What was the best gig you ever played and what kind of bass were you playing?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mantis Tobaggan, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. I was thinking about this today. I always play my P bass these days, but the best gig I ever played, I was playing my Rick. We had rented a venue and got a bunch of our favorite local bands and we collected money at the door and had a blast. The thing that made it special though, was that one of the bands is really amazing. They played ahead of us and absolutely slayed. I remember we had a band huddle (which we have never done) and everyone was like how do we follow that? I said, use this energy. We have to bring our A++ game. We got fired up and played the best gig we have ever played. Immediately after I stepped off stage the drummer and singer from the other band came over and told me they were listening to me the whole night and I didn't hit a single bad note. I still think about that gig and smile. What was the best gig you ever played? Not highest paying, not biggest crowd, not most prestigious, just the one that stands out to you as the best for whatever reason. What kind of bass were you playing?
  2. The best gig I ever played was a tribute to my 94 year old Dad. Dad was a great Country Western musician in the Uintah Basin where we live.His band even had a live radio show in 1943-1950...he was a legand with different bands all through the years clear up until he was 92. I wasn't born until 1956...so I only played with him from 1974 on. Anyway he played steel guitar and dobro...and rhythm when needed. We rented the Golden Age Center and had lots of musicians who played with him throughout the years get up and entertain. Dad died not long after the gig. I will always remember that night.I was playing a Carvin B4 through a Carvin amp. We were singing through a Carvin PA. The music wasn't great...but it was special.
    BassBuzzRS, DirtDog, Jborg and 14 others like this.
  3. Rezdog

    Rezdog Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada/Motown
    Greetings from the North,

    It was back in ancient times... The end of the summer outdoor gig on the mountain in Montreal. Lots of dancing. Lots of Fun. The band was incredible and the energy was so amazing! It was our last gig as a band and we all went our separate ways to carve out our lives like the ending of that movie Fandango. I played my Blonde 4001 Ric thru an SVT and 2 folded horn 18s to bounce the booty. Yup it was the mid 70s lol. I chased that sensational buzz for a long time and came close a few times over the years but that was the one I still smile and drift away about.

  4. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Suspended Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    My farewell gig with Mojomatic. Life is funny: People won’t really show you love until they know you’re going to be gone. I got a lot of love that night. The video is not live—it’s a studio recording of us, playing along with a bunch of still photos from the gig. And as you’ll see, I was playing a 1996-7 era Fender California Series P/J.

  5. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    It's funny, I just had one of the best gigs I've ever played. It came IMMEDIATELY after one if the worst! I just played with one of the bands I work in who play (almost) entirely 80s music. It was a big gig, big stage, pro FOH and the stage sound was terrible. Like, the worst I've ever dealt with, and I've played some crap gigs over the last 20 years. Monitor mixes were awful but I can deal with that, every time the electric guitar player had any distortion at all there was a low frequency wash that absolutely obscured all other stage sound. It was crazy frustrating and near impossible to play well. I had to leave that gig and drive a half hour to a small place where I was booked with a band that plays blues and old rock & roll. I had just enough time (ate dinner in the car on the way) to get there, load in, and start. A good friend of mine was filling in on guitar for that gig and as soon as we started I felt the band just click. I don't know if it was because I JUST had an awful experience and now I could hear everything clearly, or if it was the new blood injecting energy into a band I've played in for 10 years but right from the start everyone was on point, tight, and really enjoying jamming together. At the first gig I had my Warwick which has been my go-to since 2005, the second I played my g&l l 2500 which I only brought as a backup. The g&l fits the blues band a little better with its more traditional tones. It proved to be the right choice, we played three sets, the audience loved it, we loved it, it totally wiped away the terrible gig, it was awesome.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    Groove Doctor and JeffC23 like this.
  6. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    The answer to both of those questions is...........I don't remember
  7. 71220271-21E9-4791-9D26-6EA1BABAE4C1.jpeg A Relay For Life charity performance in 2007, outdoors in Dania Beach, FL. We were performing the middle set, with a local band of young guys playing the first and third sets. I had called to coordinate our sets with theirs to avoid duplication. The other BL said, “I don’t care what you guys play. We’re the headliners.” I said thanks, and hung up.

    We came out roaring, after a long break where we loaded in after they played the first set. We played four of the songs they’d done in the first set, completely inadvertently. The best part was when the other BL’s girlfriend said, after we finished one of the tunes they had done, “Why don’t YOU guys sound like that?”

    The second best part was when their bassist asked if he could use my rig, since his Ampeg B115 was underpowered for this outdoor gig. I told him sorry, but I wasn’t staying for their next set. I broke down my rig and left.

    We had great PA support for vocals and the drum kit from Shane LaMar Productions. My bass and the two guitars carried the set without going through the PA. I had direct boxes for all, but Shane said he was getting a good mix out front without DI.

