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This gig's gone south, deal with it.

Fro

Experienced
It actually was a fun gig, but it was definitely added to that long list of reminders that playing live is never without its challenges. It was cooler than normal for June, which isn't unusual for Wisconsin. But the front moving through had shifted course and turned right into us. We weren't under any shelter, but I always have tarps with me just in case. We were at a campground, and a bunch of campers collected their E-Z-Ups and built us a make-shift shelter, and the show continued on. If the campers weren't planning on going anywhere, then neither were we. We've definitely played through much worse situations. At least it was a good crowd, we all had a good time, and all of the gear survived.

So what has everyone else been forced to suffer through at a gig?

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Doug Lewis

Inspired
We did a show this last weekend that was supposed to be outside but the rain started and they moved us inside to the dining room. The other guitar player plugged his Furman into a floor outlet with a 10 amp 110 outlet. Plugged his Mesa Mark V, pedalboard, and one of the PA powered mains into the Furman. His amp turned on but quickly turned off. While trying to figure out what the issue was the sound tech powered up the main that immediately let out a bang, sparks, and smoke. The bar owner came out and said, "yeah that one is wired for 220 for an old buffet table we use in the mornings". ...ouch. The pedals survived but the Mesa is toast. We plugged his pedals straight into the board and finished the night.
 

paranoid

Fractal Fanatic
We did a show this last weekend that was supposed to be outside but the rain started and they moved us inside to the dining room. The other guitar player plugged his Furman into a floor outlet with a 10 amp 110 outlet. Plugged his Mesa Mark V, pedalboard, and one of the PA powered mains into the Furman. His amp turned on but quickly turned off. While trying to figure out what the issue was the sound tech powered up the main that immediately let out a bang, sparks, and smoke. The bar owner came out and said, "yeah that one is wired for 220 for an old buffet table we use in the mornings". ...ouch. The pedals survived but the Mesa is toast. We plugged his pedals straight into the board and finished the night.
Whom ever wired a 110 outlet 220 should be sentenced to death. that is a really bone head move there. this world is so full of stupidness. That guy(or gal) is up there with the inventers of cheater plugs(cords with the ground cut of).
 

EJ James

Experienced
Outdoors, no cover, during Spring in Texas. Been there, done that, bitched about it, ended up with same result as @chris (mod). I'm smarter than that. My gear cost more than the gig paid. 'Nuff said.

Want me to play uncovered during a 98% chance of down-pour? Pay the rider up front and we have a deal. No exceptions. I just need time to backup my presets. =)

Here comes latest-n-greatest! WOOT! =)

/perspective
 

SJB

Inspired
Worst gig ever: 1984-ish (no cell phones) - middle of nowhere Iowa. We put a massive sound system on to the center island of an outdoor race track - off road stuff, souped-up farm implements - you know, the kind made of banked dirt with open-air bleachers on one side. The show is an all-day benefit festival, maybe 6 bands. PA set up ready to go on time.., bands show up... but where are the people? No one is coming. Tick tock..,. Two or three bands in, and still no one is showing up... clouds gathering to the west. Then we see it - a wall of green coming our way from the west... fast. Hail core, and God knows what else. We started to tear down the PA.... no time to think.... just move. No time to wrap cords neatly, or pack the truck carefully. By the time we got everything in it was pouring rain, the hail had started, and there was a pile of cables in the back of the truck as big as a Volkswagen (for real). Horrible storm. We were the last ones left inside the track and as we tried to drive up out of it, we just slid back down in on the (now) mud surface of the track banks. Lucky for us there was a local with a tow rig, waiting to make sure we got out. He pulled us out of there.... shaken and stirred. Huge mess... turns out the sponsors and locals never bothered to tell us the whole area was under tornado watch for the whole day. That's why very few patrons showed up. Took us a full day to sort out the cables, clean the gear, and re-pack the truck. Those were the days man!
 

jefferski

Fractal Fanatic
Can't beat that one, but once in about '98 when I lived in Carolina we played at a junior high school that was having a festival thing for the kids and parents (singer's wife worked there). We were the only band and they had us set up on pine mulch. Two days after a hurricane blew through. Pine mulch. "Oh my word, the ground's wet?" Yes ma'am, there was about 5 inches of rain on Tuesday. "Oh heavens, and you need flat ground?" No ma'am, our drummer is used to playing with his drums all askew and our PA looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Can we set up on that concrete area right over there? "No, we need that for our vendors and so the parents and kids can walk around." And then the clincher:

"Oh, do you need power?" No b**ch, you hired a rock band that happens to own magical technology that can get our power straight from the voltage differential in the wet pine mulch that we're standing on. This amazing technology will also prevent you from a lawsuit if we die from electrical shock.

So they plug us in to the one outlet (one!) that's in the area, which is being shared by the air compressor for a giant inflatable fun house slide thing for the kids. Of course there was no way that circuit could provide enough power for a PA, amps and pedals.

Somehow we made it through. My processor was shorted out, it had some alien text on the screen instead of its normal readout (I thought it had been fried for good), we ran the vocals through the 2nd channel on one of the guitar amps, the drummer managed to not fall off his seat, and none of us went up in smoke...
 

AminorZmajor

Experienced
Two years ago we played outdoors in Phoenix at a place called Sage and Sand in either late July or early August. Hottest day of the year. During setup it was 118 degrees F. When we went onstage at 9pm it was still well over 100 degrees. Last year we played outside for a 4th of July Spectacular in Cave Creek mid day and it was about 105. Up until about 5 hours before setup we thought we would be inside and the venue would provide PA. We ended up outside and setup our own PA...... We did have shade and some misters which created some additional issues. The things we do for a little stage time......
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Played in a venue called Little Bear in the Colo mountains. Slated for a Thursday night when it was supposed to be packed.

