Gig Etiquette

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by lwleaver, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. lwleaver

    lwleaver Something cute and clever.

    Apr 10, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Ok, I am still trying to figure this one out. I think the other band definitely does not know the "rules", but I would like your feedback.

    I am at a gig 2 weeks ago and I had just worked like 30 hours straight because of the blackout. I got like 4 hours sleep and went to a my gig.

    The show went well, but I did not play my best. So, I am tired and pissed I think I played bad and have to go back to work right after the show. I work in IT. SO, we finish our set and the next band had 90% of the stage front blocked with their gear. I think this is totally wrong but I am in a hurry and do not have time to deal with it.

    I grab my bass and pedals and take em to the car. Now before I have a chance to even leave the stage their bass player is already dumping **** on stage. This too seems rude but I am in a hurry.

    I come back in for my amp and their bass player set his entire rig up in front of mine pushing my stuff to the back corner. I verbally said "What the ****". Their singer starts getting all pissy saying they had been booked for our spot. They totally didn't. They screwed up the time and were rushing us.

    I began explaining how wrong it was to block the stage then setup in front of our stuff. I always make a conscious effort to clear out as fast as possible. So as we echange words the guy says if I want we can go out back and take care of it.

    To me he was picking a fight. Now, is it wrong to block a stage when a band is unloading? Is it wrong to start piling **** on stage without even asking if it is cool? I always at least ask to give the guys a hand loading out.

    Would you pick a fight over it? I don't know it seems there is general etiquette to go by, especially for original bands. We only get 45 minutes at most so every second is precious. Feedback is definitely welcome.

    Oh, anybody in the Philly area, we are playing Grape Street Pub tonight 8/30/03 at 10:00.


    Edited: paragraphs for easy reading
    Edit2: Edited out a word by request
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    If I'm doing a gig with another band I usually do the following before I set up.

    1 Check in with the soundman and use my charm tact and wit.
    2 Check in with the other band as above.
    3 Find the bassist and see if he wants to share gear or how he wants to set up.

    This way you find out whose a nice person and whose a dick and how to deal with them.

    Also once I've finished my set, I always disemble gear and remove it from the stage area first. I'll leave it by the stage or by the door and then load the car up. This means that everythings off the stage within a minute.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    i shall now assume the role of advocate for the devil:

    you say they said they were supposed to be playing in your time slot. whether is true or not would be something judge judy would have to work out, but i'm sure they believed it was true. if they promoted their show for that time they may have had a real urgency to get their stuff on stage.

    like cs (who i feel i now MUST ackowledge or he might put me on some stupid list of his) said, i also usually get my gear immediately out of the way. i finish, i clear my gear. if i were in the other band and saw that you disappeared i think i may have been a little pissed. why take stuff to your car? why not just clear it so the other band can get moving?

    it also seems, if they were blocking the stage, that setting up their stuff would make it even easier for you to get your gear out.

    on top of all that, you admit to being really tired, and really in a hurry. perfect ingredients to make someone a little short fused, ay? i'd imagine you had a little bit of an attitude happening which is why the guy may have called you out. more of like an "i don't really want to deal with this now" sort of thing. but i don't know, as i wasn't there.

    sounds like it was a tense situation all around, and the other band may have been instigating by setting their stuff up around the stage, i've seen bands do this in an angry sort of skrew you way - and yeah, that's not cool.

    i pray. and i'm not kidding. i have a really rough time keeping my cool quite often and try to refocus on making it fun. how important are the things we generally get REALLY upset about. in the long run (big picture) most of it means absolutely nothing. and none of it is worth me getting bloodied up, arrested, or killed in a stupid barfight. that's how jaco bought it, isn't it? i ALWAYS walk away from that stuff.

    have fun at grape street. i played there a couple of times with different bands.
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    If there's a band on after yours, first get your stuff off the stage BEFORE you load out the door. That's common courtesy. If their stuff is blocking the front of the stage, POLITELY ask if they can clear you a path. Mistakes happen, people sometimes don't think too far ahead when they're doing things, but that's no excuse to be an ass about it and make it confrontational. We're all musicians in the same boat, deal with each other with respect and don't "confront" someone saying that something they've done is "dick".

    Example 1: "Hey dude, could you clear us a little path so we can get our stuff off the stage quick? Thanks, dude. Looking forward to seeing your set."

    Example 2: "Hey, why don't get your **** out of the way, you're blocking the entire front of the stage and its in our way."

    Which do you think will get better results?

    Also remember, most music scenes are small, and you might want a gig with one of these dudes someday. The foot you step on today might be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.
  5. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Awesome quote.

    I wasn't there, so I'll hold off on moral judgements. On the practical side, if there is stuff in the way, I move it (usually takes seconds). If it's heavy, I ask the other band member to help me so I don't screw up my back or their gear. I get my stuff off the stage, before I put it in the car when there is another band. That way I can clear space for the other bassist, guard our stuff, and make sure we don't forget anything. I also do things so I can set up and break down real quick. I keep my rig as small and simple as appropriate.
    A folding hand truck is an awesome piece of equipment. I bought mine at Lowes for around $40 and it folds away to about 3 inches thick, and measures 1.25' x 2' when it's folded up. I put my rig on it, put my bass over my shoulder along with my bag of cords and gizmos, and I'm outta there.
  6. lwleaver

    lwleaver Something cute and clever.

