Worst stage you ever played on.

Drm1979

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Not the worst gig you ever played but just the worst stage you ever gigged on. I have 2 stories to start this one off. We played a club in fort Walton beach Florida called the java pit. The stage was only about 8 inches off the floor and it was made up of a bunch of mini platforms that seemed to only be held together by the carpet that was stapled to it. When we were getting on the stage our lead singer tripped over a mic cord and separated the platforms on the front corner. We pushed them back together the best we could but before the end of the gig our singer forgot about that section, stepped over it and got his leg stuck between the platforms. We had to stop the song and dig him out of the hole. It sucked at the time but we laughed about it hard the next day.

The second worst stage we ever played on was a flatbed trailer at our local fair. It was literally the width of my drumset with me behind it. I couldn't set up to the side because they didn't have mics for the drums so I had to be in the middle. I spent that entire set completely terrified to lean back or lay to hard into my kick drum for fear of falling off the back of the stage, or knocking my drums off the front. We didn't laugh about that stage. Nobody liked it.
 

snappy

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I once played on an unsecure drum riser that
made everything for me a moving target.
 

drummerfriend

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I've probably forgotten more than I remember.

One that comes to mind was a narrow stage BARELY enough for me to put up a bass/snare/hat/ride config. Just above me was a shelf holding a few plants. Owner refused to let us take them down until we were done. They kept sliding from the vibration almost dropping off during each song. I had to stand up without banging my head on the shelf after each song and push them all the way back to the wall...

That's just one of many, unfortunately.
 

blikum

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Couple years ago, a four section wooden "riser" on an un-even lawn. Everything was moving every which way. It was like skeet shooting! Somehow I made it through the gig.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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Played a nightclub in Paris, Tx. that was formerly a bank, the stage was a roomy platform about 15' above the vault, pretty cool actually, until we realized the only way to get our gear up there was via a ladder....a ship-style ladder bolted to the wall that went straight up. That meant climbing it multiple times with one piece of gear each using our free arm to climb and hold the rungs. (including two 15" mains and three 12" monitors + amps) Took 30 minutes or more to get everything up the ladder and onto the platform. Same thing in reverse after the gig.
 
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Ptrick

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I have quite a few that stick out.

I’ve also had the big rig trailer as a stage, same experience, just barely fit.

I’ve had to set up at the top of a small staircase, just enough rooms for drums, band all in different corners of the room. Weird but kinda cool experience.

I’ve had many lawn gigs on warped pieces of plywood, and nothing else (literally a piece of free floating plywood over grass).

Most challenging (yet coolest gig ever!!) was on a large Yacht in the San Francisco Bay playing during the SF air show. With the added boat traffic in the bay, the waves were intense. I had to stop playing multiple times and grab my drums as they slid away or towards me after a large wave. What a beautiful show, though!!
 

Ptrick

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Played a nightclub in Paris, Tx. that was formerly a bank, the stage was a roomy platform about 15' above the vault, pretty cool actually, until we realized the only way to get our gear up there was via a ladder....a ship-style ladder bolted to the wall that went straight up. That meant climbing it multiple times with one piece of gear each using our free arm to climb and hold the rungs. (including two 15" mains and three 12" monitors + amps) Took 30 minutes or more to get everything up the ladder and onto the platform. Same thing in reverse after the gig.
Haha, I’d forgotten I had a similar gig years ago at an upstairs balcony at a Sushi restaurant. Same deal, ladder to get up. Only played that gig once!
 

SteveB

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In high school I had to fit my kit on a picnic table. I remember doing the gig but I don't remember how I got away with it....many lumpy and uneven stages over the years. If you had a 4 legged throne, or 4 legged anything you were in serious trouble!
 

Skyrm

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Back in 2001 we were getting ready to move to Canada, so for the last gig with my band I brought EVERY cymbal I had, along with my 12, 13, 14, 16, 22 Gretsch kit, Supra, and timbale. We were told we were playing in a covered picnic area. When we got there, we found out all of the picnic tables were bolted down, so we had no floor space.

So..."Hey, let's just set up by those trees!" No plywood, just my carpet. I had to spin the 2 legs on my DW hi-hat so that it didn't fall over. And I used every stand and multi-clamp I had, because I was definitely going to use all those cymbals!! :)
Equinox Front.jpg
Equinox Rear.jpg
 

ARGuy

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I'm going to stretch the topic a little. I played a gig at a nice restaurant in the party room. The stage was back in the corner and was okay sized, with nice curtains set about a foot from the walls, and they were designed to hang in folds. We got there and were setting up - I was back in the corner, of course. I used a case or a stand to push the curtains back up against the wall since the stage wasn't that big, and that added a couple of feet of depth. The rest of the guys did the same thing with their amps. Well, the woman that ran the place and decorated it came in before we started and threw a fit because we were not supposed to mess with the curtains at all. She demanded that we pull everything forward so the curtains would hang naturally - which of course made an already marginally sized stage even smaller. We did as she asked, and the gig was fine.
 

Geardaddy

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Years ago a band I was in played for a frat party at the U of MN Ag campus. It was held in the sheep judging arena - a long narrow concrete building with a dirt floor. Of course it smelled like sheep, but the worst part was the fact that the "stage" was the judging platform which was located on one of the long side walls of the building. Because we were playing facing a concrete wall every hit of the bass drum or snare echoed back with a delay that was actually louder than the initial note. Imagine listening to boom-BOOM, crack-CRACK all night. It was like trying to keep time with another drummer that was always WAY behind the beat. The worst part is they loved the band and we ended up playing in the same place 3 years in a row. I truly hated that gig.
 

Houndog

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I can’t believe after all my years I don’t have any bad stage stories or any stories at all really .
 

Beefsurgeon

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Played on a fairly large stage that was slanted. Its angle was such that walking around on made you slightly seasick. At first I thought it was just me, but my bandmates reported the same experience. Very strange!
 

hsosdrum

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My worst-stage flatbed-trailer story wasn't so bad for me — there was enough room for my entire kit; I wasn't in danger of falling over backwards off of the trailer and the trailer had wood 2x6s laid between the metal ribs. But our lead singer was wearing open-toed platform shoes (this was 1975) and during our very last number he was performing typical "lead-singer schtick" when he grabbed his mic at the same moment his bare toe came in contact with one of the trailer's metal ribs, giving him a very strong electrical shock. His entire body spun through the air like a rag doll being tossed aside and he landed unconscious in a heap on the stage. The audience loved it (they thought it was part of the show) but we knew better and promptly ended the song. He was dazed and freaked-out but OK.
 

Drm1979

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My worst-stage flatbed-trailer story wasn't so bad for me — there was enough room for my entire kit; I wasn't in danger of falling over backwards off of the trailer and the trailer had wood 2x6s laid between the metal ribs. But our lead singer was wearing open-toed platform shoes (this was 1975) and during our very last number he was performing typical "lead-singer schtick" when he grabbed his mic at the same moment his bare toe came in contact with one of the trailer's metal ribs, giving him a very strong electrical shock. His entire body spun through the air like a rag doll being tossed aside and he landed unconscious in a heap on the stage. The audience loved it (they thought it was part of the show) but we knew better and promptly ended the song. He was dazed and freaked-out but OK.
I think you have the winning story for now
 


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