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Last night's gig could have been better...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Discount Saint, Aug 17, 2007.


  1. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    So my alternative rock band, The Black Orchid Rebellion, had a show opening for a fairly popular local band in a fairly intimate pub-style venue last night. The crowd was actually quite good, but we were definately not playing our best.

    I will have to reserve final judgment until I have taken a look at the video footage, but we had really procrastinated on getting some new material ready, and also hadn't practiced our current set-list very regularly, so we had a lot of rehearsal in the few days leading up to the show. We also made the mistake (in my opinion) of rehearsing, pretty well full-tilt (at least I was) for about an hour and a half right before we had to pack up our gear and head to the venue. What we REALLY needed was just a quick refresher on a few of the new tunes, but instead we spent an hour and a half in our HOT jam space (A/C is broken) and played through the set very nicely, but also used up a lot of really useful energy.

    It also didn't help that during rehearsal I somehow managed to give myself a bloody awful blister on my plucking index finger, right before heading to the gig. A bass player friend of mine at the venue offered to heat up a pin to break the thing so I could glue it (never tried this before - does it actually work?) but we decided that it was too deep of a blister to do that with, so I just pulled out my bass and started strumming while the first band was playing, in order to numb up the finger.

    Anyway, by the time we went on, I think we were running mostly on adrenaline, and right from the start you could tell people were pushing it faster and faster.. I started trying to pull back but it just wasn't happening and by the time we got to the last third of the set we were blowing through these songs about half again faster than they were meant to be played, completely obliterating the end of one of them in the process (at which point our singer commented to the crowed 'that was a bit of a new ending on that one' .. and our guitarist replied 'Yeah, what song WAS THAT, anyway?') .. I think we got it back a little bit on the last song, but man.. somewhat disappointing.

    A guy and his girlfriend did come up to me afterwards to say that they thought I was a "f**ing awesome bass player", and that "you really know how to rock on that bass", finishing up with their opinion that "your band was great, but you were totally the best one on the stage!" Not something bass players neccessarily hear all the time, so that made me feel a little better about all of the speed-related FUBAR's I had made throughout the set.

    If I can figure out this digital video camera I borrowed (from my grandma of all people) I may post some videos, if anyone is interested, and if it isn't too crappy.
     
  2. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    if you didn't have bad gigs you wouldn't have good gigs.

    besides...the crowd rarely knows whats going on...

    if you're a good band...even if you play at 70%..the crowd can't tell the difference.

    however if your a marginal band that sounds good sometimes....you may have a problem....but that is what practice and giging is for :)
     
  3. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    That "pop the blister and glue it" thing does work, but you have to give the glue time to set real well, and if the blister is really deep, it won't stay shut. You have to use Super Glue.

    Sounds like a hard gig to get through. But you got nice compliments, so it couldn't have been too bad! :)

    Cherie :bassist:
     
  4. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Yeah, it was stressful for some reason.. I think we just hadn't done a lot of rehearsal on the current setlist as we figured we had it down well enough, which we did in the studio, but introduce live adrenaline combined with not enough rehearsal and bad things are bound to happen.

    And man.. I did a real number on the finger.. it made it through the set without the blister breaking open, but now I have a blister inside a blister... and it is pretty frickin sensitive to the touch at this point. How I managed that with flatwound strings is beyond me.. though I guess they ARE Rotosounds, but still.

    Has anyone ever tried using alcohol swabs on blisters? I've been told they can suck the moisture out of the blister if you keep rubbing them over it. I've tried it to a small extent but didn't get dramatic results.
     
  5. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    yep, pop it & smear it with super glue. it'll crack a bit & you may have to re-apply.. just add a ton of layers & you'll be ok. i've done it many times.

    was this @ steamers?
     
  6. It's stuff like that which is why I'll never do a practice the same day as a gig. Doesn't leave you fresh enough for the show. You should really get on your band to be ready _before_ the day of the gig.
     
  7. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    That was the original plan, and in retrospect the pre-show rehearsal was totally unnecessary. So ready, in fact, that I had too much fun rehearsing and it bit me in the arse later on..
     
  8. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    It was, in fact, at Steamers! Were you there? I'd love to get feedback on the show from a Talkbasser!
     
  9. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    no, I wasn't ... I walked by & heard some music coming from there, but I was on my way to see Sly & Robbie ....
     
  10. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I have to say it seems odd to me that glue would hold up on a well-used bass strumming finger, but I may have to try this sometime. I try to avoid getting the blisters to begin with.. honestly I don't know where this one came from.. I'm going to have to practice more on my own to keep my calluses up I guess...
     
