Very Bad Show Tonight!!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by rexspangle, Aug 25, 2001.

  1. Today our band played so bad that I felt like walking of stage.

    Here's all that happened:

    -we were provided with a crappy (understatement) soundsystem so we rented our own.

    - my bass was having some strange problems with staying in tune maybe from the temperature outside I dunno? never happend before like this/

    - Once I finally got it somewhat in tune (couldn't even tune it with a tuner either cause it broke) Our guitarist bumped my tuning pegs with his guitar, made the song even sound worse.

    - the sound quality from the speakers we rented sucked bad (but we got a band discount) But they still sucked they were very muddy and had terrible sound.

    - I invited an old friend to watch us cause he has never seen us before and he left half way through our set.

    It was like everything started going so bad that we began to lose confidence. And we just started to suck. I think it is very humiliating and frustrating when you play live so bad and you know you are 10 times better but what can you do. I guess we all have "off days"

    I guess it is not very tough when you are not serious about a band -if you suck it doesn't matter to much. But when this is everything you stand for promote and back up and you suck it is taken very personal. Especially when you write the music. I thought I was past the days off being a beginner which I am -but it somehow made a comeback tonight.

    anyways I am just very very angry and this will not happen again not to mention we practice 3-5+ times a week and are more than prepared and we blew it!!!!!

    well I guess every one has bad days but why all of us at once.

    ahhhhhhhh just had to vent my anger!!

    see ya

    but the good thing is we got paid $150 for playing and we cut it short to about 30 minutes.
  2. I had a similar experience about a month ago.

    We we're booked to play an art and music fair in a town called Estacada. It's a small former logging town that has maybe a couple thousand residence. We were'nt sure exactly what we we're getting into but it was a paid gig so we felt it was worth the chance. Being the optomist that I am, I figured they would be into a party rock type band as it would give them an opportunity to let loose a little.

    So we get there and find out it's a 'dry' gig (no drinking)- not a great sign for a 'party' rock type band. Looking into the audience, I find the average age of the crowd is probably about 60- also not a very good sign, but the best was yet to come:

    The band that played before us called themselves a 'Cajun Rock' band, but that really coudn't have been farther from the truth. They had a fiddle player, acoustic guitar, bassist and an accordian player (no need for drums). They sounded something like "Lawrence Welk Plays the Blues." I kept looking for bubbles but they never came. Anyway, I knew things were going real bad when the crowd gave them a standing ovation at the end of their set and made them do an encore!

    The interesting thing is we unconciously decided at that point that it didn't really matter, we were going to have a good time whether anyone stuck around to watch or not. As it turned out, the majority of the crowd left, but it didn't really faze us because that's what we expected. The people that did stay had a great time and we got a lot of real positive comments after the show.

    The soundman came up and said we sounded great. He then went on to say that he felt a lot of the people left because we were to loud and they couldn't talk to each other. I told him that's just as well because we came here to have them listen to us and not to each other...I was feeling pretty cocky by that point.

    In the end, I look back at it as a 'bad gig' but the good thing is we learned a lot from it. I guess my point is no matter how bad the gig, you can always take something from it that will help you in the future. You can't if your not gigging. You need to move on to the next show and put the rest behind you. ;)
  3. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    You learn from your mistakes. But you really only made on real mistake(the speakers), the rest of it is bad luck. Don't get bummed! I wasn't when I played a bad gig a little while ago, they are learning expeirences(sp?).
  4. Last night my band played something like that but a little different (or worse?) Let me set the scene. We were playing the dance at a big party school where they had just beat their big rival by two points in a big game. So noone wanted to listen to music. they wanted to party.
    We didn't have a system provided so we decided to rent one. But before we could do that we found out someone had a PA we could use for free. YAH? no bad this PA was the biggest piece I have ever seen.
    My preamp decided to just stop working in the middle of a song. literally.... stop working. works fine now. still havent even figured out this one
    I wish our guitarist was in the tune from the start of the show.....
    Don't even get me started on speakers. We blew one of the speakers before we could even get the volume up to the level where my friend could sing into it and be heard from more than ten feet away.
    My girlfriend walked away and went out to a car in the parking lot where ninety percent of the people who came to the dance were dancing to the persons stereo.
    we were told we could play for two hours, the game got out at 10:15 we got started at 10:30 and the cops pulled the plug at 11:00 without warning
    some other things that went wrong
    -Vocal mic was a big thick wireless which didnt fit in the normal clip so we had to set on top and it kept falling out.
    -Keyboardist kept forgetting to put in the patch for a song before we started so we had to stop and wait for him to find it then start again
    -during a song some girls started booing jokingly and our drummer yelled at them and told them to shut up and start booing. They joined my girlfriend.
    -our soundman couldnt set up in front of us for lack of cables, so he had to run back and forth between the soundboard and the crowd. looked like a goon.
    - and on top of all this, we were nervous, so we didnt do very well.

