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weirdest gig ive ever had

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by bassmonkey144, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. so im a highschool sophomore. in the list of bassists well known/good in the school, im around #3. nothing spectacular, even thought my highschool is huge (around 3000 people)

    back to my story. my highschool is well known for our performing arts department. choir, band, orchestra, jazz bands (which im proudly a member of one) and numerous other things. anyway. we have 2 very good show choirs, one mixed and one all girls. so as you can imagine, they have a show choir band. now i wasnt asked to do it this, the #2 bassist was, but that was fine with me. i was in season for soccer at the time. so friday morning at school, the guitarist, lets call him rocky, frantically runs up to me and explains that the bassist, lets call him kevin, cannot play for the biggest show of the year, as he will be out of town. the performance is the following night, saturday. so i decided, sure, why not, how hard can it be to learn all the songs in a day. well apparently there were 15 full songs to learn. hooray. so i stay up late and practice. wake up, practice more. i get there, and our first performance is at around 5:00. we play to a packed auditorium of around 1000 people. which was awesome. then go and practice some more. play the finale with the mixed show choir at 11:00 at night. the auditorium was at about 2000 people then. (this auditorium is gigantic.) very fun.

    so moral of my weird story: learning 10 hard songs in a day then jamming in front of 2000 people is very fun.
  2. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    My name is Bard2dbone and I approve this message.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Congrats on a good gig bro! I've been in cover bands where I had to do 4 hour sets in a week, now THAT is wicked. But as you said, fun all in the same. Especailly when sometimes you just make the entire song up off the top of your head, AND THEN get compliments on how great it sounded. :eyebrow:

  4. BassmanA440


    Feb 3, 2005
    That's great. Lots of folks would have freaked out.

    I got called out of my bed one time by a histerical MD. His bass player flaked out, the gig was the next evening, and they were halfway through rehearsal already. They traveled from Oakland to LA to play for a radio broadcast from this big church. So they give me the CD and I live, eat, and breath their music until the gig the next night. It went of without a hitch and I even hit 4 or 5 right notes in the process :cool: .

    But yea, it is fun :hyper:
  5. matrok


    Jan 10, 2005
    Ferndale, Michigan
    Back in the 80's after I had been playing about 6 years I auditioned for a Top-40 band. I learned a few tunes for the audition as I was not a Top-40 listener, and knew none of their other material. I got the gig on Tuesday and was told I would have two and a half weeks to learn it all before the first gig. I went to see them Thursday night at a club and they told me I had to know all four sets by Monday and be in a city about 4 hours away. I walked into work the next morning, quit on the spot and went home to start learning. Get to the gig Monday, really nervous, get on stage and the set list makes no sense, they had abbreviations for all the song titles(which I didn't know in the first place) so I'm frantically asking the keyboard player "What tune is this?" To top it all off, the guitar player keeps his neck turned away from me at all times so I can't see what he's playing. The drummer told him to do that to force me to work harder. The drummer would also yell at me during the songs to "Loosen up!! Feel the groove"

    I was a wreck all week, couldn't eat, lost about 10 pounds ( and I only weighed about 120 back then), but I lived and ended up having a bit of fun. Things were much better after I knew all the material and could really relax and get into it.

    Now I laugh about it and have pulled off situations like it without a sweat. Glad your first "under the gun" experience went so well.
  6. phew, those are all crazy gigs. hooray for crazy gigs, to all!

    on a sidenote, i get to play for a bigger audience with the same set 2 times next week. w00t.
  7. BassmanA440


    Feb 3, 2005

    Seems like there is a certain of playfull hazing that always goes on before you are accepted in to the fold (click, circle of musicians). I used to call it trail by fire - either you would survive or be consimed by the everlasting fire of non-gigdom.

    A good freind of mine was producing a recording at the Glower studios in Hollywood (my first real studio gig). He calls me 2 days before, and doesn't let me see the music until I arrive there. We read through the music, which was pretty simple back up band music. They just wanted dotted quarter, eigth note. We took a break after going down the list and I came back late, had the runs bad! Nervous. When I came back, they were punching in extra keyboard strings and mistakes. They said, ok rob, we need you to go over this part again.

    I go back into the room, sadle up, and play through the part again. They listen, everyone shakes their head like, I can't beleive he missed it again. OK Rob, one more time. I play it again, they shake their heads and look pissed. OK Rob, one more time - 10 minutes later, I'm worried I'll lose the gig, because those two measures were so easy. He says to the others in the booth (with the mike on) about it being so easy, a 5th grader could play it.

    I look up discusted, and my freind goes, are you getting pissed at me Rob? Everyone start bawling, laughing thier butts off. I just stick up my middle finger and say no, I looove yooou.
  8. Downwiththebass


    Mar 1, 2005
    The band I was working with traveled to a nearby town to play a gig on the military base. We headed for the officers club (our usual haunt) but were told to go to a building around the corner. Thinking maybe it was a staff or enlisted club we were quite surprised to see it was the childcare center for the kids of the officers at the big club. So we ended up playing four hours for about thirty kids aged 4 to 12.
    We ended up letting the kids play with our instruments while we stood around and drank cokes (the only thing available.) They liked the drums the best.
  9. Congrats man ! :bassist:
  10. I was once asked to play with a choir. The call came at very short notice, two days before, classical music, all of which was written. So I set myself down and spent two days practicing.

    On the day I was very nervous and hoped I could get through the score without making to many mistakes. The gig was in the open air, exposed to the elements, as it were. The conductor raised his baton to start and just then a gust of wind picks up my score and blows it off the music stand and to oblivion.

    I spent the next half an hour using EXTREME muting techniques to make some sort of bass sound without actually pinpointing any notes in particular.

