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Absolute Train Wreck!

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  • Absolute Train Wreck!

    I thought I'd share this, not as a pure rant or vent, but as an experience to avoid!!! Thanks for taking the time in advance.

    Here's how NOT to have the worst gig of your life. This was mine just three nights ago, and after all these years of playing, you would think I'd know better. Here's some lowlights.

    1. Agreed to do a couple of "one off" gigs with my guitar player from my band. He recruited a bass player and drummer from another band to go do a side project for money and fun. I assumed since he was organizing the gigs, he was "organizing" the gigs. Other than book the gigs and tell the other members what time to show up, he did NO FOLLOW up or hands on organizing or additional work (see below).

    2. We played at two different places on 2 separate dates, neither which had a PA or lights or sound person. These are the typical 2 and 3 on the Schlecter Scale (see my post about that).

    http://www.vdrums.com/forum/general/...ig-awesomeness

    I have nothing against dive bars or bands who play them. At this stage of my semi pro career, I have no interest in playing them, not because of three nights ago, but these decisions were made years ago, because:

    A: I no longer am interested in playing gigs where everyone just plays out their amps and NOT thru a PA WITH dedicated sound man. Just my preference as far as fullness and CONTROL of sound, YMMV.

    B: I am no longer interested in hauling the necessary PA to said dive bars and hiring a decent person to run it because for the small amount of money these gigs pay, it is NOT worth my time, body aches, and fuel in my car to haul all the gear, set up, play, tear down, and unload back at my house ALL BY MYSELF. I love playing out, just not at that expense any more. More on that below.

    C: I am no longer interested in playing dive bars with no stage or lighting AND NO DEDICATED POWER TAPS. Again, I am tired of ALWAYS being the only guy IN EVERY BAND I HAVE EVER PLAYED IN (including my current band, again, YMMV) that seems to know how to plug in simple extension cords, find a minimum of three different breaker/circuits to run them (because have played too many times where errant band members plug in their huge Marshall stacks on the same circuit as the frickin MAINS and lo and behold,a breaker blows!! Gotta spread the power around), have the forethought of BRINGING said extension cords, having the forethought of making sure they are at least 12 gauge to handle the power, and making sure they are spread around so the band members can walk up, drop their amp and lo and behold, like FU&*ING MAGIC, there's power for waiting them.

    3. For this gig, our second (first gig had issues but we actually rocked the place) it was a Friday night. We were scheduled to play from 7 to 9pm, and our partner band was going on from 9 to 11pm. Due to rush hour traffic, it took me 1.5 hours to get to the gig.

    4. I have a full sized SUV and it was FULL of 4 PA cabinets, amps, monitors, cables, stands, etc etc. Pretty heavy load. I loaded this at my house alone, expecting help once at the gig.

    5. I arrived prior to 5:30PM (the designated time) and began unloading. My guitar player arrived around 5:30 and unloaded his stuff and that's it. So, I unloaded my whole SUV alone and had to wheel it all in several loads into the club. The stage to my parking space was maybe 40 yds away. What about the other two band members? You'll see.

    6. This place has a small stage but no power taps or lights. Factored into my load out was also my MBT LED light tree, otherwise, the band is in the dark on stage. Neither our partner band nor my other three band members even gave this a thought hence, did nothing about it except say "cool" when I had the stage lit up.

    7. I have to stand on bar stools to find outlets in the ceiling for part of our power needs. Just the way this place is set up with about 57 big screens all over the place, hence, the power outlets are up high.

    8. Set up entire PA, snake, and mixing board relatively alone. Ran most of all the XLR cables from all band members/instruments to said snake. Assisted drummer from partner band (we used his kit for both bands) setting up his kit. Mic'd his kit with all my mics and hardware (he had none of course)

    9. At 7pm, neither our bass player nor drummer were there yet. We had NO SOUND CHECK. Got a text message from bass player that he got off work late at 6:20PM and was on his way. No reason given by drummer who showed up at 7:30PM as to why he was late, and no explanation by either of these guys as to why they had no intention of being there at 5:30 to help set up. I take tremendous issue with this as far as professionalism, dedication, and WHY THE F&*K DO THESE TWO GET PAID THE SAME AS ME FOR THIS GIG?

