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Playing a show with no sleep?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BKuettel, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. BKuettel


    Apr 8, 2011
    Oneonta, NY
    Have any of you guys ever played a show with little to no sleep the previous night? I'm not talking about like less than 8 hours, I'm talking about like 2 to 3 hours if that.

    I have a show tomorrow and I work nights. Usually I get off at 7:30 but tomorrow it will have to be more like 9. I also unfortunately have a dentist appointment tomorrow at 1:30. So I will get home around 9:30 and sleep until like 12:30, go to my appointment, get back home at like 2:30-2:45. I will then have another hour or 2 to sleep if I really want to before having to start leaving for my gig.

    I have never played a show like this before. I also play in a progressive metal band, so my stage presence as well as my note-playing abilities must be right on.

    The good news is it is a charity event, so the crowd will hopefully go easy on me. :help:

    Any advice or recommendations to dealing with no sleep shows? I plan on downing major coffee and a 5 hour before the show. I would rather play a show wired on caffeine than in a drowsy stupor.:bassist:

    P.S. I cant cancel the appointment. Tried it already. :crying:
  2. boodakon


    Sep 2, 2009
    San Diego,CA
    5 hour all the way dude, lol. coffee will have you doing something else afterwards.
  3. nazroth


    Apr 11, 2005
    tulsa oklahoma
    354 stage light& sound
    red bull + vodka
  4. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    No, but I took my ACTs under these circumstances. Try and just roll with it tomorrow; you'll probably find that you're most tired in the morning and early afternoon, and and as show time comes closer, the natural excitement and anticipation will wake you up.

    If you get hungry, eat small light meals throughout the day and avoid big meals. If you're tired anyway, try some caffeine as you planned, but take it easy because no one wants to be jittery and tense on stage. And of course, try to grab some sleep whenever you get a chance. If you can get in a little while before the show, go for it! Good luck tomorrow.
  5. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    its doable, you just have to focus and get it done.

    I have flown 10 hours and done a show with a 2 hour buffer to get to the venue and do sound check then go on. I have done gigs until 2 am, loaded up, then driven all night to the next venue to do a 11am sound check and then a show at 1 with little or no sleep. All kinds of crazy stories abound in the music biz !

    so, of course it's doable. I don't want to say it's ideal, or that you want to do it this way all the time, but just focus, stay away from alcohol or anything that will distract you or keep you from playing your best and get it done.

    good luck.
  6. BKuettel


    Apr 8, 2011
    Oneonta, NY
    Yeah, I am hoping the natural adrenaline rush of being on stage will help keep me focused enough. That usually peps me up anyway.

    I will have the caffeine in moderation to just help keep me mentally aware as I know the feeling of being too hyper off caffeine. Not fun lol. :bag:
  7. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Know sleep? :p

    No, but Keith Richards has done it probably hundreds of times. Of course, he had copious amounts of...er, chemical support to help him through... :meh:

  8. I was in a fairly successful cover band with 4 other players who all lost their jobs within days of each other during the 80's recession. I was the only one with a full time job, working from 8:00 til 5:00.

    For 2 months we played 6 nights a week with Sunday gigs on our supposed day off. Fortunately I was young enough to survive on sleeping in 2 or 3 hour shifts but it was a killer. I couldn't do a stretch like that again but certainly could for one night.

    Once everyone got back to work we went returned to the convention/private function circuit we had been successful at before. Still did the odd local night club gig but not more than one per month.
  9. BKuettel


    Apr 8, 2011
    Oneonta, NY
    Lol nice catch, I guess I already am pretty tired. ;)
  10. She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie...

    :hyper: :D
  11. Not yet

    Not yet

    Mar 26, 2012
    pull your energy off the crowd....you won't crash till you get home
  12. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    There have been a few weekends I got home from a Saturday night gig at 3 or 4 in the morning and was at church by 8 to play multiple services there.

    That was pretty brutal and so while I still do Saturday night gigs and I still play at my church, it's only ever one or the other on a given weekend anymore.
  14. When my son was born...

    I was working on a Friday. Went in at 9am that morning, got the call he was on the way about 3pm that afternoon. Went to the hospital, little dude wasnt born until 5am the next morning. I napped for about an hour that afternoon, went to the gig that night (It was the last night of a month in a club). Played four hours, went back to the hospital and stayed up all night because the little guy had gas and cried all night. Finally got to sleep about 8pm Sunday night.

    I was pretty jazzed because he was finally born so didnt really have trouble staying awake. As someone previously said, feed off the crowd...

  15. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Just last night. Had 2 hours sleep Tuesday, got up and drove 10 hours, got 3 hours sleep, got up and drove another 7. Go straight to the club, set up, soundcheck, go to hotel, shower, back to the club and play 4 hours.

    Mistakes were made :)
  16. Musicians get to sleep?
  17. theretheyare


    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    Worst I had was a gig in Berlin, Germany which took an 8 hour drive from Amsterdam after the workweek, play the sweat-drenched show, then 2 hrs sleep, then drive back 8 hrs to do a show on Sunday afternoon close to home (thank God).

    Can be done, IME, as long as it doesnt happen every week(-end). Just stay relaxed, and it really helps to share cars, so there are multiple drivers/map readers/people keeping company etc per vehicle.
  18. BITD, I used to gig 3 nights per week, and work a 60-70 hour-per-week dayjob. Home from gig at 3 am, 2 hour nap, up at 5, work 12 hour shift, repeat Thurs, Fri, and Sat, sleep most of the day on Sunday. Doing the gig won't be terribly bad as long as you stagger your caff-pow intake to offset the dreaded crash. After the gig, however, all bets are off. Caf-crash, adrenaline crash, and lack of sleep will then kick your butt. You may want to have a chauffeur for the ride home. Good luck dude!
  19. I'd like to introduce you to a drink I invented in grad school:

    Biggest cup you can find.
    1/2 Rooster Booster Energy Drink
    1/2 Mountain Dew
    5 Hour Energy Shot

  20. sevdog


    Mar 2, 2008
    That's what I was thinking.

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