    I was an emotional wreck by the time it ended.
  11. No clothespins?
  12. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    I had a drummer friend tell me to bring a bass to this big outdoor party they were hired for... their bass player was a 60's burnout and had been starting to flake on them. They didn't know if he was going to show up or not.

    Well, he didn't. It turns out (and he truly believed this) that while he was riding his 4-wheeler on some trails, all of the members of the rock band Kiss stepped out of the bushes and told him that everything was ok, he didn't have to go to the gig.


    I had to do 4 sets of classic and 70's rock. Now, that wasn't my kind of music and I had to totally wing it. I had heard about half of the songs before, and just asked them what the first chord of the song was. I picked up everything on the fly and we played 4 one hour sets.

    You might not believe this, but on stage that night was the firsts time I ever played Brown Eyed Girl. I even did the little solo part correctly... that blew them away because they knew I didn't know it, and they had played that tune scores of times with the burnout and he never bothered playing it.

    I was hired on the spot. The band never amounted to much, though. After 8 years of not playing at ALL, I'm now back with the band I started out with 15 years ago, we just mesh perfectly and playing with others just isn't the same.
  13. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    A couple years ago I was recording an album for a band that a guitarist friend of mine plays with. They'd been having drummer issues, and I'd indicated that I was willing to fill the slot, but nothing ever came of it.

    One night the friend called me up. "We're at a gig and Nick (the drummer) didn't show up.. can you sit in?" I knew the songs somewhat since we'd been recording them for the last few months off and on, but I'd never played with the band before and hadn't touched a kit regularly in months. This band is basically the love child of Moving Pictures era Rush and Crash era Dave Matthews Band, with unison stops, time changes, dynamics, and subtleties. I figured it would be fun, and even if I hosed it up it would be better than sitting at home and better for them than not playing.

    I packed my kit up and got down there, only to discover that it wasn't a normal gig. They were headlining the grand opening of a big club in downtown KC. The place wasn't packed but there was a respectable number of people and it was being videotaped. Oy vey.

    Halfway through the act that went on before us, one of the mains blew out. It wasn't a total disaster but definitely not cool. At this point more than one person in the band was freaking out, shaking their heads, etc. It wasn't looking good. Meanwhile I was talking with the guitarists and going over some of the more noteworthy parts to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything.

    Show time came and went, and basically it went really well (I have the memory of an elephant when it comes to music) until most of the way through the set. There was a song that started with a drum solo and then kicked off into a rock samba (think "Ecstasy" by Rusted Root), but as I was in mid drum solo I forgot what a samba pattern sounded like. So what was usually a fifteen second drum solo became a minute and a half drum solo while I frantically racked my brain to think of how this song went. Eventually my brain gave up the goods and we proceeded.

    The last song, my guitarist friend leaned over and said, "oh, by the way.. you have another drum solo in this song.. and it's in 5, or maybe it's in 7, I dunno". You've got to be kidding me. There was no time to clarify as the intro was about over and it was time to kick it in. We got to the solo section and I just played a beat through it, which wasn't fabulous but it got us through without a faceplant.

    After the show everyone was really amazed. So much so that they didn't tell their drummer about the next show and had me play instead. After several people in the crowd kept shouting "Nick WHO?" the band announced to the standing room only club that everyone should welcome me as the new drummer. It was definitely a great couple of nights.
  14. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    congrats, those walk-on last call gigs at school are the best. im #3 on the list of bassists to call in an emergency.
  15. MazeMouse


    Jan 27, 2005
    I'm basically our local utility player.
    Not because I'm so great but because I'm the idiot who people can call when their in distress... Even in the middle of the night. Fresh out of bed, hair still wet from the quick shower I took. Not really into the music at that time... All because their normal bass player forgot about it (and was happily sleeping back home) and I was the only idiot who forgot to put out his cell phone...

  16. I'm # 2 :D , but then again....my school isn't that big...... :rolleyes:
  17. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    Heh... about forgetting how your part goes...

    I had played hundreds of gigs, no stage fright, no problem. We went to a jam night for fun. We were going to play Sweet Emotion.

    When it came time for me to start, I kept playing the beginning to No More Tear instead. We didn't even do that song but that's the rhythm I played. The guitar player was saying "no, it's do do Do do do... etc. Finally he's like "just stop." I was frozen. I didn't want to embarrass myself anymore. So I said "I can't" and kept trying to switch to the correct beat but my mind wouldn't let me.

    He eventually had to come over and grab my strings.

    That's the only time I have ever frozen on stage.
  18. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    The show choir gigs are awesome to me. I've played for our #1 show choir for the past 4 years and i love it. I initially joined our #2 show choir band as a last second sub as their normal bassist decided he didn't want to do it abotu 2 week prior to the season starting. I'm also a senior.

    There's been times where i'm asked/told that i'm needed for a concert-a few times i've volunteered for an orchestra gig the night before a peformance-those a really fun as DB is a different beast than BG.

    Eh-the # in however many....i'm #1 out of a school that is right about 2200. I play in all of our bands. If things go how i want them to-i'll be doing a 1-3 month stint w/a local Big Ten school's jazz band before leaving for my own schooling.

    The show choir gigs are even more fun when they change parts and don't tell rhythm seciton until you are playing them [mainly dynamics/tempo]. I've had to transpose 1 tune so far on the fly. They wanted to do it up a minor 3rd and since the pianist was a God...they said "you can do it too right Cam?" and my response was the ever enthusiastic "Sure"

    Weirdest/Biggest Gig.........torn between a show choir gig where i think there was about 1500-2500 people, or a marching band performance in the RCA Dome where we played a few Dave Brubeck tunes including Unsquare Dance. Hehe.....upright bass in a marching band that is performing jazz in a football stadium. :)