Being Colorado, a front moved in. It was -2 degrees on the mountain with wind, frozen roads, etc.

Needless to say, there were 5 people who braved the elements to be in the bar (hell, they were only there because they got stuck). In their 'infinite' wisdom of money saving, the venue didn't bother to turn on the heat...had to be a balmy 16 in the house...at best Played with a full coat, half gloves. There was frost on my MIC.

As much as it sucked, we had a great time with those folks. We bought each other shots, played our way through a few sets, and risked pneumonia. I broke a string on the last song (too damn'd cold!) and faked my way through 'Sweet Home Alabama' (requested) and solo's with 5 strings.

A good memory, but wouldn't want to do it again.
 

Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
The most interesting gig I've ever seen was in Iran. A friend of mine got married there back in 1998 and they had booked a band (keyboard player with backing tracks and some other musicians/singers) for their wedding party. It was being housed in some secluded garden in the suburbs, because being a theocracy non-religious music in public is not allowed in Iran. But Iranians love a good party (alcohol too for that matter), so they still had a good time, music playing, people dancing, booze being served somewhere. And then along come the religious police. Probably a neighbor who had tipped them off.

In my entire musical career I have never seen any musicians move so fast at dismantling and removing their gear as back then. And I have worked at festivals where changeovers had to be brutally fast and short.
 

dpeterson

Axe-Master
Bike night at local Harley Dealership... Had everything setup, was ready to soundcheck, and all hell broke loose, like a monsoon. The sound guy luckily had some tarps and we had a sun shade over us, we pulled everything into the shade and tarps on the outlying gear. Sun shade started to collect water, someone pushed it up, and it poured into the opening bands drum set, drenched it. Gig was re-scheduled.

Only thing really lost was one of the soundguys subs. I've vowed to make a disaster kit for when we play outdoors, still need to do this. Would have some tarps, duct tape, bungee cords, towels, etc.
 
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KevinP

Inspired
Had a fun one around 1999, on tour somewhere in the Midwest (I think PA) with Easy Riders Rodeo. Between bands the front side of a storm blew through (just wind out of nowhere), we lowered the roof which covered back line and pulled monitors away from front of the stage, no issue with that, but one of the scrims on the PA wing caught too much wind and the entire PA wing went over. Luckily it was a big outdoor festival and between bands so no one was in front of the PA wing when it went over. The sound company lost a number of boxes in that one, somewhere I think I have a picture of me standing on top of the fallen pile of gear.
 
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rushfan

Experienced
August of 1986, played outdoors at Jack Trice Stadium at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. We have everything set up, and then the tornado alarms went off in a neighboring town just west of Ames! We tore everything down as fast as we could, and the wind was blowing so hard before the tornado, it took our rear lighting truss and banner about 10 feet off of the ground and 25 feet away - our sound man grabbed onto a power cable (not plugged in, thankfully) and was flying the whole thing like it was a kite, until it started lifting him off the ground! 2 more of us grabbed him and pulled the whole thing down and crashed it to the ground - the Par 64's bit the dust, but the Par 56's and rain lights, banner and truss survived.
We knew it was coming and had already torn down and packed up most of our gear before that first wind hit, but that was probably the scariest gig of all time!
 

yeky83

Power User
Two years ago we played outdoors in Phoenix at a place called Sage and Sand in either late July or early August. Hottest day of the year. During setup it was 118 degrees F. When we went onstage at 9pm it was still well over 100 degrees. Last year we played outside for a 4th of July Spectacular in Cave Creek mid day and it was about 105. Up until about 5 hours before setup we thought we would be inside and the venue would provide PA. We ended up outside and setup our own PA...... We did have shade and some misters which created some additional issues. The things we do for a little stage time......
I'm almost more surprised that an audience would gather outside when it's that hot... do they? I can't imagine, I'm a sheltered Californian XD
 

solo-act

Fractal Fanatic
I booked a woman musician into a dive-bar gig that started south and went south-er, but not because of the weather.

Stage was in a room between the bar and pool hall. No one was stopping to hang out in the music room except one drunk guy who eventually passed out sitting up. For 30 minutes no one noticed. Then they duck-taped him to the table and left the room. She played the rest of the gig to the duck-taped dude.....
Ouch....
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
I booked a woman musician into a dive-bar gig that started south and went south-er, but not because of the weather.

Stage was in a room between the bar and pool hall. No one was stopping to hang out in the music room except one drunk guy who eventually passed out sitting up. For 30 minutes no one noticed. Then they duck-taped him to the table and left the room. She played the rest of the gig to the duck-taped dude.....
Ouch....
Pics or it didn’t happen.
 

Rex

Legend!
I booked a woman musician into a dive-bar gig that started south and went south-er, but not because of the weather.

Stage was in a room between the bar and pool hall. No one was stopping to hang out in the music room except one drunk guy who eventually passed out sitting up. For 30 minutes no one noticed. Then they duck-taped him to the table and left the room. She played the rest of the gig to the duck-taped dude.....
Ouch....
That can't end well. At some point, you're going to have a bound, confused man with a full bladder.
 

AminorZmajor

Experienced
I'm almost more surprised that an audience would gather outside when it's that hot... do they? I can't imagine, I'm a sheltered Californian XD
Yes, they do. It's Phoenix after all and as long as there is some shade during the day the audience will show up. This is a picture from the stage after it got dark. I think we started at 5pm and finished up around 10pm. Played about an hour after the fireworks.
Radio X July4th.jpg
 
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