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Gig from H3LL upcoming this weekend...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by bound'n'blocked, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Got a show Friday night at the local "county fair". Two hours as the headliner. Usually look forward to this gig every year, but not this time...

    First off, I'm already in rant mode. The sound company I used to work for has done sound for this particular event every year since about 1995. While the organizers are clueless, we always made the thing work and were professional and made things sound great for all the bands that play there. As for the bands, they are usually local acts and the organizers DO pay well enough. Add on top that I work at the local radio station as an on air entity, and have to make apperances at the fair for promotion, I'm in it more than just a member of a band playing there.

    This year, the fair organizers decided to use a different "production company". I place this in quotes because, really, they just hired a band guy with some gear and a portable stage trailer to come in and provide sound. I have talked to one of the other guys here at work who was at the fair on Monday at the talent show, and he said the sound was beyond atrocious, the stage is flimsy, the crew acts unprofessional by walking around onstage when the acts are performing, etc. We have our own sound guy, who works with the company the fair used to use.

    I know there is no way on earth that this sound company will be able to handle the bluegrass band that is scheduled for Thursday. And personally, I'm afraid that our stage gear will be louder than their PA, if the reports I've gotten from others are accurate. Other than being an opportunity to play, I'm not really looking forward to Friday night at all. The only plus to the situation is the fact that, for once, the stage WONT be 50 yards away from everything like it usually is, because the rinky dink thing they are calling a stage is right in the middle of the entrance. I know the fair people have realized the money they saved wasnt worth having a crap sound situation, but it's not gonna do me any good.

    In a way, I'm hoping the rain that is forecast for Friday night shows up. I hate to sound like a whiney little you know what...but I just kinda had to vent a bit about the whole situation. I'm trying to find a silver lining to this, but cant seem to.

    I'll update after Friday and maybe add a few pictures to show the sad situation.

  2. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
  3. ^^

    Thanks! I feel better now...I wish I could write with such flair! :D

    Reading that, I decided to get out the schedule for the fair and check it out. While the band that is onstage tonight plays, they have to compete with the Mudsling in the motor arena that is about 30 feet away. A mudsling consists of cars and trucks driving as fast as they can through mud, hence the name. The vehicles rev their engines as loudly as possible.

    We only have to compete with the Demolition Derby at the same motor arena and the auction of the wood carvings during the derby intermission.

    Ah...the life of a small town rock'n'roll star! hehe

  4. After carrying multiple speaker rigs to county fairs, I will be bringing my bass man 25 combo this year. They told us there will be a good system to do the work and just to bring something for on stage. So small amp and cord it is. (The fair manager is a bass player, if this gig sucks he will know!)

    Instead of a truck and heavy gear, I'm driving my 2 seat British sportscar. Walk on with everything in one trip, walk off with everything in one trip, be on the road 5 minutes after the gig ends. The sound will probably suck, but I need to be gone fast after this one, so I'm not even bringing backup, just the most minimal rig I have and nothing else.
  5. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    I was playing a short leg on the east coast in an old building turned into a restaurant/Bar patio type place in CT. Band loads in full PA 2- 2x12, 2-x12 subs, 4x 1x12 monitors, 30k watts of lighting 12 par cans, strobe, fog, 2 x multi-fx, LED color bars. 2 guitar amps, Eden wt800 2x410xst, and keys. We find out that he has 2 outlets (1 wall socket) for all that, once we plug in and tuern on to blow the fuse we find out that the building is old enough to be built by the british and had glass fuses. we play under contract pulling power from the kitchen, patio was closed so we used the fuse for the patio circuit for the stage, blew that fuse again, owner said that he would take care of it and put in a higher amp fuse from somewhere else, we blow the kitchen fuse which knocks out his freezer, 1 fridge, and the lighting of the prep area. another fuse was found we play the rest of the set. Everytime the compressor kicked in for the freezer in the kitchen the lights reset, our amps popped, and general crap was being amplified from an abused circuit. 3 songs before the end of the last set (we had gotten a little louder by the end of the night) we blow both circuits including the neon lights in side the bar with no other fuses to be found, the owner comes up from the basement looking all kinds of pissed - said "The god dang, fuse I put in the god dang socket melted in the plastic around the fuse holder" He can't keep his beer cold, his food frozen, and was looking at a couple grand in electrical work. We had a contract and fulfilled our part but the damages were waaay more than our bill. We took enough for gas to get back to boston, and added an electrical clause in our rider.
  6. The thing that ticks me off the most about this whole deal is that if they had hired the same company that had been there the past 15 years or so, all I would need to do is just show up with my bass. Until earlier this year, I worked for that company, and they would have just tossed whatever rig I asked for into the truck for me to use.

    I've since heard this afternoon that the fair has already said that the company there this year wont be back next year. As for power, if they had used the really nice permanent stage that is on site, they would have six 100 amp services to choose from.

    The image of the monkey and the football keeps popping in my head...

  7. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    My guitarist just bailed for a gig on Saturday,
    crappy situations abound!
  8. UPDATE ----

    Well, it turned out to not be as bad as I was anticipating, but it still wasnt great. The gear was old, and I mean OLD! I had bet someone 20 bucks that there would be at least one piece of gear that I used to push around our warehouse twenty years ago at this gig, but it turns out everything but the mics/cables and the top boxes had been ours at one point.

    The stage was a trailer type thing, with a tarp for the top about 10 x 20 (thank goodness for no rain). The monitors were actually pretty good, but mine was pretty crackly, tho I could hear ok. But the PA....we weren't loud as far as stage volume, but I dont think the mains could keep up with our amps. The just didnt have the power amps to push the area they were trying to cover. The main sound guy had been there since Monday or so and you could tell the strain was starting to get to him. I think they were just in over their heads. They did the best they could for us but weren't up to the task they had taken on.

    Oh, and one more thing...the light show. There were 16 LED par cans on the stage, 8 front and 8 on the back. When we started, it was still daylight, but about 4 songs in it was getting dark enough to turn them on. The head guy walks up to the lights and hits the blackout button to turn them on, and then hits strobe. For the next two songs we got a constant flash of red and green lights, at about 10 flashes a second. Our singer almost had an epileptic seizure. Finally one of the other guys went over and started to do a proper show with them.

  9. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Someplace important you gotta be or is it just an "Elvis has left the building" type of thing?
  10. Had to be in North Dakota that night. Needed to do some work for a family get together there. Fortunately traffic was light.


    Our sound guy stunk. Underpowered, undermanned and non attentive. I wasn't able to hear the vocals at all and rarely heard the guitars on the first set. Synth was boomy and not in the monitors at all. I'm glad I was there early enough to see what was going on and run home and grab my 410HLF and a head.

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