Perils of gigging for weekend warriors list

Stone Wilcoxon

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I am enjoying this thread. I gigged for about 20 years and have experienced most of the things described. Thankfully I never had the puking on my drums experience.

My most recent bad experience was a at an outdoor waterfront gig when a thunderstorm with torrential rain and lightning that came up so suddenly we didn't have time to cover our equipment. The first thing I did was unplug all of the mics. I didn't want to be connected to anything with electricity. Covered the drums second. It took a few days for everything to dry out but thankfully there was no long term damage.
Had a lakefront gig with an 11-piece horn band. Uncovered stage, of course, and they wanted everyone to bring their gear to the stage area on their gators, no personal vehicles. In the middle of our set, a huge storm system popped up, and we could see the wall cloud descending on us as it came in and dumped on the band. We stopped in the middle of a song, grabbed tarps and covered everything, and then waited for it to blow over. When it stopped raining, we started packing up. The organizer came up and started shouting "Aren't you going to keep playing?" Naturally, we replied "No! We don't want to get electrocuted!" and packing continued. We saw that there was another front on its way in, so I headed towards the top of the hill where my van was, and said something about getting my vehicle. One of the workers said something about "You can't bring your vehicle down here!" to which I replied "Watch me. I'm not waiting for your ****ing gator." They didn't stop me.
 

Scramble

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Someone said "Here, I'll help you pack up", gotta agree with that.

Also, when some old friend comes to talk to you when you're having to set up absolutely everything, including the PA,, with not much time, and things are going wrong, and there's bits missing, and you eventually have to say I'll talk to you later, I need to concentrate now.
 

shuffle

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Being double booked,,owner moved your date to next month,she double books again,twice now and asks me if we'd do another day,I told her we were looking forward to that date. She moans that the other band is coming from S.F. and she'll text me dates to make up for her f*#k up!
Never heard from her ,6 yrs has gone by!
You can have bar owners,I was done with it all!
 

Lazmo

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The dreaded “sitting in” tambourine player/s.

I was the house drummer for a mates very popular open mic. If someone sat in on my kit, I would usually play guitar. Every Sunday evening, quite local to home and a very fun gig, with some amazing people doing their musical thing… and all good for the best part of a year.

Then, two women who thought they had playing tambourine really down, decided they’d play all night. They were competing for the most stage time, and so it began. Both of them positioned themselves next to my hihats and sort of got off on the whole rock band playing live vibe.

Alas, for me all they did was obscure any tightness of the snare 2 and 4, and made it a blurry shhhhhhhhhh shambles.

It got so competitive they actually had a full on fight outside, about who was going on next. We were playing, so missed the action, ha ha.

Anyway after a few months of both of them ruining any semblance of tightness with the groove, I pulled the pin. Told my good buddy I couldn’t do it anymore, and he knew and understood.

Shame, as up until then, I loved that gig. Most nights, before the tambourine, were great fun, and sometimes with some seriously good players sitting in, it was amazing.

Oh well.
 

Pat A Flafla

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The dreaded “sitting in” tambourine player/s.

I was the house drummer for a mates very popular open mic. If someone sat in on my kit, I would usually play guitar. Every Sunday evening, quite local to home and a very fun gig, with some amazing people doing their musical thing… and all good for the best part of a year.

Then, two women who thought they had playing tambourine really down, decided they’d play all night. They were competing for the most stage time, and so it began. Both of them positioned themselves next to my hihats and sort of got off on the whole rock band playing live vibe.

Alas, for me all they did was obscure any tightness of the snare 2 and 4, and made it a blurry shhhhhhhhhh shambles.

It got so competitive they actually had a full on fight outside, about who was going on next. We were playing, so missed the action, ha ha.

Anyway after a few months of both of them ruining any semblance of tightness with the groove, I pulled the pin. Told my good buddy I couldn’t do it anymore, and he knew and understood.

Shame, as up until then, I loved that gig. Most nights, before the tambourine, were great fun, and sometimes with some seriously good players sitting in, it was amazing.

Oh well.
Oh good lord yes. There's a couple of women in my city who go out on the town with tambouines in their purses. When one of them walks in the door of a club the musicians get somewhat less excited about continued existence. I hate the idea of facial recognition and surveillance, but there are certain local showgoers whose very attendance should trigger hazard pay.
 

pwc1141

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There is a guy here who goes to gigs with an airline bag full of various noise makers which he pulls out at his table and bangs. When he was at one of our gigs I called a halt to the music mid-tune and shouted at him. He has avoided our gigs since then ....A buddy of mine claims he worked a club in LA where customers were given maracas and bongos. The catch was they were made of foam and thus noiseless :)
 

hardbat

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Folding up hardware after a gig with haste to get home and pinching your fingers in the collapsing metal stand legs so hard that you are nearly in tears.