  11. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    it actually holds up surprisingly well... that's why so many people use it... it bonds to skin like nothing else. many doctor use it to seal cuts.
     
  12. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    oh, the other thing that it's good for it if you FEEL like you're going to get a blister, throw some super glue (a few layers... ie apply, dry, apply, dry, etc..it dries in about 1 min), it'll help avoid it getting worse if you need to keep playing.

    I keep super glue in my bag that I bring to all practices & gigs. it's an "essential item" for me, as much as 9v batteries
     
  13. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    See, I like the idea of pre-emptive super-gluing much better than the prospect of popping a blister (yow!) and then applying. Any particular brands that you would reccomend? I've already got a screw-driver in my kit.. may as well have some super glue too!

    And from a technique perspective (gluing, not playing) .. do you apply it to the whole pad of your finger or.. ? And how many layers is enough, in your opinion?
     
  14. mactac

    mactac Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    hahha. i just use crazy glue or 'super glue' ... i think it's all the same thing

    i put it on the whole pad of the finger & apply about 5-6 layers or so... maybe more. it will affect the feel of the string obviously, but it's better than bleeding fingers :)

    if we have a break between sets, i often re-apply
     
  15. How you feel about the gig can be very far off base from how the gig actually went sometimes. You could be stressed, in a funk, just plain out of sorts or way too amped - you can rely a little on your impression of the gig, but go to the tape for the real answer. My bet is that unless an actual train-wreck occurred (you completely drew blanks on tunes or the drummer fell over drunk mid-song one too many times) - you were probably just fine.

    Super Glue is an amazing substance. (Kids, don't try this at home) - I was clumsily cutting the casing off a really good salami and ***slip - STAAAAB!!!*** - right in my left palm at in between the base of my thumb and index finger... I could see bone... uhhhh.... I don't feel so good... I can't handle needles and the idea of going to an ER for stitches left me quivering...

    I washed the thing off - if I held my thumb in, it would stop bleeding - to I held my thumb in... slathered a nice coat of super glue over the gash and waited. 20 minutes later I moved my thumb - no blood... cool. next day it was starting to mend - a week later you could not even tell it happed. No scar - no nothing. Super Glue rocks.
     
  16. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Holy crap.. I could see super glue on a blister, but self-application on a cut that should need stitches - impressive! I'd be a little worried about glue in the bloodstream, but you survived, so you must have done something right! Has anyone tried using liquid bandaid or liquid skin instead of superglue? Someone said it work well, but it seems a poor substitute for superglue somehow. Maybe not..

    I think you're right about the gig, but I still haven't been able to look at the footage, so I won't know for sure until I do. I'll post up some choice clips when I can :)
     
  17. badstonebass

    badstonebass

    Jun 7, 2006
    ohio
    I am a taxidermist and cuts are the order of the day. I worked 17 years in medical as well and I don't EVER want to set foot in a hospital unless absolutely necessary. I have repaired some pretty hair raising cuts with super glue....it works. Washing the cut prior is very important though and you HAVE to keep an eye out for infection.

    On another note I use a pick when I play so :crying: for you guys:D
     
  18. At our last gig I was getting some nasty blisters on my right hand (my fault for not practicing consistently enough with my p-bass before the show). I ended up playing a lot of songs with a pick and they sounded fine. Kind of handy to be able to play using either technique.
     
  19. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    +1 to superglue on lacerations. Doctors in the ER use it all the time and I've used it for cuts and it works fine. I never get blisters on my fingers from bass playing because my calluses are too thick. :smug:

    With regard to not playing your best at a show, the important thing to remember is if you act like the show is going the way it's supposed to go, then the audience will respond favorably. You can get away with a lot of foul ups as long as you project confidence and don't start to behave self-consiously. Even mistakes that are obvious to everyone in the crowd or (as in your case) zooming through songs at lightning speed isn't a big deal; just keep that connection with the crowd and everything will be okay. :bassist:
     
  20. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Well I've seen the video footage and it definately is better than I had thought, so that's good. I can tell that we speeded up in places I don't think it would have come across to the crowd. I've gotta slice it up a bit to make it easier for people to download (maybe I'll put it up on YouTube for the sake of convenience). The only thing that I can tell is a little troublesome is some of the vocals, though our vocalist is aware of his limitations and he has been wanting to find someone else to do vocals for quite awhile now. Once I get it posted I would very much like some feedback!
     

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