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LUpton w RB & the Gang in SCC, FL, 5/18/18 ... and soccer?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by LUpton, May 20, 2018.

  1. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    Hi all,

    My 1st attempt at following in the footsteps, and groveling at the feet of, the master, BassCliff, in attempting a gig report or 2. Belay any flogging until the end, if you please, I'm old and decrepit...

    1st off, Friday the 18th. A gig with the 13 member RB & The Gang group. We play 50's -80's tunes to the various retirement communities here in the Tampa Bay area, among other venues. This particular engagement was for the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce Spring Dance, an open-to-the-public, BYOB event held in, well, Sun City Center, a retirement-ish suburb just south of Tampa. Several members of the group live close around here, so it guess it qualifies us as a 'grandad' band. I live across the I-75 from there, so it was a 10 min commute to the gig. Works for me.

    Load out from home goes into my trusty 2015 Kia Soul. 20180518_123605.jpg
    Just big enough to fit my stuff, and gets good gas mileage too.

    The venue is in the middle of a huge golf-course community...
    20180518_140401 (2).jpg

    Here we are...
    20180518_140447 (2).jpg
    It's a decent-sized facility, a lot like many of the other rec centers in the area.
    20180518_140535 (2).jpg

    When I arrive, Mike, our roadie/sound guy, and several of the band are already unloading the trailer. Yeah, we have that much stuff...
    20180518_140743 (2).jpg

    The room is almost as big as a high-school gym, with a large stage set into one wall. The setup dance begins - we bring our own PA and some staging for every gig.
    20180518_141223.jpg 20180518_141237 (2).jpg
    20180518_143812 (2).jpg
    Mike has a novel approach to PA cable storage and transport...a file cabinet. Mics in a drawer, mic cables in a drawer, power cables in a drawer, etc... The cabinet stays in the trailer on his property. We also rehearse at Mike's house. He gets 2 shares of the pay split for his troubles.

    PA gear consists of a Soundcraft digital mixer w stagebox, Turbosound mains, and JBL + misc stage monitors. We pretty much fill up the stagebox...
    20180518_164441 (2).jpg 20180518_164014 (2).jpg 20180518_150038 (2).jpg
    The Carvin power amp runs part of the monitor system.

    Guitarist Eric runs a Mesa amp and a new-to-him Line 6 processor.
    20180518_160936 (2).jpg 20180518_160947 (2).jpg
    I'm helping him get it all organized. He's an ex-metalhead trying to wrap his head around pop/R&B guitar playing. He's getting there, slowly but surely.

    My arsenal for the night:
    20180518_170614 (2).jpg
    Bacchus 533 5 string (acquired from TB classifieds) w Delano pickups and EMG preamp, and a recently acquired (again from TB classifieds), soon to be the subject of an NBD post, Warmoth 32" Jazz w Delano and Nordstrand pickups and MM-clone 2 band pre. Amp is a Carvin BX1500 into a Fearful 15/6. The Carvin is normally the backup to my Mesa D800, but it took a tumble during load-in today and stopped working...argh...so the Carvin was pressed into service.

    Here's the rest of my office. Music stands are NOT optional with this group. There are many custom arrangements, medleys, and key-adjusted-for-singers songs in the repertoire, plus 3 horn parts for 75% of the tunes. As I am MD for the group (I didn't jump, I was pushed...),I write the arrangements and horn parts, along w playing bass.I also run monitors from the Ipad in my spare(!) time...
    20180518_161130 (2).jpg
    The other tablet is a 13" Android running the SetList Helper app. I make PDF's of the charts and display them there during the show.

    Stage is set, awaiting soundcheck. We've played this room about a dozen times, so soundcheck is mostly a formality.
    20180518_183046 (2).jpg
    It takes a good sized stage to hold a group of this size - 6 singers (3 male, 3 female), std rhythm section, and 3 horns.

    Okay, enough of this junk. Back in the next post to play some tunes so folks can dance.
    SWRnut, Sore Thumb, mikeyjm2 and 19 others like this.
  2. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Wow! That is quite a production! But I do love playing in big bands. It looks like you guys do it right. Break a leg! :)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    pjbassist, kobass, McG and 1 other person like this.
  3. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    Now to the gig - Here is the band:

    Eric on guitar
    20180518_185804 (2).jpg

    Tony on keys:
    20180518_185923 (2).jpg

    Ray on drums:
    20180518_185929 (2).jpg
    Animal the Muppet is our unofficial mascot...

