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How to build a wall and have the audience pay for it?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Robb Fesig, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Robb Fesig

    Robb Fesig

    Mar 14, 2015
    It's 2017 and I've finally convinced all my bandmates to go in-ears! Hooray! Not only are we going all in-ears, but we won't have any amps on stage for monitoring either.

    My drummer raised a couple interesting points (I couldn't believe it either) about not having any stage front monitors, when the "stage front" is just an imaginary line between US (a totally awesome band) and THEM (the people that DEMAND Freebird and Brown Eyed Girl).

    1: How do you keep the more exuberant (read drunk) crowd members from stepping on your pedals?

    2: What do these fine patrons hear when they come up to the front of the "stage" and stand 2 feet in front of you?

    I was thinking the answers are the threat of physical violence for number 1 and body odor for number 2, but there's got to be a better way, right? What say you?
    Ulf_Hansson likes this.
  2. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    A+ for the thread title :)

    My answer for the title of your thread:
    Make the club's pusher pay for building that "wall"


    More serious answers:
    1- Even if you have wedges on stage , a spilled beer is a spilled beer.
    Even with a wall of wedges , the beer will find it's way in your most expensive pedal.
    Microphone stands ?
    2-Drums and the fOH mix
    Robb Fesig likes this.
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    You live with it. We play one pub where there is no room on stage for me. I use a wireless and stand at the back facing the stage. I have to deal with drunks all the time. I am getting pretty good at one conversation, but have problems when two drunks try to talk to me at the same time.

    And, yes, people trying to play my bass is a problem. It is also very hard when a song is ending and a group gets up and walks out in front of me... so I don't know when to stop.

    And Friday night I lost all volume, so I walked to the front and found that somebody had stepped on the tuner and muted me. The tuner was well under the speaker stand.

    The one pro is that I get way more free beers. I think people feel sorry for me.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    No helpful suggestions here. I've been lucky enough never to have a drunk spill their beer on my gear (fingers crossed...).

    One time I was playing a Halloween party. I was "stage" right (There was no stage), next to the door into the venue, and I keep my board off to my right side, so... the board was right by the door. They also had a kind of mini bar set up right near that entrance too.

    I remember one woman coming in, getting a drink, then tripping and stumbling towards me. She caught herself right before total disaster, looked down at her feet and said,

    "Oooh, that looks expensive-"

    and walked away.
    WayneP, Robb Fesig and bridgecables like this.
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Followup thought; I think it actually is a good idea to have some kind of "barrier" marking a separation of band space from crowd space. Normally monitor wedges and mic stands do it - not a true barrier, but a string of sign posts that define space. It's not just to protect the band from intrusions by drunk partiers. I think it also creates a kind of imaginary "bubble" in people's minds, which makes it feel safe for them to relax and enjoy themselves. I've seen girls flirt with band members in some over-the-top ways I don't think they would have done if the musicians weren't safely behind mic stands with guitars strapped across our bodies or ensconced behind a wall of drums. You have to be careful about breaking the "fourth wall" (what we called it in theater) because it changes the dynamic with the audience.
    Robb Fesig likes this.
  6. Radio

    Radio Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    New Haven, CT
    I like the chicken wire across the roadhouse stage in The Blues Brothers.
  7. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    If the stage is not raised, I am hesitant to want to play there. And to keep them off the stage, you have to be a flaming a-hole. God I miss playing clubs. (NOT)
    Grumry and Robb Fesig like this.
  8. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Pig shockers or cattle prods.

    I've used my boot to redirect many a drunk patron back into play once they stumbled past my bubble, which is the mic line. I don't know how many times I've had a mic bounced off my lip or teeth because of drunk morons, but it's enough where it doesn't shock me any longer and I try to see it coming.

    As far as pedal boards go, the unique few times I ran pedals on the floor, I tucked them up against my amp. I would never put them by my mic stand. I think that's the worst place for catching drunk juice (spilled beer) or stumbling bimbos trying to drunkenly navigate in their over emphasized high heels.

    I don't lead sing much, nor could I not afford to take a few steps back to switch a pedal on and off for a song or passage. When putting your expensive pedals in front like that, it's normally just habit, that really doesn't have to be put there.

    I've run in ears for many shows, but never went amp less a lot, because we always ran a little sound between the foh to fill the dance floor, especially if the club was smaller and people were closer. There were many times I'd forget to take my amp off mute, because I couldn't hear the difference with my ears in.
    Grumry and Robb Fesig like this.
  9. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    Not easy. I honestly can't remember last time I played a club that didn't have some kind of stage or riser. At some small corporate gigs (with less than 100 attending) I think we have played on "floor level", but that has been really friendly audiences with reasonable amounts of booze.
    Robb Fesig likes this.
  10. Goatee220

    Goatee220 Bassist/Photographer/Goalie Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Spring City, PA
    How about stringing some lights in between the speaker stands and maybe drape them over some empty cases of beer covered with black fabric or something? It'll look cool and still create a barrier that's much easier to set up and break down than bringing wedges in and out of a gig.
    Robb Fesig likes this.
  11. One pub I play at has a couple of 3ft high banner hanging rails fashioned out of 3'' pipe with big flat feet. Slide around on the carpet to form the ''stage''. The brewers probably paid for them in return for the advertising.
    Grumry and Robb Fesig like this.
  12. Robb Fesig

    Robb Fesig

    Mar 14, 2015
    I like this idea. It would be fairly easy to fashion something from PVC pipe that would be lightweight and easy to assemble/disassemble. Paint It Black and put some sand in the "feet" and voila, instant fence.
  13. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah build a couple of PVC frames that are 3 feet tall and maybe 5 or 6 feet long. They don't have to go all the way across the stage. There will be an imaginary line in the minds of the crowd between the two structures. As a bonus, hang a banner from each showing off your social media and whatnot.
    Robb Fesig and Grumry like this.
  14. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    Hire armed guards like King810


    Doesn't get much more metal than that.
    Son of Wobble and Robb Fesig like this.
  15. Lightweight is not your friend.

    Drunks will smash PVC or die trying, so to speak.
    JGbassman and Robb Fesig like this.
  16. I’ve found a strip of rope lights run around the “stage” perimeter has been unusually effective.

    Could also be the fact that anyone that comes close to being on my side of the lights tends to run headfirst into my headstock but the lights make an obvious line.
    seamonkey and Robb Fesig like this.
  17. cableguy


    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    Makes you almost miss the pointy headstocks of the 80's.........Great crowd deterrent.
  18. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    going back to my livestock roots, maybe a nice piece of wire string about three feet, with a mild electric charge running through it?

    Or maybe one of those invisible fencing for yards, to keep the dogs in or out. ( if just one person hums that song....don't) and fashion "party leis" and give them to the front line, only lining them would be the electronics for the shock collars... Oh this could be fun!
    Robb Fesig and cableguy like this.
  19. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I am part of a an acoustic duo that uses a Bose L1 PA, no monitors. We play some venues where we've had patrons "share our space" more than I like, but never really a problem. That musical project is playing mellow music in mellow venues.

    Not trying to derail the thread, but this reminded me of related issues with another act that I'm part of. One of my other regular gigs is playing drums with a classic rock and soul cover band. Our crowds are more "demonstrative". Once a year we play a gig at a campground in front of 2,000-3,000 crazy drunken campers. We play on a stage, but the campground has posts with chain to keep revelers about five feet back from the it. The first time that I played and saw the chain I thought that it looked silly, by the end of the first set I understood.
    Robb Fesig likes this.
  20. Wooden mic stand box + Red/White striped gaffa tape.
    Robb Fesig likes this.

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