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#1646197 - 07/15/05 09:28 AM Nasty Gig #26
Botch. Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 8149
Loc: Ogden, Utard
Fortunately these don't come too often, but I sure had a nasty gig last night. Clinton City is having their annual week-long celebration, and they asked us to play last night from 8 to 10.

I was dreading the gig from the start, we're in the middle of a heat wave and its been over 100 degrees the last couple days, Thursday was no exception. They already had a PA and sound crew set up for us, nice that we don't have to set up our PA but we lose our secret weapon, Danny M mixing for us. Of course the guys in the band had to have them tear everything up so we could use our in-ear monitors. Well, everyone was getting a signal except me, one guy futzed with my monitor feed and finally it was coming through (I'm suspecting a bad cable). I soundchecked my keyboard and it was distorting badly, I played another keyboard and it was clear as a bell, so I tried another channel on my mixer, that was the problem. I was so flustered by that I forgot to do a quick check of the fiddle. Also, I run my harp mic through an old effects processor, then speak through that mic with a +5-step pitch change to obtain a "Martian Voice" when we do "Martian Boogie"; I plugged the unit in and it wouldn't come on, it or its power supply was dead.

Show started, Jeff jumped on the downbeat and my monitors cut out again, I got so frustrated I just pulled my in-ears out and hoped I could hear the PA. I could, but I couldn't hear my keys at all. Fortunately I had set up a small keyboard amp and quickly flipped it on, kinda hard to do during "Roll with the Changes" (hmm, how appropriate). Our guitarist had most of his family and coworkers there, so of course his amp was blistering loud, I could just barely hear my keys. Vocals, forget it. I sang, I'll have to ask the guys if I was on pitch at all, I usually can do OK without good monitors but I don't know for sure.

Get to the first fiddle song, no signal. My wireless receiver showed a good signal, one guy ran up to change a cable and we switched to a non-fiddle song; he then forgot about me and started messing with a couple of lights. We ended up not playing any fiddle songs last night either.

After about six songs I got over being so flustered with everything going wrong, and then I noticed where the Port-a-Johns were. They had about eight of them set up. About 100' away. Upwind. Directly upwind. You know how a Port-a-John smells in 100+ degree heat? Ugh, I about got sick by the end of the night.

Fortunately the rest of the guys had a good night and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. To top off the evening I pulled a thigh muscle while loading my keyboards after the show. I'm glad these bad gigs don't come too often. Ugh.
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Botch
"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will
http://www.puddlestone.net

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#1646198 - 07/16/05 03:46 AM Re: Nasty Gig #26
BluesWithoutBlame Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 774
Loc: Oslo. Norway
Heh...sound NASY...especially the porta-potties.

If it helps at all, and it probably doesn't but..., keep in mind as bad as that story/gig sounds, there are literally hundreds off folks here on this list that would have given their right arm EVEN for that gig!

Really...along with your know how, you knew what to do and were inventive in your attempts to get some workarounds, not to mention it sounds like you brought a keyboard amp even though you were sure you wouldn't need it (this is something I always think of as professional. I'm no pro, but in my guitar gig bag I have extra preamp tubes, extra cables, screwdriver, batteries, etc. I bought a little backup amp, which I take with me to our gigs, etc) and used your head. Lots of folks here would like to have handled it as cool "under fire" like that.

On top of which, you KNOW how that goes about evaluating your own performance. Usually we get it about 180 degrees wrong right? I have some weird theories that when things go wrong, and your logical brain is all focused on "okay, what can I do now to help this work...maybe I could boost the..." OR focused on "idiot! man I BLEW that note, and that riff was WAY better when I practiced it today at home"....while the logical mind gets all distracted, but you're still playing I think the other part gets more power...starts really doing it :-)

I know it's happened to me tons of times...I focused only on the flaws in my performance, others just listened to the music.
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Check out my original music at
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"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,
but not in practice."

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#1646199 - 07/16/05 12:52 PM Re: Nasty Gig #26
Botch. Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 8149
Loc: Ogden, Utard
Thanks for the kind words, Blues. And believe me I'm thankful for all the gigs we do have. If I didn't whine once in awhile, I'd have no personality at all! \:D
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Botch
"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will
http://www.puddlestone.net

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#1646200 - 07/17/05 07:55 AM Re: Nasty Gig #26
BluesWithoutBlame Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 774
Loc: Oslo. Norway
Quote:
Originally posted by Botch.:
Thanks for the kind words, Blues. And believe me I'm thankful for all the gigs we do have. If I didn't whine once in awhile, I'd have no personality at all! \:D
Heh...I like that.


I didn't see it as whining though, but I think most folks here like hearing this kind of story, there were a lot of plusses in there too :-)
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Check out my original music at
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,
but not in practice."

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#1646201 - 07/18/05 05:02 PM Re: Nasty Gig #26
Randy Combs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 95
Loc: Cedar Rapids,Iowa
Did anyone from the audience tell you you did. Every time I have a bad show soeone comes up and tells it was great. Go figure.

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#1646202 - 07/18/05 07:41 PM Re: Nasty Gig #26
shniggens Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 3022
Loc: Denvoid, CO
Quote:
Originally posted by Botch.:
. They had about eight of them set up. About 100' away. Upwind. Directly upwind. You know how a Port-a-John smells in 100+ degree heat? Ugh, I about got sick by the end of the night.
You guys think you're hot shit, huh?
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#1646203 - 07/20/05 01:00 PM Re: Nasty Gig #26
freelance Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 349
Loc: Oh, I forgot?
Botch,

Thank you for sharing your pain.

I love gig horror stories - in part because I've had more than my share (I too have played waaaay too close to Porta Johns and one time about 20' from the wrong end of a horse barn (a county fair).

We all need "gigs from hell" from time to time to keep things in perspective (if every gig were great, we'd start thinking we are worthy!)

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#1646204 - 07/20/05 02:56 PM Re: Nasty Gig #26
EscapeRocks Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/12/03
Posts: 4013
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Did anyone from the audience tell you you did. Every time I have a bad show soeone comes up and tells it was great. Go figure.
That's a phenomenom many of us here experience.

I've had night where I was certain our vocals sucked, yet audience members, including other god musicians have come up to us and told us "you nailed the vocals tonight!"

I file it under the 'we're our own worst critics' category.
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David
Gig Rig: Roland FA-08 | Yamaha MOXF6 | Alesis Vortex |


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#1646205 - 07/20/05 10:38 PM Re: Nasty Gig #26
timrocker Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/09/00
Posts: 801
Loc: Palm Springs, CA UNITED STATES
That happens to us sometimes too. It's so weird.

On the subject of being upwind from the wrong smell, we play a place twice a month that is next to a chicken ranch. HOOO BOY. That smell will literally seep into your clothes on a hot summer night and come home with you. GAGGITY Gag o bleck. The owner of the chicken ranch pops over for a beer and a game of pool often. The people there have smelled it for so long that they seem to not even notice it. I drive back to Portland with all the windows down.

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