Favourite gigs of 2016?

jmpd_utoronto

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As the year draws to a close (none too soon, for a lot of people), I always like to try to look back and remember some of favourite parts of the last 12 months. So: what was your favourite gig? Did you have one (or more, I guess) where everything just seemed to lock into place, one that still sticks out in your memory as a great experience all around?

For me a lot of what makes my gigs my "favourite" is the people involved. There are three especially great ones that come to mind.

1) Played for a reading of a great new musical in NYC in April - a bunch of stupidly talented singers/actors, my wife as music director and playing piano and me on drums/percussion. We were the only non-Americans involved, so that was pretty cool. Even though it was a crazy rehearsal process and we only performed for a small group (potentially interested producers etc), working with all those people and playing this really beautiful new music - getting to tell the story - and doing it in New York City - was really a blast. Plus that was the last gig I got to play with my wife this year.

2) I play percussion for the Hamilton Children's Choir, which is a really stellar kids/youth choir just west of Toronto. We got invited to a choral conference in the Bahamas. The conference itself was a bit of a s***show - not well attended and not well organized - but I'd never been to the Bahamas, so that was pretty sweet. The first concert we did there was really amazing - the kids overcame a bunch of crappy logistical circumstances that would have sunk lesser groups, and stepped it up to put on a really beautiful concert, and the audience response was pretty overwhelming. There are some really great human beings in that group and I was really proud of them, and honoured to get to work with them.

3) Played three nights at a really nice concert hall here in Toronto doing a show for a theatre company that was a concert re-imagining of David Bowie and Queen tunes. A gig like that is bound to be fun no matter what, but the third night especially was pretty magical - a full house, all the singers and the band firing on all cylinders, everyone really connected to each other and making great music. It was a real treat to be part of something like that, and have that feeling on stage.

Enough blabbering from me. Who else has a story about their favourite gig?
 

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I played a few tunes with The Beach Boys last Spring.
It was pure excitement for me when in the middle of "Barbara Ann" I accidentally stepped on the pedal that triggers the "Kokomo" percussion sample.
The keyboard player looked up and started laughing.
I hit it again and killed it before Mike Love noticed (or a train wreck occurred......)
I managed to get through "Help Me Rhonda" and "Rock and Roll Music" without any problems.
 

Alan_

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I didn't play a ton of gigs this year. Work pretty much had me occupied.

The gigs I did play so far (have one this coming Sunday) were really good, for the most part.

Standout: six7teen gig with a few out-of-town bands that we're friends with, at an Irish pub. Packed, all bands were engaging/entertaining/tight, audience was receptive and responsive.
 

Stretch Riedle

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My 2 choices are easy, because they were the 2 gigs with the largest crowds in a small club as the opening act for a big headliner...and we did a good job.

(1) MY band, the New Shockwaves, opening for Southern Culture On The Skids in Santa Cruz.

(2) The band I joined, Fascinating Creatures Of The Deep, opening for d**k Dale in San Jose.

And both times neither headliner heard a note we played!

Looking forward to next year's possibilities,
Stretch
 

Skyrm

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I was helping out a local high school (that my daughters attended) - the band director had my name on file from playing Godspell there 10 years ago. They didn't have any drummers who actually played drumset!

The first gig was just three songs with the "stage band" - what I would call the jazz band, around big band in size. Nothing tricky, but it sure was fun driving a big band again.

Then I got the call to play the spring musical "Beauty and The Beast". That was a lot more rehearsal than I normally like, but the show was a blast. The director did a great job of getting 1/2 high school kids and 1/2 pro players playing together, and sounding really good. And she also did a great job of keeping us informed of cuts, repeats, and all the other funny stuff that goes on during musicals.
 

On the one

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2016 was an up/down year for me. From February to July was nonstop I play in 2 bands. From mid July to October nothing 2 events happened in both bands. My primary band my guitar player had double wrist surgery 2 weeks apart. My secondary band the band leader took a month vacation came back and had to move. Nevertheless my favorite gig is playing for my wife's school. Usually twice a year we play for the special needs kids and for the whole school. We do a Q&A and a little bit of music theory they really enjoy it.
 

MrDrums2112

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This past summer, I played in the pit for a local community theater group for the musical "Once On This Island". It was a 3 week run, only 4 of us in the pit, and it was just a great experience, great musicians.

In October, we played for a group of Vietnam Veterans, organized by a local church. One of the most enjoyable gigs I have ever played, for a group of incredible people.
 
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RickP

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I had a few gigs that were special in 2016
The Newmarket Jazz Festival with the After Hours Big Band
The Swan Lake Club for Seniors with the Jambalaya Jazz Quintet
Robbie Burns; St Patrick's Day and Canada Day gigs with the Kingfishers
 

fun2drum

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Bun Carlos said:
I played a few tunes with The Beach Boys last Spring.
It was pure excitement for me when in the middle of "Barbara Ann" I accidentally stepped on the pedal that triggers the "Kokomo" percussion sample.
The keyboard player looked up and started laughing.
I hit it again and killed it before Mike Love noticed (or a train wreck occurred......)
I managed to get through "Help Me Rhonda" and "Rock and Roll Music" without any problems.
lol!- that one almost made my coffee shoot through my nose.
Thanks for sharing - oh and congrats on that cool gig
 

ARGuy

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I do mostly theater gigs, and the group I work with the most does 4 productions a year. The show last winter was "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", a show I hadn't played before. I found a couple of productions of the show on YouTube, and tried to watch one of them. I couldn't make it through. I knew the show I was playing for would be better, but I went into it with low expectations. It turned out to be the most fun and rewarding show I played this year. The cast was great, and the stage director did an amazing job getting the most out of them. He also choreographed the show, and since the band was on stage, I got to see the whole show for once. Even the set was cool. And, I did some research and learned the story behind ZZ Top's "La Grange". (Yes, there is a tie in).
 

drawtheline55

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My once a yr gig in Maine, a great spot, lots of dancing and fun. great views and sandy beaches

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IMG_0250.JPG IMG_0093.JPG

IMG_0257.JPG IMG_0270.jpg
 

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xipa4

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I was playing with a group of friends that assembled to made a cover band that play various music and we did it just for fun.
Several months ago,we did a gig at a local elementary school and playing children songs,nursery rhymes,various songs from children's animations(we did 4 numbers from Frozen,to my surprise,which was "Let It Go","Love Is An Open Door","Fixer Upper",and "Making Today A Perfect Day"),and mainstream pop hits that were "in" during that period,from Dawin to Fifth Harmony (but we changed some parts of the lyrics to made it kid friendly).
The children was happy and sing along with us during our performance and I was enjoying that gig from start to finish.
I think it is my favorite gig of 2016!
 

SwivoNut

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In September our big band played the Urban Air concert - that's where people from all over the country bring their Air Stream trailers and park them downtown for a big gala weekend. Saturday night was the big event and a local sextet was to to start off the festivities and play from 6 to 8 pm, then we were scheduled to play from 8 to 10. When we got there only about a dozen people were on hand to hear the opening band. By the time they got off the stage and we got set up it was 8:30. When we were ready to play I looked out at the audience and the place was packed and many who couldn't find seats were standing up. We played until 11:00 to a very enthusiastic crowd and they stayed till the very end. Fun gig.
 

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Redbeard77

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We opened for Mark Chesnutt a few months ago at a local outdoor venue to a packed house. The show went great, and it was a lot of fun playing on a stage with pro sound and lights.
 

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