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The Morgan Hillbillies at the Granada Theatre 3/23/19

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by hdfixer, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. hdfixer

    hdfixer Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Morgan Hill CA
    It was a harrowing evening.

    I'm usually the hyper organized, be prepared for any contingency guy in the band. I'm used to playing ad-hoc venues at wineries, private events, house jams, etc. Somehow the promise of a gig at the new show room in town dulled my spidey-sense. Big mistake!

    Venue is a very swanky renovated old theatre, used for weddings, with a boutique hotel being built next door which will eventually attach. This was supposed to be an easy charity gig, PA provided by the house, bring your own mics, show up and play the big room. Load in was 2-3 PM, soundcheck to be completed by doors open at 5 PM for cocktails in the lobby. At 1:50 PM we get a text: no there is no soundman, and "we thought you were bringing your own PA" (which we do own, but it's disassembled right now between our practice space and storage). We were told we can use the house PA and there are a couple of QSC K12's to use as monitors, along with an iPad so we can mix from stage (sigh). So we proceed to the venue and begin the unload dance. No access to the back load in ramp for musicians so we have to do a street dance and come in the front door (wait it gets better).

    Here's a shot of the house as we start the setup dance:
    IMG_4171 (1).

    The mixer was a Behringer Midas x-32 running a digital snake from stage left:
    IMG_4174 (1).

    So the monitor story - there was only one K12 to be found. And no mic stands/cables. In fact there was almost no 110v power anywhere on stage (there was a huge high voltage box under the piano but all the 110 outlets were used for the lights & flying arrays). So it was back to the practice space for more gear - we decided to use my Fender/Maui stick PA as a stage monitor for the front line due to the inadequacy of the stage power. Once the rest of the gear arrived after futzing with the board (we are all Pre Sonus users) we got a line check, but couldn't figure out how to get any monitors working/anything routed to the stage sends. Our drummer, who was the main contact for the gig, managed to get the guy who usually runs sound there (who was 30 miles away at an other job) to try and talk him through getting something to work, but no, massive fail. So as a last resort we climbed up into one of the house arrays and ran an XLR out of an available link port and daisy chained it to our stage monitors. A hack, but it sort of worked. And no, the AV guy (hired to be DJ and show slides, but is clueless about sound so is just in the way) needs the ipad at the board.

    Heres a shot of the stage before they let the crowd in:
    IMG_4177 (1).

    And here's my rig for the evening (water bottles were hastily relocated) it sounded awesome in the room: IMG_4179 (1).

    "Fun" continued the rest of the evening. We were supposed to do a "softer" first set while dinner was being served, then a second 90 minute set for dancing. We got rolling on the first set, but the room was only 1/4 full. We are all very seasoned players, and after song or two we settled down and did what we came to do. Except the bozo DJ announcer kept trying to get folks to move from the bar into the ballroom, by announcing over the PA as we were playing! And he even left the mic open at one point until we pointed that out to him from stage! Eventually they got folks seated and we did get some nice applause at times as we wrapped our first set.

    15 mins later we start our second set at the requested time and dinners are barely making it out of the kitchen. We press on, laying out some really good tunes, with soulful harp solos and some very fine guitar work. I sang Bertha (Grateful Dead) and got a huge crowd reaction which was nice (even dropped a nice bomb in the solo). Final tune was Brandy (first time we had played it live, one which has been on the lead guitarists bucket list forever) and we got the place dancing mid-meal which was something! After the show we did get lots of compliments which was appreciated.

    In all, always great to be on any stage with my pals making great music, no matter how tough the circumstances!

    We have an acoustic gig at a local taproom in Monday which night hopefully will be free of gremlins ;)
    McG, mrcbass, Mike N and 34 others like this.
  2. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Sounds like you managed it like pros and managed to have fun. Good on ya!
    McG, nixdad and Sore Thumb like this.
  3. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    The halo above the logo is well placed...
  4. G19Tony


    Apr 27, 2018
    Las Vegas, NV
    That's a nice looking room. Too bad it was poorly set up. Thanks for the report. Although, no food or chicks pics. ;)
    McG, kobass and nixdad like this.
  5. hdfixer

    hdfixer Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Morgan Hill CA
    I though so too!
    Sore Thumb and Spidey2112 like this.
  6. bench


    Dec 28, 2007
    what a nice gould... :drool:
  7. Brandy, as in "Brandy, you're a fine girl?"

    A good lesson in taking nothing for granted and making the best of a bad situation.

    And being a bay area kid, I love the band name!
  8. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hi @hdfixer,

    Nice room. The stage looked great after you got everything sorted. It's a shame that at a lot of events the musicians are an afterthought. But you guys pulled it together and made the magic happen. Nice work.

    Do you use your Kala bass for your acoustic tunes? How well does it work? I normally use my Fender Kingman.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Jimmy4string, growlypants and nixdad like this.
  9. red_rhino

    red_rhino Gold Supporting Member

    +1 :thumbsup:
  10. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Supporting Member

    Great job of overcoming adversity, turning a big mess into a good gig. Congratulations. Thanks for the report.
  11. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    Great...effort...all things considered! It never ceases to amaze me that you can have such a nice stage, have a very cool band come in, with absolutely ZERO preparation on the part of the establishment, for a nice evening. Glad you persevered, made everything work, and managed to pull it off!
    McG, JRA and s0c9 like this.
  12. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Same here. I did a gig at "Gilleys" (yes, "THE" FAMOUS one in Dallas last Aug). Some of the band wanted to use our IEM's and run our own mixes. House had Midas M32 console, but I had to bring my own router and show the "pro" FOH guy how to set up stereo mix busses to allow us to run our ears! :(
    All while setting up and trying to sound check.

    Guess he'd never been asked to do that before and was used to running mono mixes to the K12 wedges on stage :)
    McG and BassCliff like this.
  13. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Funny, I went to St. Catherine's as a kid (Riverside) then later played the Granada Theater (Santa Barbara). LOL, names...

    But I wanna know what a "nice bomb" in the middle of Bertha entails...hmm?
    McG likes this.
  14. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Gilley's is (was) in Pasadena, a suburb of Houston. I see that someone's opened a new club named Gilley's in Dallas, but it's not the "FAMOUS" Gilley's of Pasadena.
  15. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    How were the acoustics? Room looks like a barn. I would expect lots of echoes.
  16. BargeOn


    Mar 19, 2004
    They gave you S.Pellegrino water? Classy joint.
  17. Crash 56

    Crash 56

    Mar 13, 2014
    Spokane, Wa.
    What a nice array of basses! I have been drooling over a Status for awhile!
  18. Holdsg

    Holdsg I should be practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    The charity events I have been involved in turned out much the same. The powers that be want a fun event, but have no clue as to what that entails. Word for the wise for those reading this thread.
    McG, DirtDog and hdfixer like this.
  19. hdfixer

    hdfixer Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Morgan Hill CA
    Yes, the Kala works well when you want "thud." The only issue is the output gain is rather low. So to make life easier I have a Radial Mix Blender as the first pedal on my board. Both instruments stay cabled up so it makes changeovers really quick.
    BassCliff likes this.
  20. hdfixer

    hdfixer Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Morgan Hill CA
    Thank you! The workmanship and engineering on the Status is unreal. So is the tone. It's also very lightweight and portable!

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