    All this combined made one really bad show for the audience of ten.
  5. thanx guys!! :)

    I feel much better I have still been beating myself up about it. But I can honestly say hearing your stories makes me feel much more human.
  6. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Friday night turned into a king size clusterf**k for us too.We were all set to do a show with two other bands,with us going on second(which was agreed to when the show was booked),and when we get there we find out there's five bands,with us sceduled to play last.
    Naturally the person who booked the whole deal wasnt there to sort out the mess.And anybody else associated with the place was totally clueless to what was going on,imo.
    So while management chased their tails,the singer/drummer/rythym guitarist were ready to walk out and say screw it.I really didnt care at that point,but for whatever reason we wound up staying to play.
    The show got underway an hour late,and by the time we got on stage you would have thought someone phoned in a bomb scare,cause the place was empty.So we played for the sound guy and bartender,and after the show we all agreed that we should have walked.They already had four bands,they certainly didnt need us(and its not like they were paying alot either).

    Of all the gigs Ive played,this one really left a sour taste in my mouth.Lack of communication on the clubs part lead to a big clusterf**k for everyone.You wont see this one filed under "favorite gigs" anytime soon.

    Enough rambling(sorry XG :D)
  7. AlexK


    Apr 10, 2001
    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

    Something always goes wrong when I play with other people. I've had broken cables, my jack always screws up(I really mean that, I haven't had a gig where that damn thing didn't come off), I've had a battery run out of juice right before we were going to play(thank God I brought an extra). You should really expect those kind of things to happen.

    Of course, this is nothing compared to what you guys went through. Just from reading this stuff I feel a whole lot better:D

  8. Gee Thanks.....
  9. DTravz


    Sep 2, 2001
    We we're booked to play an art and music fair in a town called Estacada. It's a small former logging town

    Ah, the old logging town gig. I remember we did one in upstate NY once. A 4 hour drive due North into the Adirondack Mountains, getting lost, poor directions from the agent, finally finding the road...the dead end dirt road about a mile long with little one-room tar paper shacks lining both sides of the road, (where the loggers lived in the boom-town days of the 30's). Didn't know who was now living in them, didn't want to know.
    Finally got there. It was a HUGE old victorian hotel that was built to cater to the loggers. Now, just a bar with a band every Friday/Saturday night. We get rooms mattress has a large indentation in the middle of it...probably the original mattress used thousands of times..hey, look, probably the original sheets too. But they were washed at least 6 months ago. An old guy and his wife ran the place, nice enough, got us some dinner, (didn't dare inspect the kitchen), let us set up and do a sound check. So far, so good.
    Time to start...about 80 people in the place...we do our thing...people dance...great! Things are well. All of a sudden, guy at table by wall jumps up and hammers the guy at the next table 'cause he 'thought' the guy was looking at his gal. Everybody starts fighting...we stop playing and protect our gear. Fight's over, we continue playing until the next fight...stop playing...protect gear...yada...yada...yada. It was like that both nights. At least we were never involved in any of the brawls. (Yeah, we wanna play here again).
    Oh yeah, about halfway through the first song of the night on Friday, a local female...about 40...shy several teeth...weighs about 78lbs., whips off her dress, has on a little black bikini and high white boots, jumps onto the stage and starts dancing, as if she's part of the band. We look at each other and just keep on playing. She did that all weekend. The locals tell us, 'Yeah, Mary does that with every band'. Many other bizarre things happened during those 2 days...(now that I think about it, maybe THIS WAS Hotel California), too numerous to mention. But we did find out that there was a State Institution a few miles from there and many of our attendees had a folder with their name on it in the file cabinet. (No lie...ya just can't make up stuff like this).
    When we get done playing and go to our rooms, we find other people sleeping on the floor, who turned out to be customers too drunk to find their way home. All the rooms had inner doors that lead to the adjacent rooms. So, when you got too drunk to find your car keys, you went into the first room to collapse, but if already occupied, you would go through the inner door to the next room...etc., until you found a clear spot. No doors locked!!
    Somehow we got the job done, actually got our agreed-upon money and GOT THE HELL OUT OF THERE, obviously never to go back.
    Now let's hear about some miner town gigs!!:rolleyes:
  10. Well fortunately, this last week we went in and repaired the damage we had done earlier. It was at the same place, at a big labor day festival, and the people loved us. We even had people come up and dance for us. It was cool
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    DTravs ~ shoot, sounds like the ultimate bitchen gig to me. Reminds me of a gig we did over 20 years ago out in a small hick town outside of San Diego (Johnstown). We took the gig on a phone call, and when we showed up, it was a run-down old house out in the sticks with at least 100 motorcycles parked all around (this was before yuppies bought up all the bikes, so we knew it wasn't going to be the brie-and-champagne set). Judas H. Priest. At least 20 Hell's Angels in colors. As we drove the van down the dirt driveway, this really bad-looking mutha comes walking up to the van as we stop, and says, "If anybody gives you guys any sh*t, let me know and I'll kick their ass!" Whew! That made us feel better. We're thinking, "Hope we leave alive and with at least 50 percent of our gear." So we parked the van, and about ten other ugly muthas come up and spontaneously start unloading gear. "Where do you want it?' "Uh, right over here." We were set up in about five minutes. Lordy. So we played the gig to this crowd of bikers, who were drunk, drunk, drunk, and it was one of the most appreciative audiences we ever had, before or since. At the end of the gig, we got paid, and several of the bikers who were still conscious helped us load every single piece of gear back into the van. We had to be careful not to trip over all the guys lying out cold in the driveway, though. Now THAT was a gig.