Go ahead and try to tell me something’s worse…
This just happened to me a couple of nights ago. Yeah, you nailed it, nothing worse.
 

hardbat

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At the end of the gig I can't find my car. Turns out, it's because it isn't blue anymore, it's totally white with bird poop. No wonder I got such a great parking space so close to the gig, everyone else knew not to park there.
 

Tornado

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At the end of the gig I can't find my car. Turns out, it's because it isn't blue anymore, it's totally white with bird poop. No wonder I got such a great parking space so close to the gig, everyone else knew not to park there.
Ouch.

Just parking in general sucks. By the time I'm done unloading, walking back and forth and then moving somewhere I won't get towed, I'm already beat.
 

Downbeat

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I've dodged #4 in the OP many times due to the fact that I'm a lefty.
 

amosguy

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I've dodged #4 in the OP many times due to the fact that I'm a lefty.
Me as well, but has not stopped some one asking to play. They seem confused when I ask if they can play left handed - didn't notice somehow?
 

Artimas

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Let's all not forget the drunk guy who wants to get up with the band and sing Mustang Sally.
 

Tubwompus

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I
Forced to play 'Born to be Wild' 5 times in a row by bikers. It loses its meaning after the third time...
Years ago, I used play in a biker joint that specifically ordered you NOT to play that song because they’d ride their bikes into the place, onto the dance floor, and do spin outs.

Played a particular uncovered outdoor gig at high noon once where the sun beating down was so hot, it wrinkled my kit’s black wrap. Took me 3 days to get back to normal from the heat that day.

Lord, so many more war stories.
 
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jptrickster

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In the early pioneer days before gps it was very easy to get lost especially in the back woods in the middle of the night with a good buzz on. I gave her a ride from the party, actually she wanted to drive my Little hot rod VW headed into town to meet up with her friends. She got out and said thanks it’s been fun see you later, she almost killed us for chrissakes!
I had no idea where I was, no map, no directions to the house where the party was as well as my drums. Needless to say there was no gas in the car had no money dumped a beer and pee’d in the tank . After driving around for what seemed like hours Somehow by the grace of god and the guiding light of nature I made it back to the party, took out my bass drum and whacked it hard over the lake the echo was thunderous!
Her name was Bodeen prettiest woman I ever done seen!
 

Derrick

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Was in a band with a well known punk artist and our band was asked to be a part of the Skatopia festival. There were big acts like Fishbone, Meat Puppets, CJ Ramone, GWAR, etc. We were paid 1/3 up front then the other 2/3 was contracted and agreed to be received after the performance. We rented a van and trecked several states over to Ohio and found that it was this huge outdoor natural amphitheater like Woodstock, but with like 100 people there. Apparently, they didn't promote it. We played on day to in mid afternoon. It was so hot that the drummer puked and passed out from heat stroke. All the roads for bringing equipment etc. were covered in some kind of white ashy crap that just went airborne and got all over everything, including our sweaty skin and in our lungs. The food backstage was the grossest I had ever eaten in my entire life, and there was nothing else for miles around but redneck forest. Some processed meat product and chips... that's all we had for three days, three meals a day. They had two port-o-pottys for the whole thing, concert goers and artists alike. Even with 100 people and another 100 people in the bands, they were over run with waiting lines, no sanitation to wash hands, and they filled up so the contents were bulging over the rim and running down the floor (I want to hurl just typing this). The real slap in the face was that since Skatopia lost their shirts on all their expenses and didn't recoup them from ticket sales, they decided not to pay the performers. Once more, they did pay only the top few performers since they didn't want bad publicity and figures less chance of lawsuits from performers not on a big enough label. We almost made enough in the initial 1/3 to break even on our own costs to get there, etc... almost. File this under performance adventure #846. Should have taken a photo of the Port-o-potty. It would have made an excellent, memorable EP record cover or show flyer. I just wanted to get out of Rutland, Ohio so bad. Gross.
 

Wishoot

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”the thing to do is to mix in original music with covers,”
NOTHING will take the air out of the audience faster than slipping in a poorly placed original in a set a set of covers.

I was in a very good cover band playing a lot of Police, U2, REM, English Beat kind of stuff. Our lead singer/keyboard player fancied himself as a songwriter and always wanted to slip in one of his sappy love songs or dark emo tunes in the middle of a high energy set. The effect was as if the entire audience being told their beloved dog died.
 

backtodrum

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This just happened to me a couple of nights ago. Yeah, you nailed it, nothing worse.
I have a set of hardware for one of my kits where the cymbal stand legs has done this to me one to many times. I know wear mechanics gloves while set and tear down every time I play that kit... No exceptions
 

DanRH

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For me it’s being dehydrated the next day. Happens often and I know better.
 
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