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Wackiest "stage" you ever played on.....

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by two fingers, Feb 13, 2018 at 1:00 PM.


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  1. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The recently-revived "Not On Tour" thread got me to thinking.

    What is the wackiest stage you ever played on?

    Now, I don't mean the venue. And no stage at all doesn't count (heck we've all probably been there).

    I mean the stage itself..... the actual structure of the stage.

    Mine was a hot tub. The venue was The Teddy Bear Club in (I believe) Franklin Virginia (circa late 80s?). It was in the common area of a hotel. We were inside but in a courtyard of sorts. All of the rooms (three floors worth) had sliding glass doors that either entered the courtyard (bottom floor) or had a balcony overlooking the courtyard. People staying at the hotel hung out on their balconies and watched. The pool was open to our left. The bar was open to our right. And we set up on plywood that was screwed together in several layers and laid across the hot tub. There was a handrail around us as well.

    I think we played "in the round" once but that was dorky. So from then on we faced one direction.

    And, yes, the hot tub was full of water. Once we got there early and they hadn't covered it yet. So they went and got the cover (that weighed about 200 pounds) and set it on top so we could set up. A couple had to get out for us to get started.

    The tub part is for sure. The rest is "hazy". So if you played there, fill in the blanks for me.

    I know there's a TBer floating around here who did a gig on a pontoon boat. :bassist:

    Whataya got?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018 at 8:33 AM
  2. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    alte-heuwagen-1920.

    Minus the hay. Wobbly, awful sound, no rain protection. We were lucky to get electricity.
     
  3. Crater

    Crater

    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    There was a club - now closed - in Dallas' oh-so-hip Deep Ellum entertainment district that was called July Alley. These geniuses built a "loft" stage above the bar, but it was 'under engineered' so stage floor had a noticeable bounce and sag when loaded with a band's gear. I did a whole gig waiting for the floor to collapse, but it never did.
     
  4. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Not as weird as those, but a basement club that was definitely not up to code. The ceiling was about 7 feet above the stage.
    I was playing in a nine piece African band (fun gig!). Sometimes (like this night) we'd have a fire-eater perform with us.
    Given that the fire-suppression sprinkler alarms were about a foot over our heads, and that Susouko (the fire eater) typically blew bursts of flame that were 3 feet long, this was pretty scary. :D
    I usually looped my cord around the handle of my amp and through my strap so that it wouldn't come loose - when Susouko came onstage I re-plugged my cord in, not looped anywhere, so that if I jumped offstage when the water came on, I'd come unplugged....

    I felt relieved that the fire sprinklers weren't triggered and didn't go off.
    Then I thought about it, and wasn't so sure I was relieved... :D :D
     
  5. Hooligan's in Milwaukee. Wanted to start having bands, but had no room.
    Solution: After the kitchen closed for the day, lay some plywood over the grills. Instant stage!

    My head was actually up in the exhaust vent (I'm 6'-4") and I had to duck down to see anything more than 10' in front of the "stage"
     
  6. GrapeBass

    GrapeBass

    Jun 10, 2004
    Toronto
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    A booth... table removed and benches folded.
     
    TalHaz, mikewalker, bikeplate and 5 others like this.
  7. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Haywagons, parade floats, barns, boats, bandstands in park.... and in a venue once, a few sheets of plywood laid over emtpy beer cases.
     
    Rocker47, mikewalker, McG and 3 others like this.
  8. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Played in a freight car in a moving train. After hours party, San Diego to LA.

    We sat on our amps, feet on mic stands to keep things steady. Horrible gig, dancers stumbling into one another and the band. For the love of it I guess.
     
  9. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    I've played hay wagon gigs - a one hay wagon gig was OK, a two hay wagon gig was "deluxe". Actually, at the 2 hay wagon gig, there were 700 people, the local beer distributor brought a beer truck with taps on the side, etc. It was 5 miles from the nearest paved road, but a heck of a lot of fun. The farm raised pigs among other things, so the food was a pig roast. The food alone was worth it.
     
  10. Look! Here is me actually playing bass for our 1 and only time for the Federation of Loose Musicians. Man what a debacle we are playing in a backyard weird concrete section thingy. Some funny things about this gig. We rehearsed for months indoors and sounded pretty good. Never did we think the big obstacle would be taking it all outside. I was gig ready before these cats who were all in shorts and street clothes. They really looked at me funny when i changed into gig wear :) -the drummer who was kind of a pro hated this whole affair. HA HA man he quit right after. Good guy though.
    band.
     
