Strangest gig I have ever done or seen

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by realbadgroove, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. realbadgroove

    realbadgroove Guest

    Apr 12, 2008
    My band did a gig about a year ago and it sounded really sweet on paper we would be playing a large gym with a few thousand people and the money was good so we went ahead and signed on. We showed up the place was huge and there were about 2000 people there but here is the catch. In my mind I had pictured a stage well no stage we were setup in the corner almost under a over hang which did not sound good and then we came to find out it was a church event for young people mostly 18-20 year old girls doing some sort of sleep over walk for life thing.... Who knows but they walked in circles on a track while we played and really didnt seem to care to much about the music. I am still confused to this day, I have pictures some where but could not find them. Talk about a wierd gig and a bad time. Need less to say I play in a jam band and we smoke and drink and play in clubs, bars and music halls never have I played for 2000 teen girls walking in cirlces for an hour, that was a trip. They didnt say anything about any of this when we were contacted. All we knew was they were selling tickets and we would be playing with two other bands.....
  2. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    I was 19 years old in 1981, and in my second "pro" band; I had moved out of my mom's and into the group's New York City "clubhouse" about 6 months earlier, where we lived together like the Monkees, only way poorer and dirtier.

    ANYWAY, some time in June the band readies for a well-paying recurring gig, which these "older guys" I was now playing with had been doing for a few years before young-pup Lowbrow replaced their departed bassist. As it turns out, this gig was a junior high-school year-end dance that uncannily happens to take place at MY former junior high!

    Very weird to return to that school courtyard as a musician, and have my former teachers come up to me during set breaks to see what I was up to ... and me a one-semester community college dropout, working as a messenger and living the dream as an aspiring rock star. Nice try, faculty!

    P.S the kids liked us and we got free sandwiches.
  3. Thor2


    Sep 30, 2006
    I have a list of weird gigs as long a a 35' scale neck.

    One was a fundraiser for a local alderman in Chicago. Played in a Chinese restaraunt with small kids running around and a good 50% of the audience were AARP members. At least the waiters would swing by periodically and leave us a plate of potsickers to munch on between sets (yes - we actually played more than one set in this nightmare).

    Second was in a book store (we were on the bill with some poetry reading) - no we were not a coffee house acoustic band either (we were an electric 5 piece + lead singer). The area was so small that the violinist was in a different aisle than the rest of of the band, so I was having to fire him cues the whole time. Thankfully this was a single set ordeal.

    It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll (and sometimes you just sorta live at the bottom....)
    Good times.

  4. Thor2


    Sep 30, 2006
    Sleep over walk - hmmm. Were they wearing sleepwear? Might have made the gig a bit more enjoyable, though probably even more surreal.
  5. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    My fav oddball gig was playing for LINC - the Lesbian Club of North County (san diego). The gal who fronted the band, even though she was married, has quite the lesbian following. So we play in this office building for about 50 lesbians who are, almost to a woman, fully penile-hostile... I mean MEAN, glaring, snarling mean - and ugly. It was just STRANGE... I recall an elderly couple of gals were there who were very nice and a bit apologetic about "the youngsters" but aside from them... hoo boy!

    That and playing in an instrumental King Crimson style band in a downtown San Diego upscale Mexican restaurant during dinner. THAT was odd... and unfun...

    And another band, playing in biker bar where it apparently was "Swinger's night" so we all got invited to multple "parties" after the gig... but all the "Swingers" were at last 50 and.. how to say this - they looked like they had been riding awhile...
  6. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Didja at least go to one of the parties to bring them some water and crack jokes?
  7. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    A few years ago I played in a trio that was best described as "alternative blues" Good band... I miss those guys... anyway we signed on to do a similar gig for a church New Years Eve thing- roughly 250 or so teens and college age adults were there for the deal- There was another band before us, but we were supposed to be "THE" show... they had posters printed up and everything- (mind you we were being paid well too) after our sound check we went backstage, had some pizza, hung out etc... as the other band played and cleared off. Sometime between our soundcheck and when we went on, the organizers had brought in a VELCRO WALL, SUMO SUITS, and JOUSTING PEDESTALS... we rip into our set thinking that was for AFTER we finished, but no... a few songs in and it's game time and for the next hour we pour our hearts and souls out for the enjoyment of the ONE KID THAT STOOD IN FRONT AND STARED AT US... motionless. mouth open... God bless that kid but he creeped me out.

    Same band- a few months later, were asked to play again for a church- this time for a youth rally where the speaker was one of these guys. We go on after him- and the kids are into it- they dig it- so much better than NYE- a few songs in, oh wait- what's this the FRIGGING MEATHEAD WALKS OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR SET AND SITS DOWN ON THE FRONT OF THE STAGE AND STARTS HAVING KIDS COME UP FOR HIM TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS!!!