    I was running my Steinberger Spirit through my GK 400RB, into my Avatar 210 and 115 cabs. No effects. I had my Fender Precision on a stand as a backup. Amp was backed up by DI, if needed. That rig was clearly heard by all present, as far away as the Jai-Alai fronton’s parking lot.

    That’s me on the left, 130 pounds ago.
  8. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Last gig with my band in college (Hip Hop/Techno/Jazz thing). We ran out of material about 45 minutes before close, and somehow managed a 45 minute jam that kept them dancing. I was playing a Carvin LB76 though a hartke 410 and 115
  9. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Not sure when my best gig has ever been. However I do know the gig I had the most fun playing music I’ve ever had. It was this past December. I’ve done a few fill-in gigs for a local modern country cover band. I simply LOVE playing with them. Most of us go way back to when we served on the worship team at our mega church so the comfort factor is huge.

    So this particular gig, again, December. Here in the Central Valley of California, it gets cold but not ridiculous. Outdoor evening playtime. I had been sick for 2 days with a cold. Nothing major but, headache, back ache, runny and stuffy nose, sore throat... you know the kind. So 8 piece band setup at a coffee shop patio. Very small space for all of us but, good sized FOH, 5 monitors, 3 guitars and bass with amps. Loud, but good sound for all of us.

    Brought my Mesa D-800+ and Subway 112 and 115 cabs and my Pedulla Pentabuzz. My tone was killer. I could hear everyone else perfectly. Drummer and I pretty much locked in from the downbeat.

    Can’t describe what exactly was so spectacular about it. It was just good. I played those 47 songs really well. Enjoyed making faces at the audience and dancin around and groovin. Makin my band mates feel confidant because I was so prepared was a plus too.

    I was sick as a dog. But had the best time of my 24 year bass playing career.
    Wisebass and Mantis Tobaggan like this.
  10. donahue

    donahue Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2015
    We closed a good sized outdoor gig with our 80's metal tribute band. I had my SR800, which isnt anything special except for a very comforable bass. The kicker though, is I had it loaded with the EMG GZR PJ set. Man! I was playing through my Mesa D-180 and Mesa 1516 cab. The "sound guys" were pretty loaded (it was a private outdoor fest on private land) and had my bass turned up higher in the mix than it probably should have been. We were very well rehearsed and sounded as such. I'll never forget how good we sounded and how well I could hear myself. That rig owned at regular volume, but that night it just pounded! I even had someone from the "biz" approach me individually after the gig and give me his card. The only time that's ever happened. He said if I can play Metallica that good on bass, he thinks he may have a project for me. The song was For Whom the Bell Tolls. Fond memory.
    JeffC23 and Mantis Tobaggan like this.
  11. slagheap

    slagheap Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    don't know if gigs can be categorized as good, better, best, they're all different, but we used to play parties on this ship. the pic is pre civilian conversion, obviously. http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/120285706.jpg
    it was for this guy, he owned the ship:Alex de Renzy - Wikipedia for parties sometimes it was tied up at berth, pier 51 in SF, sometimes we cruised off the coast. one time went down to santa cruz & anchored off the beach for 4th july display. i don't remember for sure what bass i was playing, went through a lot of guitars back then. i've talked about this before on these boards.
  12. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I'd say it was the backyard party I was called to sub for a few weekends back. Newer group of players, new material. Great weather, great performance. The audience was super focused on us and they just ate it up. Lots of fun. The L-2000, my only working instrument, took the gig.
    Wisebass and Mantis Tobaggan like this.
  13. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    Not a specific show, but the summer 2012 tour I did with this pair of T-40 s was just great shows every night.

  14. LordRyan


    Dec 9, 2012
    One of my most memorable Bass (Allen Woody Rumblekat) gigs happened a few years ago at an annual benefit that draws some well-known local players. My band followed guitarist Earl Slick whose set consisted of mostly David Bowie and John Lennon songs he played on. We did our set and there happened to be a drumset on each side of the stage. So two guest drummers came up. On my left was Artimus Pyle and on my right was Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez. We alternated between Skynyrd and Springsteen songs with both drummers playing.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Best gig I ever did was in Sandpoint, Idaho this past May with Mary Wilson of the Supremes. Wasn't the best attended, biggest venue, or any of that, but since I got to play a whole bunch of great and very challenging Jamerson lines I never played before, it was the most fun I ever had. Used my 09 AmStd Precision with the EMG Geezer and dead Dunlop Super Bright Nickels into my VT Deluxe on mild grind and a very nice rented SVT-CL/810e.
  16. Best gig I ever played. This is easy, as it is so far and away above any other gig I have played.