  11. Wanker_Joe

    Wanker_Joe

    Sep 26, 2017
    One of my bands once played a catwalk at a goth/alt fashion show/music thing in the early 2000s. Our signer at the time thought it was the greatest idea ever, actually, I think he's the one who got us this gig as well (memory hazy). He would strut up and down, posing and flexing. He got to wear one of outfits in the show for our set as well. It was a blast!
     
  12. A flatbed trailer in a parade. Absolutely terrifying. It was bad enough that the temperature was over 100 degrees, but the damn thing kept starting and stopping without warning. A couple of times I thought I going over the side. I had sweat running down my face and blinding me, so I didn't know for sure how much room I had. My amp kept shutting down from the heat. Any kind of monitors were useless. The only plus was that we played the same four songs repeatedly, so we pulled it off okay. Got positive feedback, too. Never again, though. I thought campgrounds were bad, but this? :rollno:
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 8:21 PM
    Morrighan, ICM, mikewalker and 3 others like this.
  13. JRA

    JRA what key? Supporting Member

    a revolving stage --- but it wasn't meant for performances: it was meant for mannequin displays...it was the grand re-opening of a department store. jazz trio. we'd play a few tunes and stop because the house-electrical-guy had to unplug the extension cord and unwind it to plug it back in for a few more revolutions. it was crazy stupid! :roflmao: it was the marketing gal's idea (our boss). but after a while, we convinced the house-electrical-guy to stop the d**n thing and find something better to do, to which he agreed.
     
  14. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    A greenhouse. It was awful. Scorching hot, and this moldy black mulch on the floor. Hard to say what all we breathed in that day, but I was totally sick the next day. Probably from dehydration.
     
  15. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I played on the back of a small flatbed truck during a 4th of July parade. The truck was owned by a drag racer and he was towing the dragster behind the truck. The exhaust was pointing toward us and at several times during the parade, he started the dragster, sending exhaust fumes directly at us. There was also the issue that every time the truck moved or stopped, the microphone stands would move and on more than one occasion, hit us pretty hard in the mouth.

    The other stage was at an outdoor venue. I noticed that in the middle of the stage, there was a large square in the floor that could obviously be removed. When I asked what was under it, I was told it was a hot tub and there was going to be a wet t-shirt contest while we played. Very strange gig.
     
  16. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Pretty much just like this in the middle of a small towns block party. Creaking, wobbly, scary so I didnt move around much lol
     
  17. SLO Surfer

    SLO Surfer Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Morro Bay, CA
    In order of weird to weirder:

    Flat bed trailer with a pop-up tent at a lake parking lot. (not THAT weird)
    stage, lake.

    Stage in the middle of a Best Buy in San Bernadino. (ok, this was pretty weird)
    stage, best buy.

    Plywood on a hydraulic car lift in a barn.
    stage, barn.
    This was one of the funnest AND weirdest stages (and gigs) I've done. We played three sets here, and each set we came back to the stage being slightly higher and higher. This pic is as we finish our first set break. It was a private party out in the hills of Nevada near Carson City, where tons of people were partying, camping, and riding motorcycles/ATV's up in to the hills. We got to ride around on other peoples vehicles during our set breaks, and then after the show the owner took us way up to the top of the mountain. We ended up rolling one of the ATV's down a hill and having to tow it back down. (almost killed our guitarist who was on it as it rolled!) I had dirt in my eyeballs when I got home at 3:00am.
    stage, dirt eyes.

    Here is our drummer on an ATV and our big guitarist/singer on a little motorbike during our first set break.
    stage, drummer. stage, guitiarist.
    Sorry I shared more than just the stage. This post just brought back some great memories of a really unique gig.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 5:04 PM
  18. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    We played on a very narrow wagon once in the '80's. We did a lot of Who at the time and during Pinball Wizard we heard a terrible crash and scream from the drummers direction. We thought he was just channeling his inner Keith Moon until we looked back and he and his drum kit were gone.......flipped right off the wagon. This particular outdoor field party was on the same day as Live Aid...we called it Cool Aid.
     
  19. BrentD

    BrentD Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    It was like a haywagon gig but was a flatbed trailer. I'm not sure it was a full 53-footer but it was big and high off the ground. It had a wooden bed, though, that had holes in it. We had to keep on each other all night so nobody stepped in a hole - your whole leg would disappear!
     
    mikewalker, McG and jamro217 like this.
  20. Played a bowling alley in Christiansburg VA when I was in college. They set up a stage about half way down the lanes. Bowling balls whizzing by us the whole time. The sound of the pins falling totally drowned out anything we were doing.
    Getting off the “stage” I learned just how slick those lanes are, busted my butt for all of the Thursday night league bowlers to see. Of course the PBR and Old Milwaukee could have played a part as well.