    10. Stage is kinda small so I set up my lead vocal mic stand and 12 inch vocal monitor just in front of the stage on the floor. Yes, I was doing lead vocals only for this gig, NOT drums. I immediately got henpecked by some old lady who was the self appointed leader of some 40 person reserved tables "meet up singles group" who were there to dance and could not get over the fact I was taking up a 1.5 x1.5 foot square area in front of the stage. I then got approached by a young white male who seemed to be an employee of said club but was NOT dressed like everyone else working there, who also insisted I was "blocking the dance floor" and if I remained there, it would shut down the entire dance floor and prevent everyone from having a good time. Because I did not know this woman or this dude, and didn't know if they were connected to the bar owner in some way, I remained professional and after 30 MINUTES OF THEM NOT LEAVING ME THE F*&K ALONE, I pulled my stuff back on stage and proceeded to have NO ROOM but to stand between the front of the drum kit and my mic stand which was at the forward edge of the stage. Not ideal for a front man of a Stone Temple Pilots tribute band.

    11. At 7:45 PM we started playing. Immediately the old bitties and bats started having that look on their faces, you know the look I mean, the look as if they look into their handbag and someone left a huge steaming pile of poop in in it. And then they started covering their ears. Then the leader runs up to me in the middle of my song screaming it's too loud. Then Security comes over after our first song and says it's too loud. I look over at our sound guy running our board and announce via mic to him and the band jokingly that security has spoken, we need to turn down. The Band turns down, I assume sound guy turns us down. Second song, same thing. We turn down. Third song, the old ladies start dancing while covering their ears. Club Owner's wife, who has never been to this establishment and has only worked at it 2 weeks, talked the ear off of our sound guy for 30 minutes while we played. She also keeps talking to security while looking at us on stage, and NOT in a thumbs up kinda way.

    12. During our second song, our sound guy turns my vocal monitor out to the audience. I assume it's a feedback issue (never seen it done like THAT before). Come to find out AFTER OUR SHOW, our ENTIRE PA never worked during our entire show. ALL MY VOCALS DURING THE SHOW CAME FROM my 12 inch Behringer powered monitor. THAT'S IT. No one ever stopped us, sound guy never said anything, didn't say "hey, take 5 min break so we can fix this". NOTHING. Guy has a good ear for sound, TERRIBLE TROUBLESHOOTER. I fixed the problem in 3 minutes and the next band went on FLAWLESSLY. I have never been more embarrassed in my life...I stood up there for over an hour singing my heart out, to no avail.

    13. Right after our set, I assisted the next band get wired up. Our bass player and drummer left, never told me goodbye. I never knew they left till after I got the next band going.

    14. When it came time to tear down, my guitar player packed his stuff and left, never offered to help me. We have been having this issue with him with our main band and had to tell him in no uncertain terms the band agreement is, NO ONE LEAVES UNTIL THE LAST PIECE OF GEAR IS PACKED. THAT MEANS EVERYONE WILL HELP EVERYONE EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO GEAR! I guess he figured since this was a "different" band, the old rules of "leaving before work needs to be done" applied. After this gig I informed him that the next time I find myself in a parking lot at 1 AM loading gear by myself, there is no front door in this county that will protect you. And if I see your car pulling out, your driver window will be shattered out and I will remove you from your vehicle and there is nothing anyone can legally do to me to stop me. I did not survive over 27 years in my present job by accident, there is a reason why I have survived. I will show you that reason. I am being dramatic but that's what I told him in front of our other band members at practice on Saturday and they all agreed with me. They also all agreed they were glad they were my friends lol.

    15. We still have not been paid. The owner does not want to pay us because: WE were unprofessional and started late, we were too loud, our sound sucked, and we ran off a reserved party of 40 people which essentially cost him precious bar tab money (the old ladies left for another bar.) So far the owner is agreeing to pay us something, not sure what that is yet. I did ensure that said bass player and drummer get nothing or next to it, certainly WAY LESS than I will be getting due to their being unprofessional and undedicated, non helpful, and causing our lack of sound check. I fault the owner for booking a bunch of old ladies for a dance night when the two bands he booked (he booked us a month ago, long before this old lady group) were a STONE TEMPLE PILOTS tribute band, AND, a RUSH TRIBUTE band for God's sake. Either the owner or the old ladies show have paid attention to the web site and KNOWN we were not two dance bands.

    16. There are lots of other little things that went bad but I won't get into all of them.

    So, please take all the above into account when doing gigs, and figure out ways to PREVENT this from happening.

    I was dealing with grown men in this instance (no one under 35 yrs old) so it's not like it was a bunch of 20 year old inexperienced garage band types, these are all seasoned players and performers. I expected organization and professionalism and a spirit of working together. As I have always known about small bands and dive bars, and as I found out that even with these guys, they are small gig minded, ie, everyone comes to a gig with their guitar and amp, plugs in, plays, packs up their own stuff and that's it. None of these guys are experienced in bringing their own PA, running it, taking the time to LEARN how it at least all hooks up, or even looks for ways to help others as far as loading, etc. I could have done more asking, prepping, ensuring, assigning, but, I assumed the "organizer" was handling it, and that the other guys knew what was up and would just step up as they should have.

