread comes at the perfect time for me. My next casino gig will be on 12/4, at one of the Indian establishments that ring the metro-Phoenix area. It will not be much different from the standard bar cover band thing: 9p-1a. I am told that we will be on a stage behind the bar, and that I will need to bring a larger rig, to move some air.

    Of course, what's even more exciting is playing with some old friends, in what amounts to a re-branded reunion show of the live karaoke band, minus the drunken guest vocalists. In other words, we get to shine all by ourselves, and with singerbabe there, that's magical stuff.
  17. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    My band does a lot of casino gigs. AC off and on, harrahs again starting in January, have done ballys (they are tough), trump (never had an issue there even though they were strict) and the Hilton (outside). Also delaware last week, great sound. Saratoga this Saturday. Long drives, more work, less pay, yet i still love it because a gig is a gig and it's all good!
    Oh yeah, empire city too, which is an experience... but the sound guys are funny as hell and do a good job, so i love it. I think we're there on 12/5 if I remember correctly.
  18. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    Can you elaborate on what you mean about them being strict?
  19. I play about once a month at a New Orleans casino. Last time, I won $750 in 15 minutes at the BJ table. :D
  20. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I've played Empire city also. They are strict regarding starting on time for example.
    I consider all the things that casinos are "strict" about fall under general Professionalism.
    Set times, Stage Volume, Appearance, Quick sound check, unnessesary noodling etc.
    If your group behaves in a professional manner, you won't have any difficulty working anywhere (casino or otherwise).

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