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Weird Gig

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by basscentric, May 21, 2005.

  1. basscentric


    Feb 22, 2005
    I wish I could say this was a totally original never happened to anyone before story. But, I doubt, that's the case.

    My band was booked to play a bar attached to a faux upscale seafood restaurant. We agreed with the booking manager at the bar that there would be a 3 dollar cover charge and that the house was going to provide someone at the door. We were told that there would be an opening band and that we would hit the stage sometime between 9-930 depending on how they were doing.

    I sent an email to tell him when we were arriving and confirming the approximate time. He wrote back and said that there was no longer going to be an opening band, he had a gig himself that night 30 miles away and wouldn't be there and that if it looks lame at the venue we don't have to play but would get some free drinks.

    I had a small group of friends coming bc it was a few towns over so we decided that we were going to play regardless. Shortly after we started setting up some hippy folks came into the bar section and asked when the band were coming on. I was pretty psyched bc those folks are our base outside of friends and family. I talked to them for a few moments. Once I finished chatting, I had this grand illusion that other people wearing Guatmalan print pants would be arriving to hear us play. No such luck. My friends and family showed up and we ripped into our first song. The hippy couple and someone who worked in another part of the established approached us about feedback from the house pa system.

    There was this akward pause were we weren't playing and my guitarist was getting defensive about the feedback reiterating to folks that it wasn't our PA and saying "how's that, is that better?" and then hearing someone respond "a little but i still hear it...it's really really bad."

    I'm a very nervous person by nature...and Im standing there like a &*$%#@! idiot holding by bass looking back and forth until we get it fixed, sort of. I felt pretty good once we played my favorite upbeat bluesy funk tune...but, i really felt like i was playing into a vacuum when we played our slow tripped out songs. They're great songs but it's really hard to gauge how it sounds and what people are thinking when there's only 10 people in the place. It was so bizarre.

    After the show, surprisingly, everyone said they loved it. I thought my friends and family were just trying to be nice. But one guy actually told my wife that he thought we were awesome and signed up on our email list. It's only our second gig so we were pretty psyched about that. My father in law recorded the show on video and I couldn't believe how good it sounded.

    Have you guys ever had that experience of feeling like u sound awful but it was really good?

    I learned a few lessons...

    I think we will be slightly more selective with where we gig and try to make sure they have someone who's responsible for their gear.
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    The video will tell all. :)

    I don't trust audiences, I trust myself. You could be great and an audience could hate you, you could suck and they might love you, and one thing I've learned for sure...

    Even if you sucked, people are going to lie and tell you it was great. I'm one of the most honest people I know - and I find myself saying "great set", even when it real bad. Just can't see myself saying... "Maaaan... that was pretty sloppy, you guys need a lot of work."

    The good new if it was a bad gig is that bad gigs make great practices. It's inevitable. You can cosider it one of the many bad gigs you'll probably have, that's now behind you. Better ones are ahead.
  3. All the time, some nights I think we're cooking, the crowd is asleep. Other times I think we suck, women are thowing underwear.

    Civilians definitely can't tell shtuff from shinola. Musicians can distinguish quality in other people, but often are deaf to their own limitations. The people on the American Idol outtakes sort of demonstrate that. Listen to the video, it'll reveal the secrets.

    A lot of time you can play what you think is a really cool complex fill or line, sounds great at the time, but the timing's off cause you're struggling to get the line out and don't notice.

    And many people are horrified to hear themselves on tape, it sounds totally different in the cold light of reality compared to when you were playing, sometimes beer goggles make your music sound almost as good as the sasquatch looks, you know, the one you were hitting on at the end of the night?

  4. basscentric


    Feb 22, 2005
    yeah i remember her. My big thing was that I had no idea how it was going and if it sounded good. Obviously u hear yourself on stage but I don't think one really knows unless they listen to a recording.

    I was talking to a friend of mine who is a professional musician with a recording contract. He told me he once saw the Police play in front of 100 people. He said that they even had this look like they didn't know how it was being received. I guess I always thought it was scarier to play in front of lots of people. I think differently now.
  5. LittleJaco


    Nov 4, 2004
    i always think that, but then i notice the poeple in the crowd are either drunk, not musicians, or friends who wouldnt dare to insult a bass player because they know we're intimidating. that feedback thing has happened for me. my equipment loves to have mood swings and piss me off DURING gigs
  6. MazeMouse


    Jan 27, 2005
    Rules of engagement:
    Not bad -> That was absolute crap
    Reasonable -> Reasonable
    <mass hysteria> -> It was good

    I tend to follow these rules because my vision of how well it went usually collides with the audience's vision.

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