    It's so much more pleasant to have drunks ignore me and stumble over nothing than that nonsense. I'll never play in those sort of situations again!
  8. tareh

    tareh Guest

    Nov 5, 2008
    One time, the band played a show were no one turned up. eventually, the organiser had to call in the security guards the gardener the guy who fixes the toilet and the parking booth guy. in the end, 8 guys appeared. haha
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    If forgot to mention the gig where we were supposed to headline at this club (showcase thing)... and no one was there but the sound guy. We get ready to and about 10 older men wander in, sit down, have coffee and start their AA meeting... They were clearly annoyed we were playing, but were polite enough about it...

    And as far as gigs (in general) where no one appears - That happens all too often when playing original music. Part of the deal, I guess.
  10. KeepEmThumpin

    KeepEmThumpin Guest

    Dec 21, 2008
    You know, I had an odd one, too.

    Last summer, a friend of mine got in touch with me online, told me that he had landed a gig at some Cafe on Manhattan's Lower East Side. I'm like, "alright, cool, get me the details on this thing."

    He never does.

    A month or so later, he gets in touch with me again talking about a gig. I was glad to finally hear some details, although I thought the location was kind of odd. Instead of the Lower East Side, it was some address in Crown Heights. I thought, okay, perhaps I heard him wrong.

    I get there.

    It's a church.

    So I set my Double Bass down, had a seat, and proceeded to be puzzled. The sound guys show up, I say I'm running DI (I had been told, after all, that there was decent backline), and it wasn't really a problem, they just had this really antiquated system. Again, not a big deal, but it was a little odd.

    I go out to get some lunch, figuring I'll get dinner after I get paid. I took advantage of being in conch country and walked into a West Indian place. Got the worst conch roti I've ever had, went back, and waited some more. My bandmates arrived, lots of people arrived, and this all just got stranger and stranger.

    I found out from my friend, the keyboardist, that his mom wanted a birthday party for her father. She also wanted a band but didn't want to pay for one.

    Uh oh.

    Yeah. So it was NOT a paid gig. I was the only white person in the building, and apparently the only one who did not speak creole, and I was getting serious looks. At one point, a woman walked up, handed each of my bandmates a bottle of water, and walked away. Yeeh.

    I got some praise as 'dat white boy who play de bass,' and it was a lot of fun overall. I've come to reconcile it by saying, "I got paid in about a week's worth of food all at once."

    I did. Evidently, Haitian people know how to FEAST. I mean wow. Feast and sing weird karaoke. Yep. That was my gig.
  11. bThumper38

    bThumper38 brian ebert

    O.k. here's the strangest gig I've ever seen. A nameless friend of mine in Chicago who was involved in doing live videos for groups, and needed an extra camera man, so he hired me. I used the camera way in the back, wasn't terribly hard. So were down in the dressing room with the band, can't remember there name, but they were some kind of trailer trash rock band. so the lead singer is down there in the dressing room, stuffing his tighty whitie's with ziplock bags of ALPO dog food. so i'm kind of wondering what the hell this is all about. half way through there set, he gives himself the reach around and comes up with handfulls of said item and proceeded to throw it at the audience. I kept wondering the whole time why these people weren't running for there lives or was it some inside joke with all there fans, or was the audience just as twisted as the band. what do ya think=) brian
  12. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    Oh yeah... here's a stranger gig (or series of gigs)... when I was in my junior year of high school, I joined a cover band that boasted a recurring, paying gig -- a monthly dance at a mental hospital!

    The audience was receptive but obviously addled, ranged in age from teen to geriatric, and they LOVED to shake a tailfeather.

    The band was very young and boorish, and couldn't help having a little fun with it (I still wish I could find the super-8 movies we shot one night). Hospital attendants would line the walls ready to spring into action, and they came in very handy one night when we foolishly decided to hold a dance contest. The audience really went for it (as we had hoped), but we didn't count on the highly adverse reaction of the losing entrants! Like the cavalry to the rescue, the attendants waded into the crowd before they could assault the band, and restored order any way they could.

    Hey, I was 16... and I remember that at the time I felt bad for minutes afterward. Looking back, I recognize my callousness... but it still makes a good story (when I can remember it).
  13. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    I was in a band a couple of years back. We got this gig at some club that none of us had ever heard of, out of town. We turned up at the gig when we had been told to arrive, and there was no one there. We sat outside and began calling people, but no answer. Eventually the owner turned up and handed us a microphone (but no stand). When we first spoke to him we specified that we would need 4 microphones, with stands. He grudgingly called some friends and managed to source some more mics and stands, so that was fine.

    He then showed us to a small stage in the bar - it was a pretty big club that had a main room with a big stage and plenty of dancing space, and then the bar was in a smaller back room. We were then informed that we would be playing after the main event, which was to be held in the main room, which we thought was odd. Then we discovered that the main bands were the UK Subs and The Vibrators, who are apparently big on the UK punk scene - proper old school British punk. Now, being a teenage pop/rock band with a female lead singer, we were understandably intimidated by this... then the fans started turning up. Loads of 6ft6 aging punks, covered in leather and chains and piercings, with bleached spiked hair and 12inch mohicans.

    The main bands played, and these punks were getting really into it - throwing themselves around and dancing and stuff. Then they finished and it was our turn - we were convinced that they would hate us, but actually it wasn't bad - I think they appreciated the warm down!
  14. Many years ago the band I was in was playing a show at the town's coolest venue. We were opening for some big-ish band getting lots of radio play (they didn't last long).