    2010, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, battle of the bands. We were one of five bands, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. 5,000 people in the sold out house, 3 million listening on the radio, live. We didn’t win, we didn’t care. Still referred to as "the best weekend ever" by the guys in the band. Call it a "right place, right time" situation. I had initially just started as a sub with these guys, and 4 months later, we were on the show.

    Played my 83 Fullerton Jazz bass, TI flats. House engineer after initial rehearsals said he loved my tone. Everybody seems to say that about this bass.
    38353_102024799854774_1644009_n.jpg 36821_102027799854474_60646_n.jpg 36821_102027789854475_5610719_n.jpg 38225_102027899854464_4959426_n.jpg 38087_102024739854780_914433_n.jpg 38744_102024723188115_5181289_n.jpg
  17. Charlzm

    Charlzm Guest

    Mar 25, 2011
    I played a 2.5-set gig with my original project in the upstairs space at a brewery in Westwood near UCLA. It was drizzly that night and the load-in was up a flight of stairs because the elevator was out. Parking was a real nightmare as well.

    We were still a fairly new band and a lot of people we knew had not yet come out to see us. I recall one table in particular with a bunch of friends of mine. It was unexpected but also a little intimidating since I knew they were fans of the type of music we were playing (classic rock/prog rock/hard rock with a light dusting of metal).

    The stage was about 4 or 5 inches tall, there was a miniscule PA that would only accommodate a vocal mic and there was exactly one uncolored light shining down on stage. Omens were not good.

    Our first set was about 30 - 40 minutes of original electric songs. We played well and got a good response from everyone there, including the gratifying, "We didn't know you guys were so good!" from my friends at the big table.

    We mingled for about 20 - 30 minutes. I had an especially ego-gratifying moment when a man approached me to compliment my bass playing, especially the economy of motion in my fretting hand. "I hear all these different notes but it looks like your fingers are barely moving!".

    Our second set was half acoustic; I played an acoustic bass guitar. We played four or five drastically re-arranged versions of our material (nothing we played in the first set) and a couple of choice covers (Live and Rush). It went over like gangbusters.

    If I recall correctly, we switched back to electric for the last 20 minutes or so without a break.

    People who we didn't know had heard us all night from the downstairs and the street and wandered up to listen. I didn't see anybody wrinkling their noses or making "hate it" faces. They came and went through the show.

    It may not have been objectively as good as I recall, but I remember the gig fondly as a proof of concept. Oh, and we got free craft beer!

    What basses did I play? I don't remember exactly, though I'm pretty sure it was a white 1980's Rickenbacker 4003 (sold it since then), a new-at-the-time Line 6 Variax bass (also sold) and a borrowed Kramer Ferrington acoustic bass from the 80's.

    Point is that the instruments didn't have a lot to do with the way I remember the show.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    Mantis Tobaggan likes this.
  18. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Pownal, ME
    Early 80's in a band called Cruise Control at a place called The Cottage Hotel in Mendon, NY. Basically a decent sized venue out in the middle of nowhere south of Rochester. We were doing a bunch of originals and a lot of what we called "rock-a-boogie. Our crazy front man was an awesome harmonica player also so we did stuff from J. Geils to the Nighthawks to Bo Didley to Nazareth. It started out as "one of those nights". About 20 people in the place. We rocked out our first set and took a break... and the "crowd" had gotten even smaller. Being the warriors we were, we got right back up there for set 2. Apparently the people who left during the first set did so to call/get friends because by the halfway point of set 2 the place was so packed, the fire marshal would have shut it down. It was magic... the crowd, the tunes, it all came together that night. As luck would have it, a local music industry guy was in the crowd. After set 3 and 3 encores, he approached us about signing a contract and recording us. He was going to make us BIG STARS! A month or so later, he found another band at a showcase in NYC that he liked better than us so we never got the fame and fortune. That gig was played on my G&L L2000E through a Traynor YBA-3 custom special head and an Acoustic folded horn 18" bottom.

    Oh, and the band that took our place as the next big thing? Metallica :bassist:
  19. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Last Sunday, July 8, I played a first gig with The B Sides. A trio backing a powerful voiced chick singer.

    Obstensibly a battle of the bands, I was stoked to find an Ampeg BR2 and 810 cab. Coupled with my MM Sterling recently restrung with DR Low Riders, I kicked bootie, laying into the deep end with a hint of treble crack.

    As I said it was a trio, guitar, bass and drums so I laid into the bass lines with a killer fat tone leaving plenty of room for the guitar player to comp. Singer was so impressed, seduced by the fat bass that she kept throwing me solos.

    Best single set I’ve played in a decade. Damn that was fun!
  20. soulman969

    soulman969 Inactive

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    For me there have been far too many "best gigs" to single out just one and besides "best" could mean too many different things. Best for me, best for the band, most exciting, biggest crowd, opened for _________.

    But in all likelihood I was playing either a PBass a Jazz Bass or a similar type of those two.