    Nowadays, even when we suck, we don't melt down. We'll be standing around after the gig grousing about the monitor mix or something, and our adoring fans all come up and slather praise on us, probably so we'll still play cheap for them next time, but hey, adulation is adulation.
  12. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I thought I would share this one, which isn't necessarily a bad gig, but a story nonetheless:

    I played with these guys who wanted to be "The Committments," played Mustang Sally and all that. I kept playing with them because they always had these interesting gigs. So the drummer calls me up and says "got a gig Sunday night," which pissed me off cause I worked at UPS and had to be at work at 3am. But he went on to say "its a sorority mixer with one of the fraternitys for PLEDGES of the sorority. They will arrive at 10:30 by bus, we play till 12:30, and they load em back up and away they go."

    I don't know that much about the Greeks, but I do know if you are pledged to a particular house, you want to convey the image of being a fun person so that you will be voted into the fraternity. So here we are, sucking as we did, playing for these poor kids who HAVE to act like this is the best show they have ever seen! You wouldn't want to appear negative now would you?

    So that is how I made the last payment for the tuition for my last semester of college. Make the best out of the strange gigs, they make great stories and besides, what else would you have done that someone else's adventure on TV?
  13. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    We played a show recently with a mystical reggae/hippie band who I won't name out of undue niceness. Well, it was our show and the promoter basically made it "their" show at the last minute because they are soooo big. ANyway, these guys showed up and started playing mr rock and roll cool guy with us, having their manager talk to us instead of talking to us direct, trying to rearrange the bill, etc. Basically acting like @#$holes. We went along as much as we could but stood our ground on the band order, and worked our butts off getting our gear on and off the stage in a timely fashion so they could be on at a reasonable hour, at which time their gyrating cosmically stinky following started gyrating.

    Oh by the way, when we played, all the usual crap happened to me like tuning magically going out, bass amp stopped working (and magically wokred again right before we started, phew!), etc.

    But the punchline is that the next day we find out that we had exactly the same draw for the show as the pretentious rock starts did! And we woulda had more than them if they weren't charging $8 at the door (which they never informed us of) instead of the usual $3-$5.

    I think the thing I have learned from gigs is that anything that could go wrong will, and that being ultra prepared with your music is only the first thing you need to be ready for. You need to be so good at your tunes that you could play them in your sleep. Then you need an extra battery for every device, extra strings/tubes, a contingent plan if your amp goes out (ok, no prob, I'll plug it into the PA), and everything else that can possibly happen. Because for some reason, it does. Beyond that, you just have to give it your all and try to feel relaxed in an unnatural fishbowl environment. Another really good thing to do is to talk to your soundman specifically about sound and lighting. We find that when we take our funky dynamic sound to rock clubs, we get the default rock mix with tons of reverb and big gated/compressed drums unless we make a point of saying that's not what we want. And we have learned to tell them only green and blue lights, otherwise I am literally a puddle by the end of the gig.

    Beyond that, just be yourself and try not to worry about the audience. That's all you can do.
  14. DTravz


    Sep 2, 2001
    Munjibunga...what you said about bikers is so true. We were playing this place when a couple of dozen bikers show up. They walked over and told us that if we didn't know 'Born To Be Wild' they would kick our, we played it from memory and they loved it... I think we played it about 6 times that night...but it saved us from a beating. On break they were the nicest guys to us too.
    So, not only do you have to be well rehearsed, have all the extra strings, picks, cords, and other gear to get through a need to have B2BW on the back-burner ready to go at a moment's notice. You never know when it will save you from an ass kickin'.:D
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    LOL. Luckily, we were playing a lot of Doobie Brothers in those days, so we worked "China Grove," "Rockin' Down the Highway," and "Road Angel" into every set.
  16. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    We played a biker bar once, playing all originals with odd time sigs and such. We didn't know ANY covers. So this one biker gets up next to our drummer and starts telling him to do a drum solo. He was like "nah..." and the guy was like "DO A DRUM SOLO". Next thing we know these huge bikers start yelling "YOU SUCK! PLAY SOME FREAKING MOTORHEAD", at which point we just broke out the heaviest #$#@$ we knew and played as hard as we could for the rest of the night. Seemed to shut 'em up.

    Which reminds me, I saw a bill for Motorhead with Soul Brains (ya know, the BAD BRAINS!!), coming to Portland (where I live). What a bill!