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"Don't bring anything but your bass....we have a backline for you"

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by bazzanderson, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    What effin BS. (venting here). I've never played a gig where a backline was provided that was a decent set-up or gave enough stage volume.

    Case in point....last night a filled in for the Yuppie Pricks (bassist was unable to make the gig). These guys are friends of mine and I've sub'd before when the bassist couldn't make it. So I get there...everyone plugs in. I plug into a GK 400 or something like that. Turn it on, hit one note and whoosh....amp cuts off...and will not power up. Well I'm freakin out and the sound man is freakin out. Someone from another band brings up a Genz Benz, puts it on the same cabinet (which now I realize was most likely the culprit) and the EXACT same thing happens. So basically they had to play the gig with no bassplayer.

    I'll NEVER listen to club who tells me, "don't bring your equipment....we'll have a backline for you."
  2. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    So, those exams for the college of hard knocks can be kinda tough sometimes. Can't they?:D

    It happens to most of us. Once.

    My response would have been, "Oh really, what is it?"

    If the response wasn't, "An SVT with a spare head."

    I would have replied one of two ways:
    1. I'll bring something just in case
    2. You know, you're gonna pay me if that backline rig lays down...right?"

    I feel your pain Bro but I gotta ask, if your expreience with backline gear is so universally bad, what did you expect different this time?
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    That sucks...but didn't the sound guy (or you) have a DI so you could have at least run through the FOH?

    When I do a "backline" gig I just ask for a wedge/monitor mix and I'm good to go...basically our whole band does no stage amps. I also always have my combo in the car - just in case.

    We just did a thing with 2 other bands. Their sound checks took 2 hours. We were on and off in about 20 minutes - that's FOH and Monitor mix. Sound guys love us 'cause we know what we need and how to get it set up in a hurry.
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Yeah, where's the DI and the wedge? Play without a bass player, that really blows IMO. Sorry to hear about that.
  5. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sorry to hear that. I'm kinda curious about the DI thing too. We're very fortunate around here. Most of the bigger sound gigs are handled by one of two companies. Both of them are great at providing backline.
  6. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Man...to be honest...I haven't done the backline thing in about two years and I really thought (and was assured) there wouldn't be any problems. That's what I get for thinking. I should've at least brought my BDDI to go direct but again...was told there isn't any reason to bring anything. Well....lesson learned. I'll never show up without my rig again (or at least my BDDI).
  7. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    I hate to hear stuff like that, GK stuff isn't bad stuff but just not designed to take the type of abuse that a club can put on one.

    Now that I have a Shuttle 6.0, which fits nicely in my Roscoe gig bag. I will always carry the shuttle and at least my Epi UL210 just incase.
  8. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006

    But never tell them to "get bent! I'll bring my own!".. that never ends well..
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'd reverse the order!

    Ya, if at all possible, bring your own stuff, too. Learned this lesson the hard way once...I was told backline was supplied for this huge outdoor gig 3 hours away, so I left my SVT at home. We get there and there's nothing, and the promoter swears he told the guy in charge (drummer, nice guy, kind of a nitwit) that there was no backline. So I and the guitarist DI, the keyboard player brought his own keyboard because he didn't believe there would be backline (smart), and the drummer plays two garbage cans with towels on them. It was the longest night of my life.
  10. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    If that drumemr were any good he would have made those garbage cans sound sa-wheat!
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well guess what? He made real drums sound like garbage cans, too ;)
  12. ghiadub

    ghiadub Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    Or how 'bout this one: I get to the gig, backline is provided. A carvin 500 whatever and an Ampeg cab. Promoter says to go check it out. I do, it sounds fine and I chill because we were playing last at this gig.

    About ten bands later, we get the word to set up onstage during a short break. We set up, I plug in etc. Promoter slips in an acoustic act before our set. I walk outside for a quick smoke and a trip to the bathroom. I get back, acoustic guy is finishing up and I see some dude pulling the backline. "you guys took too long, I have to get this stuff back"

    I was a bit rushed and had some choice words with the promoter, but I had my gear in my car and was set up in a few minutes.
  13. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    There ya go!

    Any day you go to sleep smarter than you woke up I consider a success.:D

    I've developed some hard and fast rules in my grumpy old age:

    Rule #1: GET PAID!

    Rule #2: If you assume people are totally clueless and incompetent, occasionally you will be pleasantly surprised. If you trust people to do be competent, you will be frequently disappointed.

    It's all gravy after that.
  14. I've never done a 'backline provided' gig before. You'd think in 27 years of playing I'd have run across that once... But no matter. I have been in situations before where my own gear let me down. So not only do I bring my own gear, I usually have some sort of backup for that as well. If I were told "no need to bring", I'd still bring - it's etched in my DNA. For me, the peace of mind knowing I'm covered is well worth the extra labor. Best case, I don't have to load in or out - worst case - I have to do what I do all the time, anyway.

    Hell, It's usually in the gig-rig (my Explorer) anyway so for me it's usually MORE work to not bring it!
  15. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    When I rehearsed with my friends' band, they said they had a head and cab for me at their rehearsal studio. Apparently it belonged not to their current bass player (who I was subbing in for), but to their previous bass player. I got there, plugged in, and immediately realized why I hadn't been able to hear their previous bassist at all at the shows I saw them at. Either GK "Backline" stuff is much crappier than I thought, or there was something seriously wrong with that head. Even with the lows turned all the way down and the highs all the way up, it was still horrifically boomy with no note definition. The next rehearsal I brought my own rig, and took just the head inside, in case that was the problem. It was, I sounded fine with my own head. For the gig, I took my own rig.

    A band of a few other friends of mine were playing a gig at this club in my town. Their bassist, who's great, was using his SVT through a fridge and an old Sunn 2X15. The SVT I think was already in need of some service, it was pretty old and beat up when he got it. So it cut out, for the first time of all the times I saw them. They couldn't get it to work. So, the soundman just brought out a direct in box and he went straight to the board. Didn't sound quite as awesome, but the show was saved.
  16. capnhank


    Mar 5, 2007
    Campbell, CA
    Small 2x10 rig is always in the trunk. Period.

    Lately the "backline provided" has been pretty decent (SVT mostly), but that's at casinos and lounges. In my punk rock days it was not uncommon to show up and find a 15W practice amp on a chair with some doofus promising me it would sound killer.

    And yes, GET PAID!

    DI to FOH or nothing at all, you drove to the gig and you're ready to go. They owe you.
  17. Yeah.... where was the DI from the sound guy? Where was your DI? Going thru a DI and the monitors would have been a viable alternative to not playing...right?
  18. Easy8


    Sep 5, 2007
    Austin, Tx
    I always bring a small rig or SBDDI just in case.

    Just curious Bazzanderson, what venue was this?
  19. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    I guess the soundman at the local place for metal shows is just competent enough to be prepared for crap, but I assumed that all soundmen had a DI box in case an amp crapped out.
  20. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Fish fry at The Red Scoot Inn.

    The DI used was the DI output on both amps. I was so frustrated and pissed off I didn't even think to ask if the soundman had a DI box. I would've hoped if he did have one he would have offered.

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