    Anyway, we go on stage, the drummer clicks us in and just as we are about to hit the first note the PA goes out and the house lights come on. The owner anounces that there has been a bomb threat and we all had to leave. Now this is February in the world's coldest capital and no one was allowed to get thier coats. Everyone flooded onto the street in t-shirts and -20°C temperatures. The surrounding bars quickly filled up with the audience.

    We had to wait for the bomb squad to clear the club which took 2-3 hrs because the robot could not get up the stairs.

    They never found anything and the show went on.

    We did have two suspects as just weeks before we had fired one of the band members who didn't take it well. My buddies thought it was my ex who I had dumped a week earlier and she was not the most stable girl I've ever met.

    Crazy night but the show was great and the bar owner was buying us all rounds afterwards.
  15. RED5

    RED5 Guest

    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    I've done that gig. It was a "Walk for Life" It's a fundraiser for cancer victims. It was a long hard haul to the stage and we did a short set, but as I've had family involvement with cancer? It was on me and the band, gladly. As it played out? it was a beautiful eerie night, low lying fog over a track behind a large High School. they had lit candelaria round the track for people who had passed and they were just below the kneehigh fog bank with people walking slowly around the track.....very moving sight. You got paid?
  16. I've had a few...

    Played one at a casino for a jumping castle company. They had a giant jumping castle in the room and even had an awards ceremony complete with these expensive looking awards for sales topics so obscure even the MC - who works for the company - had no idea what the categories meant. The people kept coming out and talking to us in the band like we were famous or something, even though we were playing covers. It was all pretty weird, we just ended up laughing at the night and got really drunk in a motel afterwards on cheap red wine.
  17. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    Wow, this thread is really making me realize what a "fun-filled" life I've led... but at least it's getting the brain cells working, and letting me know I'm not alone!

    • Witnessed: The PiL "riot" show
    Originally, Bow Wow Wow was scheduled to perform at NY's "Ritz" nightclub, but they cancelled on the day of the show. As disappointed as I was at learning I wouldn't get the chance to try and make Annabella, I was thrilled to hear that Johnny Rotten and Co. would fill in!

    Well, as the details emerged later, only Johnny and Keith Levine the guitar player were really in NYC, and they just called up a bunch of no-names and had a few hours rehearsal.

    They played behind a screen silhouetted by backlighting, while at the same time cameramen filmed the band and projected the images on the front of the screen. Really a pretty innovative approach when you think about it --but not when the band could not string together a coherent tune and were basically hiding out in the hope that they could get away with it. And, as usual with any gig even remotely related to punk, the skins and mohawks turned up to raise hell.

    Hell was what broke out, with bottles hurled, the screen eventually coming down, the band scattering, and a general real good time. I spent most of the show handcuffed to a young lady with a bleached-blond crewcut who I had met that evening.
    • Witnessed: Stage invasion outshines the band
    A lousy rockabilly band called The Rockats were big in NYC during the early ‘80s. Lackluster, boring, and musically vacant.

    One night they were gigging at a club called Hurrah, when out of the audience crawled Johnny Thunders, Iggy Pop, and Phil Lynott! These three legends took over the stage for a weird jam session that made the coiffed posers look like real lightweights.
    • Played: Wrong gig for the wrong band
    You’d think that the skins and mohawks would have given it up by 1989, but they still turned out in force when a Circus of Power/Cycle Sluts-era hard-rock band I was in got the chance to open for a reconstituted Stiff Little Fingers at Studio 54.

    The "punks" let us know in no uncertain terms that our hair was too long and our songs were too slow. But we beat it out of there FAST after the set, you betcha.
  18. jschall84


    Mar 14, 2007
    fort wayne, in
    Bad MammaJamma
    strangest gig had to be when i played for a very raunchy irish folk band. Every song was about drinking and screwing with lots of swear words in there. The bar scene loved it!! Even so much that we got invited to do a private gig for a friend.
    We show up early to unload. Its a freaking wedding!
    it was certainly interesting to see little kids dancing to such timeless classics like "f*ck you, im drunk". That really made grandma happy. Good thing it was open bar.
  19. wagdog


    Mar 20, 2000
    Der Waffle Haus
    We played at a bar once on the night of a raging blizzard. We go on and no one's there. Ok then, we'll treat it like a rehearsal and just have some fun. Eventually two women come in and proceed to ignore us and get blind drunk. After an hour or so of this the bar owner shuts all the lights off on us, while we are still playing, and starts to lock up. Never said a word to us. He gives the ladies the bum's rush but at least he did pay us. To add to the strangeness we had to give the ladies a ride home.
  20. burkhardty10

    burkhardty10 Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    My band played a wedding rehearsal dinner at an old west ghost town/amusement park on top of a mountain.

    Believe it or not, we played on stage in the saloon. The workers there took us into their costume room and made us put on vests and cowboy hats. We then went out and played rb/funk/jazz. Pretty interesting.