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Which of your shows gave you this "That Thing You Do" moment?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by nixdad, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    All -
    I wish Tom Hanks had kept this scene in the final theatrical release, as I think it's one of the best in the film. Unfortunately, it's only available in the Director's Cut as far as I'm aware.

    Most of us who have played in band have experienced this moment of wonder and disbelief. If you haven't seen it, you're in for a treat.

    Which of your gigs did it for you?
  2. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    My first gig with a big 80’s band that got back together about 2015. Huge stage, enthusiastic audience, Opening act, dressing room, roadies. Afterwards people wanted to get their picture taken with me and get my autograph. We were treated like rock stars.

    At show time, I said, well it’s 9:00. They laughed and said, “Don’t worry Clark, they won’t start without us.” We never started on time, but when we hit the stage we put on a hell of a show and nobody ever complained about starting late.

    When I’m the BL we always start on time.
  3. For me, the gig that gave me this feeling was Bayfield this summer.

    While it's true that we have been fortunate enough to play this now 4 years in a row this year was truly special. Out of those 4 years, the first and 3rd years had to be at the inside "rain" location due to the weather. The seating is more limited and the real gas is to play the gazebo where a couple hundred people will usually attend.

    I'd been watching these Tues night gigs in the gazebo and rain date for almost 30 years and always thought it would be a dream come true to play for one. We know so many people in the area and they all knew I was in a band but had never seen me "in action."

    This year it didn't look good for getting in the lineup for many reasons. The virus chaos meant a shortened season in which locals were first offered the spots and all were taken. That was disappointing but we understood. On top of that our vocalist was finally done, his 4th "quit" turned out to be the one where the guitarist and I decided not to help him back off the ledge. So the challenge of finding a replacement was daunting. And just when we thought we found the perfect person for us, we couldn't practice due to quarantines.

    All the right things lined up, our replacement worked, one local band cancelled and we were offered the spot, and the weather was spectacular. Even with distancing rules in place we got to play for a couple hundred people on a perfect night with our new lineup. The same "wonder"-ment that the members of the Wonders show in this clip was us watching people applaud, wave, come or share some kind words on their way out after our performance.

    The one photo-op we missed out on was one of the crowd while we played. But this was from the Tues before we played, just a random crowd shot that shows the view from the gazebo. I never understood why people sit so far away from the gazebo, it's like a Lutheran church service, :D


    Chris, I'd never seen this clip, thanks for sharing it!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  4. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    I was just in a bar band, and we did weddings, too. Concerts? Never. I do work part-time at a major outdoor venue here in Atlanta (no concerts this year, though...) and the view from the stage is flat-out amazing.
    Tony In Philly, Mr_Moo, McG and 5 others like this.
  5. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    My first time playing on a stage as a bass player.
    I was roped in by some metal band (Dio, Black Sabbath, etc.) and I was playing my Gherson LP short scale bass through a Roland Spirit Bass 50 combo. Up against a guy with a Sunn Coliseum Lead. Heh, what a mismatch!
    The venue was a "free concert" on the beach south of Haifa in Israel. Someone had erected a "stage" out of pallets and found lumber. I remember playing a bit rigidly but the truth is I was really worried about falling through a soft spot in the floor.
    The sound guy looked at my rig and threw a mic on the speaker: it became the backline for a number of bands. I think there might have been stage monitors, not sure. They had snagged a couple of military spotlights to illuminate the stage, possibly just "borrowed" from the depot down the road.
    So, it wasn't a glorious venue by any stretch. But I'll never forget that rush from playing in front of hundreds of people for the first time, giving it my all (for what I had at the time) and the crowd really liked us. It got me hooked.
  6. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Nice, Clark - thanks for sharing! That must have been quite an exciting gig.
    Was it an original 80's group that had national coverage, or a popular 80's cover group? If it was an original group, which one and who did you open for?

    Hey Chris -
    Wow, what an experience. It's funny how once in a while everything falls into alignment and you end up getting the gig you wanted. Better yet, the gig ends up being everything you hoped for and more. AWESOME! The photo you shared is fantastic - love that sky!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the clip as well. I know Tom Hanks is a huge music fan, but I have no idea if he'd ever played in a band or not. If he had, he could surely relate and I'll be he would have found a way to keep that scene in the film.

    Thanks Dan - all good.
    BTW, if you have any photos of the view form stage (especially during an event) of the venue you work for, please post.

    JRA, Sore Thumb, McG and 1 other person like this.
  7. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    It was an 80's original act; when we opened for national acts we played 90% original, when we did our own show, we always used an opening act, and played about 60% original.