    I was dead wrong. My solution will be to NOT play any more one off gigs with these guys, and in the future, if I'm playing a gig, I will take a much more positive role, even to the point of micro managing, to make sure everything is covered beforehand. I already have this job in my current band, hence, stuff gets done! Like magic. Funny how that happens.

    Please have fun at your next gig, and ensure you can have fun, by handling the business and work end FIRST.

    K ;-)
    Last edited by Kenster; 03-30-15, 02:33 PM.
    My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
    E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
    A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
    A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

  • #2
    No debate. That is the worst I've ever heard! I'm glad you survived!

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    • #3
      I do hope writing it out was cathartic, seems pretty frustrating. At the end of the day, you did your absolute best. Something to be proud of I think. You could have blown up and walked out but you stayed the course did your best in a bad situation ( I would have left) in my opinion that qualifies you as a professional.
      www.EDrumForum.com Going to be strictly a DIY e Drum Community

      http://www.vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=198

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      • #4
        My eyes were glued to every word of that. Hand and body ache from all that work, then the politics on top... just shocking.
        ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
        ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
        PA Comparison Sheet

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        • #5
          Holy crap.
          Equipment: TD-30KV, DW9000 hardware, ROC-N-SOC Throne, Behringer ULTRATONE K3000FX Amp, JBL EON 615 Powered Speaker, Yamaha MG06X. 1965 Ludwig Super Classic. Black diamond pearl. Zildjian K Custom Dark cymbals, DW 7000 hardware, DW 9000 kick pedal.

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          • #6
            Wow that's about a hella post!!!! Don't blame ya for being PO'd for a second.
            Hardware: TD20SX --> Roland UA-25EX --> MSI GT780DX w/ i7 2670, 16-GB of Ram, Windows 7
            Software: Superior Drummer 2.0, Metal Foundry SDX, Metal Machine EZX, Toontrack Solo - - Sonor X1 Studio - -

            Comment


            • #7
              Take em out and hang em high.
              Consider becoming a one man band.
              With friends like that..................you know the rest!
              Notable examples of coding brilliance that came from the mind (and hands) of one programmer
              "It makes sense if you dont think about it"

              Mimic Pro, SPD-SX, 2-QSC K-10s, K-sub, Yamaha mixer, and a bunch of other expensive cool things!

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              • #8
                Thanks for the support guys...I was a little worried about the violence part I mentioned...it's not my way and I have no history of it, but, in being dramatic about it, I think I got my point across to the affected party lol.

                For sure, I wish no night like this on anyone. Hey, at least there were no prima donnas in the band to deal with lol.

                K ;-)
                My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
                E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
                A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
                A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

                Comment


                • #9
                  The nitemare of nitemares! OMG. what. an awful nite, but . way to hang in!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You are a saint!

                    I wouldn't put up with all that oxcrap from band members.

                    Whenever at a gig, I make sure everyone has something to do, from hauling gear, to coiling cables.

                    We make it fun, so it doesn't feel like a chore. For example, when packing up the gear, we use that time to reflect on the performance, or things that happened in front of us that some members might have missed. There's always something to talk about!

                    If a member was a prima donna, not famous or good enough but acting like one, then that member would be tossed out... or I'd walk!
                    DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
                    Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

                    My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

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                    • #11
                      I feel your pain Ken. I have had way too many of those gigs back in the day. That's particularly why I am only an enthused hobbyist now. Other than that my voice has failed, my hands are curled up like claws, my body is as twisted as my mind and I drum like hack
                      8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
                      http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

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                      • #12
                        Somebody give me the cliff notes. hahahahaha
                        Alan
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        website | youtube | facebook | group | newsletter | message | recommendations

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alan VEX View Post
                          Somebody give me the cliff notes. hahahahaha
                          Mislead
                          lured in
                          bent over by fellow band mates
                          left to fend for self and do all the work
                          threatened bodily harm and dismemebrment leading to one less guitarist in the band
                          vowed to never do a gig such as this again...ever.

                          8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
                          http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fulrmr(Daniel) View Post

                            Mislead
                            lured in
                            bent over by fellow band mates
                            left to fend for self and do all the work
                            threatened bodily harm and dismemebrment leading to one less guitarist in the band
                            vowed to never do a gig such as this again...ever.
                            Or at least until next weekend.
                            So glad I don't have to worry with such drama just to have some fun.
                            "It makes sense if you dont think about it"

                            Mimic Pro, SPD-SX, 2-QSC K-10s, K-sub, Yamaha mixer, and a bunch of other expensive cool things!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              you need to work with people with more character. Carefully choose the people with whom you associate.

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