    Apr 10, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    In hind sight I generally pull all my gear off first and then load out. I guess I was not thinking all that clearly. I guess what put the situation at that point was during our last song they kept piling more gear up to the front of the stage, this was very distracting. If you know the rusty nail the stage is a little small. So we had to use the 2 foot gap they left underneath a PA speaker. There gear was like 5 to 6 six feet deep. Extremely ackward trying to get ones stuff off the stage. As far as time slots we did have eleven. None of their fans came until 11:40 or later, that was sort of a giveaway. Our singer knows the owner pretty well and he is 99% of the time very direct about when people play. I appreiate everyones feedback. It is nice to see your night from different eyes.
  7. discoboo


    Dec 25, 2002
    charleston, sc
    i must say that nothing ticks me off more than when the next band starts bringing their equipment up before the first band gets theirs off. why all the rush? you waste more time and create more frustration when everybody is trying to manuver around the other. personally, i just sit back and wait, especially if i didn't care for the other band. that way i don't have to get into the obligitory, "hey, great set. you guys sounded great!" b.s. conversation. anyhoo, i played at the grape st a couple times a few years back. that place was awesome. we opened for derek trucks. he killed it.
  8. Exedore


    Nov 15, 2002
    Pasadena, Ca, USA
    I remember playing a show once where things were getting behind schedule so my band was asked to just go ahead and set up our stuff BEHIND the other band WHILE THEY WERE PLAYING.
    Looking back, we should've just told them too bad there was no way we'd do that to the other band (it was a thrown-together church show so it wasn't like we'd be burning a bridge with some bigtime club or promoter) but we didn't. I tried to be inconspicuous but it's kind of hard to do that when you're ON STAGE. I'll never forget the look on the other bassists' face when he saw me setting up my rig behind him - he didn't even look pissed so much as he looked wounded.
    I wanted to tell them after they played that we'd been told to do that and didn't just do it on our own but they left right away...

  9. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    my ol' grandad always says 'be friendly, it doesn't cost anything' so i always try to be. someone mentioned it before and and i think it's the best way to go.

    but when it comes to people picking a fight i have a very short fuse. it's reasonably safe 'cause we don't have a lot of guns in holland :D :D
  10. We played a gig a few weeks back, as a favor to the headliner we agreed to open for them at the last minute because the scheduled opener flaked out. 20 minutes before we pull up to the venue to load in, my drummer's cell phone rings and it's the headlining act's drummer wanting to know if he can use her kit for the night (a BRAND NEW 6500$ DW Collectors series kit - Pearlescent Yellow, only one in town right now...custom ordered!)...because his "back hurts" and he "doesnt want to carry gear tonight." :meh:
    Feeling put on the spot and because the rhythm guitarist of the headliner is one of her best friends...she reluctantly agrees. We play our set, as the headliner goes on, those of us who didnt already know the drummer introduce ourselves...we were literally snubbed. He gets behind Staci's kit and starts jerking the kick around, then the cymbal stands, they play a couple songs...and I notice the kick sliding forward. Before I can locate Staci he stops in mid song, grabs the kick and gives it quite an upward jerk! (Her Toms are mounted to a rack just above it...) I notice the top of the kick strike the Tom hardware...hard. Sure enough, after the show...there is a full thickness chip, roughly the size of a sunflower seed, in the top of that beatifully finished yellow kick. And some pretty wicked dents in her Tom heads as well. Does he even thank her? No. He had the audacity to tell her that her new kit sounded "Like Sh*t"!
    Our entire band and a few loyal fans had to restrain me from pummeling him.
  11. I saw a gig ages ago where 5 bands played their sets with each bands own equipment, not only that, they all stayed to watch the other bands play, so there was a huge pile of amps, drum kits, and cases stacked up to the left of the tiny little stage. And this stage was little, about the size of my bedroom. I couldn't believe how well they did it though, it was like they had NASA working with them. I only liked one band though.
    But speaking of stage etiquette, their was one bass player who had the weirdest stage performance ive ever seen, not in a good way either. He walked casually offstage and stood infront of a couch with a few pretty girls on it, and gave them a "hey, baby, im undressing you with my eyes, ooooh, yeah, take that off, ohhhh" look. And not for a few seconds either, for two entire songs...!!! He looked like a pervert or something, he didnt smile, he didnt even wink or move, he just stood still and stared at these girls. It was weird, they didnt appear on any missing persons lists thankfully. Weird bassist...
  12. lwleaver

    lwleaver Something cute and clever.

    Apr 10, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    It is funny looking back on the gig. I know my original post was a little convoluted. I guess what really upset me is they got their starting time wrong and blamed us for it. Also, the stage there is very small with monitors on both sides. So, with a pile up of equipment in front of the stage it makes unloading a horrible mess. It was also the first time a band had ever done that to us. Usually, the band coming on will offer to help breakdown and load out the other band since you are walking through the crowd to move gear. All in all I probably over reacted, but it just seemed really rude that I barely the first peices of gear off and they had setup their stuff before ours was cleared. I have also been in situations that were so perfectly organized with little effort and a minor amount of forethought that stuff like this seems so unnecessary. But, opinions are like a*%holes. Everyone has one. Thanks for the input. And I love hearing gig stories.
  13. I'm all about helping getting the previous band's shizzle off the stage. Not that I'm picking anything heavy up, but rolling a cab or moving stuff to the edge of the stage. And at least asking if someone's leaving their stuff up there. Setting up in front of the previous band is like parking someone in, I don't feel sorry for whatever happens to your car.

    On the other hand, the stuff should get off the stage first, then go to the car.
  14. This is unspoken rule #1!! And the most imporatnt one, at that.