    Our crack(ed) horn section: Al on tenor sax, Don on trumpet, and Mary Beth on bari sax.
    20180518_185917 (2).jpg
    Don and Mary Beth are married. Mary Beth is also the unofficial 'band mom'. She can barely see over the bari to her music...

    Singerbabes: Flo, Judy and Anita. I'd go on the road backing these three any time...
    20180518_192829 (2).jpg

    The guys: RB, Ron and Charlie. Charlie is not a ghost, just brash lighting. Sound guy Mike took this picture, so I'm gonna pass the buck to him for the composition of the shot...
    20180518_210337 (3).jpg
    RB, on the left, is the BL, and sings baritone and doo-wop bass parts. He has recently recovered from brain tumor microsurgery, and is currently undergoing radiation and chemo treatments. To me, it's a wonder he is at the gig at all...

    A couple of action shots. I realized too late that I didn't have any pictures of me, so look for the ugly SOB back behind Judy...
    20180518_210516.jpg 20180518_210913 (2).jpg
    Again, Mike took these, so I wasn't in control. Sorry...

    Then, we're done. 2 hour and a half sets, over 70 tunes or pieces of tunes (like in medleys), and we still gotta strike and get outta Dodge.

    One each tired-a$$ bass player drives home...
    20180518_231135 (2).jpg
    Still have another days work tomorrow - something completely different...

    Thanks for looking. Sorry about the lack of CAS and food shots. My dinner was from Subway, if you can picture that...
    SWRnut, Sore Thumb, mikeyjm2 and 20 others like this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    BassCliff and you are running neck and neck. :)
    Spidey2112, pjbassist, McG and 2 others like this.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Cool setup! What a group! 13 piece rock 'n roll band. And one guy gets an 2nd cut.

    Do you always perform with all the members?

    Nice job with the pics and story.
    pjbassist, McG and arca_tern like this.
  6. pasmithy


    Jul 7, 2011
    SE PA
    Smile! Looks like a great time... :)
    LUpton likes this.
  7. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    WOW!! (I'm no kid, myself, but you guys [and gals] are kicking it!!). Awesome gig report. Thanks for posting, and always remember, you gotta have some food shots - dbase'll have a cow!
    McG, BassCliff and pudgychef like this.
  8. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    And now the soccer part.

    I freelance doing audio for TV sports, and one of my ongoing gigs is working for the Tampa Bay Rowdies organization (in the USL minor-league), mixing their game broadcasts for local TV, and sometimes ESPN3. The games are held in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, FL, across the bay from where I live, so I have a picturesque drive to work on those days, over the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
    20180519_123046 (2).jpg
    The stadium is Al Lang Field, a former minor-league baseball park, located right on the waterfront in downtown St Pete. This is the view from one of the stadium entrances: 20180519_125313 (2).jpg

    On Saturdays, the parking lot is filled with an event called the Saturday Morning Market. There's lot of food and other stuff for sale. It runs til 2 PM, then the lot has to be a real parking lot again. Part of this lot, and the street in the previous picture, is cordoned off every March to become part of the St Petersburg Grand Prix course, the opening event in the yearly Indy Car race series.
    20180519_125408 (2).jpg 20180519_130007 (2).jpg

    It has been very rainy in Florida this past week, so when I arrive, I am not surprised to see the grounds crew working with the field tarp. This can cover the entire soccer pitch, and must have cost a pretty penny...
    20180519_125620 (2).jpg

    The small broadcast facility is permanently installed in the press box area of the former minor-league baseball stadium.

    This is my 'office': 2 Presonus mixers ganged together into a 48 in, 8 group, stereo out configuration, plus the usual spkrs, video monitors, and other peripheral gear, and crammed into a former radio announce booth. Yes, I actually use 40 of those inputs for this show.
    20180519_131507 (2).jpg

    Here's the real announce booth:
    20180519_131132 (2).jpg 20180519_131140 (2).jpg
    The huge TV in the 2nd shot is used as a backdrop for the announcers when they are doing their 'stand-up' portions of the broadcast.

    This is the control room. It's not a $10 mil TV truck, but it does the job, and in HD... 20180519_131153 (2).jpg 20180519_131200 (2).jpg

    This is where the instant replay machines are controlled. It's all video servers - not a single actual videotape machine in the building.
    20180519_131212 (2).jpg

    And this is Engineering. The guy on the left, Tyler, controls the cameras, tweaking them so they all look matched when cuts are made. Ed, the guy on the right, is the chief engineer of the facility. All of the equipment mainframes are in here, as well.
    20180519_131118 (2).jpg
    We use 10 cameras on the show, and this is just for a local/cable broadcast. Think of how much stuff is used for something like the Super Bowl...