    Sorry, I don't give out information that will identify me just because I've had a couple of nut jobs on TB follow me around TB and one guy looked me up on the internet and proceeded to take exception to something I posted. There are some seriously unhinged people running around.
    Mr_Moo, slapshot, ELG60 and 7 others like this.
  8. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Where I went to college (Oklahoma State), they had an annual event called the Bennett Jam which would happen on the lawn of Bennett Hall, one of the dorms. My guitarist friend, Randy (who lived in Bennett Hall, but that wasn't a requirement) would call me and give me the song list, I'd work them up at home, then I'd meet Randy in his room the night before and do a quick run-through. That year it was raining the day of the show, so they moved it indoors in Gallagher Hall (now Gallagher-Iba Arena), in which I saw my first concert, Peter Frampton. It was kind of surreal. But a lot of fun, and despite the lack of practice, we played pretty well.
    Mr_Moo, McG, mikewalker and 2 others like this.
  9. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    Walking up to the stage at the American Airlines Center in Dallas to play the Game of Thrones concert in 2018 was a little unnerving. I had played some big places before, but not 20,000-people big.
    StyleOverShow, DrMole, JRA and 6 others like this.
  10. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    There are a couple times but the most memorable for me was when I played bass at a massive house party after a gig at the spirit club in SD when In the beggining I also split lead singing duties, I remeber it to this day and very fondly, we played only originals and seeing beatifuls in the crowd singing along with every lyric it was a "magical moment" Although I did know we had a following it never hit me till I was looking at the crowd and realized holy s*^t they know the words to my songs, amazing thanks for the nostalgia trip!
    Mr_Moo, nixdad, Sore Thumb and 5 others like this.
  11. Benj-jammin

    Benj-jammin Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2020
    North Carolina
    It was a Battle of the Bands competition in Michigan -=summer of 1975 - Tie Your Mother Down, Tears in my Eyes - Heep, and Rock Candy - Montrose, among the tunes. Over a 1,000 in attendance - outdoors on Lake Huron. We placed 3rd out of 10, not too bad, we felt good about it! My big regret - I don't have pics - just so long ago, ancient camera technology! Best musical memory of my youth.
    nixdad, Sore Thumb, kesslari and 6 others like this.
  12. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I have been fortunate to have had that type of experience many times. Here is one really special concert. We have an arena in my town and I was the promoter for a major concert there 13 years ago this week. I scheduled a 5 hour show with a former well known radio DJ opening the show with a dance, my band, "The Conniptions", Pure Gold from the PBS TV oldies concert shows, and The Grass Roots. I booked a top notch sound and light company that did ZZ Top, Trace Adkins, Styx, and Kenny Rogers the same week.

    We did a sound check the evening before with the huge system and it sounded great. We were very excited the night of the concert when we hit the stage with so many people in the audience who knew us. Our show was very tight and energetic and had a enormous full sound with a 3 piece band and we all sang. The show had laser lights and the full stage production. We got a standing ovation when we quit. What a blast that was!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
    Mr_Moo, EXCAV8, nixdad and 7 others like this.
  13. grinx

    grinx Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    opening for Cheap Trick and Quiet Riot among others, after their careers peaked.
    playing the equivalent of dives for them aka some of the biggest stages/crowds I had played on/for at that time
    Mr_Moo, farmertom, nixdad and 8 others like this.
  14. Wherestheone


    Feb 19, 2019
    As a bass player---for several years I played with a 7-10 piece that would do occasional performances in church settings....either providing slightly 'non-traditional guitar/bass/drums' based worship stuff to services, or do larger special event type things.

    There's (like I'm sure there are in every city) this one church here in town called Dominion Chalmers. It's a beautiful old building, and seats about 1000. View from the balcony:


    We were providing music to a week long event that happens every few years, and were in Dominion-Chalmers for one of the evenings. Now...this is not really by any means a "pro-level" project, just a collection of nice folks who happen to play some music and who happen to appreciate nice harmonies and who happen to enjoy each other's company.

    There was this one tune for this evening that I actually (too) was doing the lead vocal on (Creation Calls)...and the plan was for a 70 voice choir to be there behind us. Wow. When they came in.....shiver city.
  15. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    ELG60, nixdad, kesslari and 3 others like this.
  16. Frontporch

    Frontporch Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2015
    Mine was about 20 years ago. I played with a band that included my son on git and A very talented female vocalist. We played a city sponsored street party and for some unknown reason we spontaneously became the “Go to” for the event. Street was packed And they would not let us stop. Cops did not intervene! It was Alanis Morisette era and Bev could belt it out perfectly. We played about double the time allotted. Magic night.
    Mr_Moo, nixdad, Sore Thumb and 3 others like this.
  17. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    1985 Canada Day in front of the Parliament building in Ottawa. We were told estimated crowd size was 120k.

    These days? Every time I get to work in a room like that in your clip. Never take it for granted.
    Mr_Moo, Moosehead1966, PaulS and 6 others like this.
  18. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    It was at the sound check for the first of three concerts at the Pontiac Silverdome sponsored by General Motors for the company's 75th anniversary celebration in September of 1983 (total attendance over 70,000).
    Pontiac Silverdome.jpg
  19. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    @WI Short Scaler , got to play a room near your neck of the woods about five years ago. Schauer Arts Center. Loved the place.

    nixdad, kevin wells and McG like this.
  20. hopwheels


    Dec 11, 2015
    Atlanta, GA
    Playing the Miller Lite stage during the street festival in San Diego for Super Bowl XXXII with the Broncos cheerleaders on stage with my band the Jolly Lamas performing a routine to our song, Football Hero. Getting to play the Whisky and Roxy would be close.
    nixdad, Sore Thumb, kesslari and 2 others like this.

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