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The best show you've played

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by El Raro, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. This last Saturday, my band played a local show at the last minute. Basically, one of the bands on the bill dropped at the last minute and the promoters insisted on filling their slot rather than having the other bands play extended gigs. I found that odd at first figuring they could save money but I then realised there were only three bands playing that show...and with one down, a two band show seems kinda silly.

    Anyway, my guitarist received the call from the promoter practically begging us to fill the slot. He agreed to do it before he was even filled in on the details. The gig was for the Saturday. He was called on Friday afternoon.
    He called a band meeting and filled us in on the event. I'll be honest, I wasn't overly keen on his hasty decision to play a show with, literally, less than a day to prepare for. However, he was confident in our ability to get our **** together and play the show anyway. So we bit our tongues and formed a set-list.

    Come Saturday, we arrive at the venue. Its a shoddy little bar/venue on the outskirts of the city. Nothing overly horrible but nothing really eye-catching either. We walk inside and notice that the stage is, quite literally, no bigger than the length of two full-size drum kids together. It was a tiny stage which posed some issues for me because we're a very physical and active act on stage so it didn't look like there was much room for us to do our thing and play a powerful set.

    Considering the state of things, we really weren't expecting a big turnout. None of us have really big fanbases, to be honest, and we didn't exactly give our followers much notice that we were performing.
    However, the night that ensued would easily be one of the most memorable nights at a gig that I've come to experience. The first band that performed absolutely dominated the "stage" and really revved up the crowd (who, by the way, surprisngly filled up at least half-capacity....so around at 30-40 people lol). The punters were really into it and the first band left the stage in shambles. "Well, ****" we thought to ourselves. "Maybe we won't get the same reception seeing as we were a last minute thing?"


    The punters went nuts. Whether they knew of our stuff or not, it didn't matter. They were all over the joint and got into every beat we played. This only amplified our stage act and we treated it as it were a normal scale stage. Our guitarist even ran to the far back of the floor where the bar was, climbed on the bar itself and did his thing infront of a possibly displeased bartender haha. A very raw and intense show even for us.

    It could have been due to it being a smaller crowd and venue that made it all the more intimate or maybe it was the enthusiasm of the punters that brought out the energy in us. Either way, we've never played a tighter and more rewarding show as a band and we've been gigging for a good two years now solidly.

    So share your best live performances. WHat made them so special to you?
  2. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Fronting the Atlanta Rhythm Section was probably the best show for a band I was in back in the 90s. We played on their set through their stuff with their sound man. We sounded great! There was a crowd of about 2,000 out there who dug us, too. We never got to meet the guys in ARS, though. I thought that was odd. I don't know where they were. But, it was an outdoor thing with NO cover, and when they came on it started to pour. (Karma got 'em for not meeting us, LOL).
  3. I was in a band that played at the Strawberry Festival in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It's a small town, but this is their big festival for the year. We happened to hit the stage at the peak time. The stage was huge, an bigger then most of the bars we played at! It was dark, so I couldn't see where the people ended in the crowd, but there were probably a few thousand, and lots and lots of 'em were dancing!

    The other one was the Pastime Bar in Truckee, CA. Crappy dive bar, and we didn't think we'd have a crowd. We didn't, but the local vacationers were into us! We had the guitarist up on the bar during some solos, boobies flashing all around, and a hot, sweaty (very, very small) dancefloor. It's a small bar, but we probably had the most fun of any show there. We came back a month later with a guest lead singer, and the same thing happened. Great nights!
  4. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Actually, probably the most impressive show I've ever done was with the Columbia Philharmonic Orchestra. We did Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. What made it so impressive (besides the music itself) was that it incorporated a full orchestra, a full ballet, and a full chorus all at the same time (as per the score). To make it even better the chorus was lined up all the way around the stage, each person dressed in a cloak with a cowl pulled over their head. Kinda spooky-looking. We were down front in the pit. I've never seen anything so awesome!
  5. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    It was our last record release, at a place called the Tractor Tavern here in Seattle. We thought we'd have a pretty good turn-out since the headliner was also having their record release that night. Well, it completely sold out. If I recall correctly it actually caught the venue off guard and I think they had call in an extra bar tender. Our BL was hanging with the bar manager and one of the bar tenders and they said the crowd decimated their liquor supply. We normally have dancers in the audience but that night it was so packed there just wasn't room to dance during our set. It was also the first time we'd played there, making it even more special, and it was a venue we'd set our sights on when the band was first formed.