    Another shot of the stadium and surroundings, plus the very cloudy sky. Tampa Bay got drenched later in the day, but the field was in good enough shape to play on that night, thanks to the cool tarp. The Rowdies managed a 2-2 tie against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last night.
    20180519_131351 (2).jpg

    Thanks for looking at my 'other' gig !

    Attached Files:

    Holdsg, grinx, pjbassist and 8 others like this.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Lots of stuff for a minor league team!
    What are the 40 inputs used for?
  10. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    Thanks! I am still not worthy. I did this since this is our last gig til August, and our BL Ray (RB of RB and the Gang) is going to be undergoing radiation and chemo treatments for cancer during that time. We already have stuff booked into the fall and New Years, so the band will be carrying on when he gets well.
  11. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    Yes, it's always everybody. Ray (RB) doesn't believe in cutting the group down so some can play while others stay home. It's also a 'retirement' band, so no one depends on the income from playing, which is good, since we only play one or two gigs a month.

    Mike's 2 cuts of pay are worth it to us - he transports and stores the band gear, we rehearse at his house, and he runs live sound. I did the majority of the initial PA setup as far as board presets, routing, and assignments go, but he pushes faders at the gigs. I can't do it all...
    pjbassist likes this.
  12. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    I left it all at the gig...
  13. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--

    Re: food shots - do you really wanna see me scarf down a Subway sandwich between soundcheck and the gig?

    I didn't think so...
    growlypants likes this.
  14. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    Let's see,

    3 announcer headsets - 2 main, 1 bkup
    2 announcer hand mics
    2 wireless mics for field reporter - 1 main, 1 bkup
    3 mics for the pregame show - 2 main, 1 bkup
    1 ref wireless mic - split from house PA
    1 wireless mic split from the house PA for National Anthem only
    House PA line feed
    2 crowd mics (stereo pr)
    2 mics on handheld cameras
    8 mics to pick up action on the field - 2 goal, 4 corners, far center, near center
    stereo music cue playback from digital cart machine unit
    stereo 'swish' sound from video switcher for replay wipe video effect
    2 4 ch video replay servers
    1 2 ch video replay server
    2 returns from telephone interface units
    stereo CD player playback for incidental music (occasional use only, but when you need it...)
    stereo Ipod/tablet playback for 'something to listen to while setting up' music - mp3, Pandora, etc...

    That's just off the top of my head...
    pjbassist, Stumbo, McG and 2 others like this.
  15. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    Great gig report and super cool line up!
  16. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Nice gig report.
    BassCliff, you got competition.
    pjbassist, Stumbo and BassCliff like this.
  17. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hi Mr. @LUpton,

    Another fine rendition of "What It's Like To Be Most Musicians". Excellent. I was in Jacksonville last September for a week playing a show and all I could think was, "Wow, there sure is a lot of water around here." There are bridges over water everywhere.

    It must be tough to book a band that big. My band varies from four to seven performers depending on the client's budget. I hope RB's treatments go well and you're able to share more gigs. Thanks for taking us along and introducing us to your band mates.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Sore Thumb, LUpton, pjbassist and 2 others like this.
  18. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    This report thread is awesome in so many ways.

    Stumbo said it...

    Thanks for sharing your diverse gigs. :cool:
    Sore Thumb likes this.
  19. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Excellent gig report even without the food and chicks .. good job ;)
    McG likes this.
  20. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Probably too old for this sh--
    Thanks Cliff,

    Yeah, as you know, these 3 hr gigs rapidly turn into 8 hr days with setup and strike factored in... and Florida is indeed very different climate and terrain-wise from SoCal, where you are, and where I lived (San Diego area) for over 40 yrs before moving out here to be with the grandkids. I'm still adapting...

    RB books the band, and currently, we mostly play these retirement community centers for some of their various organizations. We've sort of become the Sun City Center 'house band', for better or worse, over the last couple of years. He's like the grumpy uncle that everyone looks up to because of his experience, and he decided from the get-go that it would be 'everyone or no one' on gigs, and while they aren't paying corporate-style rates for these types of gigs, it keeps us in pocket and gas money, and fosters a sense of family with the inclusiveness. Some in the band want to break out and do a bit more, so we'll see where that goes along with Ray's recovery.

    Thanks everyone for all for the kind words and thoughts,

    BassCliff and McG like this.
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