Gig Report - 2020-06-17, Blue32, Saginaw

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Liko, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    DFW Metro
    Yeah, still slowly poking our heads out of our shells despite the uptick in COVID cases in DFW and Texas overall. People are paying attention to social distancing as a result of the increases, and at this gig I noticed the audience was considerably more spaced out with the exception of family groups (exempt from the guidelines), and there were far more masks in evidence. But, we are still venturing out. We're Texans, and Americans; we do the right thing, after trying every other option.

    This one was at a patio bar within 5 minutes of my house instead of across town, which was great because I left my backup bass and my "gig box" (toolbox with spares and extras for hooking up or on-the-spot repairs) and had to duck back home. No house sound this time, so the lead guitarist invested in a couple SOS tops to supplement the rehearsal monitor rig we'd been running for vocals and acoustics, and we just ran the rest of the band off the "stage" (one rail of the patio deck).

    I learn things when I play gigs. Last night I learned that I've been spoiled by having either quality installed sound with some set-and-forget ability, or else a good PA contractor who knows the rig and has pretty much seen it all running FOH, in almost all my gigs to date. This was the first time in a long time that I had to set the PA up from scratch and that we didn't have an FOH guy who knew what he was doing, and it easily added a half-hour to our load-in and setup time. Remember that "gig box"? Yeah, glad I went back for it. We had the use of one 4-outlet drop, that had to power two guitar amps, a bass amp, two pedalboards, a mixer and four powered speakers. Extension cords and power strips were in high demand and we used every one we had, including the one in the gig box.

    I also learned that being indoors for a gig also has a tendency to spoil you. Seems like as soon as the sun dipped its butt below the horizon, the wind kicked up. Not a problem for me; a 40-pound amp, 10-pound bass and 200-ish pound bassist are pretty wind-resistant up to about 30mph. However, the lead guitarist and lead singer/rhythm guitarist both use paper charts. I typically find charts to be a crutch, if you have 'em, you come to depend on 'em. While I do use charts for my church gig (where we get fewer rehearsals, have more turnover in music, and I'm playing guitar and singing), for this band I bit the bullet and memorized the patterns and roadmaps for each song in our more static setlist. One less thing to look at while playing means more eye contact with the audience, more situational awareness with the band, and when the charts are in your head they're less likely to blow away.

    This gig proved my point; while the chart-users did have them hole-punched in binders, the wind can still flip pages, and it did, mid-song, several times, with ensuing hilarity of trying to figure out how to flip the page back while continuing to play. Our lead guitarist might bite the bullet and at least condense the charts to a cheat-sheet of riffs, keys, capos etc, but our lead singer's just not there yet, so I did want to ask: To anyone that uses tablet-based charts, what tablets and reading software do you use, and do you like it? We will be seriously looking into a digital solution for future use.

    Anyway, despite the issues, we got the gig in the books, the lead singer padded her college savings another couple hundred bucks, I got some free beer and wings out of it, and much safe fun was had by all. Pics when the people with the cameras forward them to me.
    BassCliff, JRA, McG and 6 others like this.
  2. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Have you considered an implant? Now available in righty and lefty versions. :laugh:

  3. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I use an Android 12" tablet running It can be a little complicated at first but I persevered and have it down with songs for 2 bands... If it was in book form, it would take two books 3 inches thick. If others use the same software in your band you can share the data. Here's a sample of my songbook.
    sog songlist.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
    Renaissance and Liko like this.
  4. I use a 10" Lenovo tablet with Setlist Helper. I rarely read charts though.

    This has my curiosity. Do you not get paid?

  5. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Glad to see people are getting back at it - at least to some degree. We carry spare stuff for a reason - good thing you were close to home!

    When I use a tablet on stage, I have a little 8" Android and I run LyricPad as the software. I haven't needed it on stage for over a year with my regular band, but I am keeping my eye out for a bigger tablet.

    LyricPad has a scrolling option but that was just one more thing to manage. It would also pair up with one of the Bluetooth pedal controllers that would allow you to scroll or flip a page with your foot, but have not gone down that road either. I build shorthand charts (chord progressions and lyrics that I need for BU vox duties) that will fit on one screen. I set up a play list and just swipe to the next song. Almost undetectable to the audience, especially for the oft-ignored bass player!

    Unless I'm playing a sub gig with very little prep time, by the time I hit the stage, the most the chart is used for is a quick reminder of chord progs and maybe some lyrics hat I have not yet locked in. Even for sub gigs, I tend to really not need it for most songs.

    The day of paper charts has passed. A tablet mounted discreetly on a mic stand is no distraction. I don't mind them for the band, but the LS really looks lame when using them. IMO, if they can't be bothered to learn their parts, they should at least invest in a good teleprompter/monitor setup like the pros use - it's not at all obvious unless someone is just staring at it while singing.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    cool that you had a gig, OP --- even cooler that it was a 'safe' one! i got nothin' on the digital charts: one cat in my jazz band uses the larger ipad for his charts and the rest of us use paper/binders.

    but i'm glad your gig worked for everyone and that you suffered through the windy parts! thanks for sharing your gig experience! :thumbsup:
  7. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Sounds like my kinda gig! We play a lot of breweries and wineries, often outdoors, and almost always bring our own PA. Some may say they’d never take a gig with no PA, but to me it seems like lost opportunities. These brew pubs are a nice “new” market, and being prepared for them gets us gigs! :thumbsup:

    And I’m with you on memorizing- maybe it’s my classical training, but I feel you don’t really “know” the songs til they’re memorized.

    My guitar player uses an Android tablet. It’s always crashing /freezing, but maybe he just got a cheap one. My banjo player uses an iPad and it’s very reliable (I’ve had better luck with Apple products over the years.) He’s got it loaded with SongSheet- I borrowed the tablet when I first joined the band and it’s a great program, very intuitive.

    Well thanks for sharing, Looking forward to those pics! :woot:
  8. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    DFW Metro
    Not for this band. The entire point of the group is to get the lead singer exposure and to pad her savings and upgrade her gear, so she gets all the money from the gigs. And of course, we have fun.
    BassCliff and Renaissance like this.
  9. Good for you guys!

    When I read your post I wasn't sure if that was the case, but I was hoping it was.

  10. SWRnut


    Apr 21, 2008
    Columbia, SC
    One of our guitarists and myself handle all of the lead vocals and we use OnSong on iPads. Controlling the lyric scroll via AirTurn Duo 200 (bluetooth). Very easy to import PDF's or Word documents. We've used these for about seven years without a hiccup.