    That show is probably the highlight of my music 'career'.
  6. Played a gig in Red Deer Alberta once with the first pro sound man I've had the pleasure to work with operating his P.A. We sounded great and along with a beautifuly monitored stage we rocked like we never rocked before a huge great crowd which realy dug our original toons as well. A very special eve to be sure.
  7. The piano player of my jazz combo is a multi instrumentalist in several bands. His cover band got offered a gig which happened to be during the annual jazz festival so he put us up for it instead.

    Some of the imported muso's happened on our little gig and sat on the terrace with some beers. Cool.

    Then they disappeared. Ok, we aren't that great, probably sick of listening to my "extra jazzy" note selections, maybe they have their own gig to go to.

    20 minutes later they are back with their saxes and ask to sit in. Awesome! They killed, we killed, we didn't let them go for about an hour.
  8. The best show I've played with my current band was the last show that we played back on 8/17/2012. The band was on autopilot for the entire gig and we were all at the very top of our game. I'm hoping the next show (whenever that will be) will be a continuation of that energy and performance. Afterall, you are only as good as your last gig and that last one absolutly elevated the band to another level. Pure magic.
  9. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    Two-story (about 80' long) party boat cruise filled with fraternity and sorority members, back in the '70's. Band had nine members and played Funk music. The view from the stage was a sea of dancing, smiling faces all night long. The singer was repeatedly mugged by small groups of girls.
  10. fishtx

    fishtx Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    The "coolest" show we have played might have been opening for Joe Bonamassa and Sonny Landreth...We have opened a lot of great shows, but man...that was so bad a%$ standing on the side of the stage watching those guys TEAR IT UP...incredible. Joe Bonamassa is a really nice cat too...I didn't get a chance to speak to Sonny, but he was freakin amazing...
  11. Best gig ever? Summer 2003, at a campground outside Bellefontaine, Ohio. Wasn't expecting much at all. But there were a few hundred people there, ranging from teenagers to the parents of teenagers, families who were camping for the weekend. The young people were dancing, moshing, jumping, and having a wild time. The older people sat in the back, drinking, smoking, cheering and yelling out song requests.

    We played a Creed song (can't remember which one), and we got requested to play it 2 more times! We obliged, and it was great. They bummed us their smokes, let us drink their beer, bought us pizza, and still paid us $400 (plus there was probably $250 or more in the tip jar!). I was only 21 at the time, and we since played "more serious" gigs. But this is the one I had the most fun doing.
  12. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    summer 1984, youth dance with about 500 kids at it ( I say kids, we were not any older being in our mid teens)10000 watts of Martin and JBL power , cheesy 80's metal covers, much green on our behalf , 40 par 68 can light show, tiered stage, sound AND light man, it was a real production. we rocked the hell out of that place Lead player was hanging upside down from a basketball net soloing , I jumped into the crowd surfed it and got my shirt literally torn off my back, bass player had gotten dragged off the stage( I was 2nd lead player we switched out) we set the stage on fire with pyro , I destroyed an old amp shell with a flaming sword, scared the hell out of the chaperones, they had no control at all , the inmates were running the institution that night. we were supposed to help the sound light and roadie out tearing down , but we were autographing various scraps of clothing that were torn from all of us at various times of the night , many a teenage boobie signed too. The organizers had us back for probably another 10 shows solid after that but told us we had to tone the act down a smidge lol. To this day I still get recognized from that particular show , hard to believe there are some over 40 soccer moms out there that kept a scrap of my shirt with my autograph on it for this long lol
  13. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Playing "Bike Week" in front of 25,000 people. The picture is about 1/8 of the crowd.

    Attached Files:

  14. I played once in a Small town in front of like 20 or 25 people and it was the most loved and best vibe I've ever gotten from a group! I've played in front of thousands before and I would trade those shows for more of the 25 people show!
  15. lbbc

    lbbc Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    My new band "REWIND" just played the Punkin Chunkin 2012 festival. It was extremely cold, but attendance was high. Met the Governor of Delaware, he talked to the crowd during our set...and seemed to enjoy our music. Many of the attendees said they enjoyed our band and want us back!
  16. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    What's interesting is that though I have been fortunate to play every once in a while to audiences in the high hundreds or 1000+, none of those stand out as being memorable in a good way (except for the check at the end of the night). Seems most of the good nights that stand out, even after 25+ years, are situations the OP describes: dive bar in the middle of nowhere, but the envtronment, the band, and the patrons just "clicking". I don't know how else to describe it.
  17. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I usde to play in a small club in Newport, RI that usually had a crowd of about 200 people. They were always into whatever we were playing and some of the best audiences I've ever played for.
  18. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Best live performance?

    Hmmmmm, the next one.


    View attachment 300220
  19. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    Hey, that's my hometown! Have not lived there for years though. You talking about the Pelham?
  20. Vandy

    Vandy Banned

    Dec 24, 2011
    The next one . . .