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biggest gig I ever played


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OK, my church has about 3 different locations plus a TV location. Well, My church rented out the local venue frequented by such acts like Rush, the Police, Kiss, Dave Matthews Band, etc, for one big service. In all, this Sunday I will be staring at 6000+ faces. I have never played a gig NEARLY this big. Needless to say I'm a bit nervous. Anybody have any tips for playing in a venue this big? Is it any different from playing a small stage in an indoor location?
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You'll have a lot more lights on the band, and it seems like acres of stage space. You won't really be able to pick out individuals in the crowd

 

Focus on the real reason for your praise service - and let HIM get the glory - you and the band have been blessed - play in a manner to be a blessing - and enjoy!

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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Rely on your own amp as your monitor to hear yourself. Position it close enough to you for that to happen. If you do get your own monitor mix get a little of everything that you don't hear without the monitor. Once the music starts the nerves will settle. Relax and enjoy. I've been fortunate to have the opportunities to play to many large crowds and some up to 50,000 and have to say it is a real thrill.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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Ha! Six thousand people! That's a lot! 50,000 are even more. Gotta change my name to Captain Obvious.

 

I've never played to anywhere near that many people. But am very keen on keeping the stage small; fight the urge to spread out. The Mojo changes incredibly when the cats who usually are right in your kitchen suddenly aren't.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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Maintain a few steps from an available monitor. Keep an ear on the drums. By all means have fun. I have played several shows this size and the biggest issue is losing the "feel" of the close up sound. Everything feels huge and the monitor is your friend. Wireless in ear monitors are best but I never had that luxury.

 

Enjoy!

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Make absolutely sure you get a good productive soundcheck. If there's anything you or any of your mates need regarding monitor mix, don't be afraid to tell the soundman. He can hear the FOH, but you and your mates are his 'ears' on stage. Don't be afraid to tell him/her anything at all, since you can hear it but he/she can't.

 

Take as long as you need. They want to work with you, but you have to trust them to take care of you.

 

The biggest problem on a stage like that is a good monitor mix. Once you all are comfortable with it, then just relax and have a great show. They'll have your back if you treat them like they're one of the band (which, in reality, they are).

 

Have a large time! Drink in the experience. You'll remember it for the rest of your life.

Play. Just play.
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With all the lights you won't be able to see beyond the first few rows anyway, so don't sweat it.

 

Well, sure. But they can all see you. And they'll all be looking at you the whole night, with those beady little eyes. And the guy running the Jumbo-tron will be sure to put you full screen as you play that clam, so no stink-faces unless it's somebody else's clam.....

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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I know you weren't serious, Paul, but REALLY...no one EVER looks at the bass player...even during a bass solo.

 

I was recently asked how the guitar player got such a distorted wha-wha'd sound out of his acoustic guitar. Another time someone wanted the "lead guitar player" to do more shredding.

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I know you weren't serious, Paul, but REALLY...no one EVER looks at the bass player...even during a bass solo.

 

Last Friday I played a solo on the electric upright. It was even announced by the guitarist just as I was starting to play the part. Afterwards I asked my girlfriend if she thought the solo worked and she was completely unaware that a bass solo had been played ... But ask her about the guitarist and she can comment on most all of his soli ...

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Not to belittle your contribution but you must realize that you will be far from everyone's main focus at that event. Relax (yea right, that's a useful gem), have fun and remember that you'll be in front of a forgiving crowd.

 

I was hoping to see some of the other guys big numbers. As for myself, I'd have to ask if my daughter's stuffed animal collection counts?

If you think my playing is bad, you should hear me sing!
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As much as I enjoyed the gigs that were in front of large audiences I also enjoyed many club date gigs with next to nothing of a crowd. What I liked about those gigs is the purity of the sound without all the background noise and also giving those few in attendance a high quality performance.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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The biggest crowds I have played for were 55,000 people.

I was in the SF 49ers band for one season.

 

It was about a 22 piece big band and we played before the game and during tv commercials. I was sight-reading.

 

The band was on the 50 yard line and the Niners had a great season. It was a lot of fun. I doubt that many people payed much attention to us. We were under a tent, so I know that they couldn't see us.

 

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Just recently, my band played for the party to celebrate Tavistock, Devon, being the start of stage 5 of the Tour of Britain cycle race. Centre of town cordoned of, stage and sound set up, and we were on fourth out of six acts, so we had a big, warmed up crowd of between 3 and 5 thousand. That's certainly ten times as big as anything I've ever played!

It was a total blast!

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You can't focus on that many people so, in my experience between a few hundred and a few thousand makes little difference..although you do get a buzz from it. If it's a worship experience keep it focussed on that. If it's a large stage try to use the whole stage but don't just race around, just think about the space - especially the width of the stage.

I did play a large gig with a huge stage and video screens once (similar Telebass' example this was actually an opening of the London leg of the Tour de France some years ago). This was a funk band led by a female singer and I found the best way to get myself on the screen was stand right behind or next to her! ;) But probably not appropriate at a church gig!

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I think the largest gig I ever played was like 20-something years ago. It was for about 400 people in a gymnasium meant to hold about that many people. From the stage, it looked like the whole world showed up. I've always hoped I'd play another packed house that size to see if it really looked as big as I seem to recall.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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As Wally, Flemtone and Bass Bastard have pointed out, make sure the monitor has what you need. Resist the temptation to play loud on stage (to fill the hall on your own). The sound will start swimming if everyone plays too loud onstage. At the soundcheck, make sure you start at a normal volume onstage, then be very specific about what you want to hear in your monitor. It can also be helpful to turn your own amp down and have some bass in your monitor. Make sure the monitor sound is also not too loud (also from the other musicians).

 

Then just have a blast.

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I agree with John about your bass amp not being too loud. That is one reason I like to be close up on my cab and if not a stack then up on crates at ear level. The times that I didn't do this and walked out too far from my amp I didn't like the sound I was hearing. Getting a little bass in the monitor is good but you shouldn't depend on this as your main source of hearing yourself.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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+1 on:

 

Don't play too loudly;

 

Get a friendly monitor mix;

 

Get a decent soundcheck (if possible);

 

Have fun!

 

Not as impressive as some, but I have played in front of 5,000-10,000 peeps many times, and once played a live radio show that had to be to several hundred thousand people (maybe more, WFMU hits a lot of territory.)

 

Break a leg!!

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

 

 

 

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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As Wally, Flemtone and Bass Bastard have pointed out, make sure the monitor has what you need. Resist the temptation to play loud on stage (to fill the hall on your own). The sound will start swimming if everyone plays too loud onstage. At the soundcheck, make sure you start at a normal volume onstage, then be very specific about what you want to hear in your monitor. It can also be helpful to turn your own amp down and have some bass in your monitor. Make sure the monitor sound is also not too loud (also from the other musicians).

 

Then just have a blast.

+1

 

Very bad when the stage sound is so loud it starts whirling around incoherently. If that does happen, or you get caught where you can't hear well, look at the drummer and get your timing from what you see.

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The biggest crowds I have played for were 55,000 people.

I was in the SF 49ers band for one season.

I played Georgia Tech stadium when the capacity was 58,121. (It has been reduced to 46,000 today.)

It was "band day" and my high school band joined several others for halftime. We were the "H" in "TECH". Not nearly the same thing as I was marching a tuba, but it was still a big crowd.

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Update!

 

Gig went great, thanks a bunch for the advice. There wasnt a problem with stage noise with the exception of the acoustic drum kits. We all had in-ear monitors and our amps were behind the stage.

 

Here are some pics of the show

 

http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq231/KFTBassist/stage.jpg

 

the stage from the soundboard. I was really impressed with how the team put that all together.

 

http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq231/KFTBassist/completeband.jpg

 

This shows the whole band. everyone sounded phenomenal.

 

http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq231/KFTBassist/bow.jpg

 

Yes thats me with a bow, Yes it sounded awesome and everyone loved it.

 

http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq231/KFTBassist/bow2.jpg

 

me with our guitarist. Note my pedalboard next to me, putting the guitarist pedalboard to shame. HAH take that! P.S. please dont make fun of my growing bald spot in that picture.

 

Everyone there was awesome, I had some fun chatting with the head of security. He had fun stories about Kiss and Sting. Plus in our green room, someone wrote on the corner of the door, "Tommy Lee was Here, 2008"

 

It was one of the coolest moments of my life so far!

 

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I'm glad you were able to enjoy it, that's what it's all about! Looks like you didn't need an amp at all since you used in-ears. I've only done one gig with in-ears and not needing an amp and it worked out great as well.

 

Looks like you won't worry as much when your next opportunity like this presents itself.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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