Outdoor Shows - Head and Humidity

GrimmReefer

Senior Member
Hi guys!

This is more to share my horrible experience but also to see if anyone else has had this experience.

On Saturday night we played one of our favorite Venues. Its a dock bar right on the water. Boats surround the place and it is completely open to the night air. As usual it was packed and everyone was having a good time....other than myself. I get hot and sweaty at almost every show but this night was different. In all my years of playing I have never gotten this bad. Simply setting up I must have soaked my whole outfit in sweat. After the first set I was miserable. In between sets I would go to my car, blast the AC and change my shirt. I just could not cool down. By the end of the last set I was feeling dizzy. This has never happened to me. For our last song I was literally talking myself out of throwing up. For the first time ever I actually asked for help from a friend to break down my gear because I just could not concentrate.

I bring this up because I am very upset with my performance. To me it seemed sloppy. I didn't have the energy to do certain fills and played it safe most of the night. It just so happens that the next two shows I have are again at outdoor venues on the water. I never want to repeat my experience of this past Saturday.

Has anyone else dealt with this and are there ways to make sure I take care of myself properly so I can have a good show as usual?

Needless to say I was pumping water into my system all night and didn't drink alchohol. Drank at least two of the big Smart Water bottles throughout the night and my wife was handing me ice water all night as well.

Granted I only need to think about this for another month or so before the weather breaks but with at least 3 more outdoor shows this summer I just wanted some advice.

Wow...what a rant...thanks for listening!
 

Bull

Gold Member
I grew up in Mississippi and live in Florida. I've been soaking wet with sweat at every gig that I have ever played. :) That includes gigs all over the country.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Can you set up a fan next to the drums to blow air on you while you play? Then you could put a wet cloth around your neck and it will stay cool, reducing the blood temperature reaching your brain.

Also, sounds like you need electrolytes, not just water, to replace lost salts. Gatorade or similar. Not all night, but in addition to the water.

Being slightly delirious or shaky could be dehydration lowering blood pressure and reducing bloodflow to muscles and to the brain.

Google to find out what tennis players do when they're in full sun for four hours.
 

0sparky0

Member
Wow dude, that was a tough day behind the kit! Stinks you had to go through that.

I live in coastal SC, where it's hot all year. Play at least twice a week out in the sun. Also used to race bicycles here, and found that hydrating and keeping your electrolytes in check really helps prevent heat strain/stress or stroke. The biggest preventative measure is drinking a LOT of water for several days in advance of gig day. Just doing it the day of isn't enough. You also need to keep your sugar and calories steady the day of the gig. Your stomach doesn't work real well under heat stress, so Coke, or other non diet soda is handy to keep at your side. Even though I normally never drink it, I'll go through almost two pitchers during a 4hr gig in our 90-100 degree temps.. Plain water is also handy, but not quite as much as a calorie liquid. I sometimes also use Gatorade or Powerade, but they tend to give me a sour stomach. They may work for you. Not the sugar free ones. Only eat small stuff before during and after. Big meals will just sit in your gut.

If I have doubles or triple gig days, I also will take a cycle specific supplement. Hammer Premium Insurance Caps were always super effective for me when I was training and racing hard, so I still use them when I know I have a heavy schedule. They have lots of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, which all work together to keep your brain working correctly, which helps you play more accurately. Even salt tabs in a gatorade can help.

Though I don't have one myself, I've also seen and used one of those sports chamois cooling towels. Apparently Lowes carrys one version. They stay super cool, even in direct heat. Would be great to throw around your neck, which possibly will help keep you a little sharper while playing.

This stuff is just what works for me. May not for anyone else, and it's certainly not a healthy solution with all the sugar and caffeine. However, heat stroke is no joke, and is way worse.

Good luck with the next few gigs. Hope you have a better time!
 

Mikeyboyeee

Senior Member
+1 for the fan... probably as important as my throne for every gig -- especially outdoors. and of course hydrate - when you think you drank enough water, drink some more - then have another bottle!

Had you eaten anything before the gig? -- some of that sounds like low blood sugar (dizzy, unable to concentrate etc...)
 

GrimmReefer

Senior Member
Thanks everyone!

All of the responses are exactly what I needed! I certainly believe I drank plenty of water but electorates in Gatorade or the like is a great thought. You wold think water is enough but you are all absolutely right. Sugars in Coke is a good idea as well.

Bringing the fan will be a must from now on. I just never needed one in the past. It is going in my gig case before the weekend though.

I also think the crab cake sandwich before the show was a bad choice. haha
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Man, that sounds like pure hell. I hate being in the sun. Everyone thinks I'm a freak for running from one shady spot to the next whenever the sun is out, but what can I say? It's like I can feel the UV damage happening and actually hear the sizzle of shattering DNA. Might as well be standing butt-nekkid in the core of a nuclear reactor.

If it were me, I'd bring a canopy to put over my drums. To rip off Sublime (with water instead of joints) I'd drink two bottles before I drink two bottles, and then I'd drink two more!
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Yeah if you were shaking and almost throwing up then you were way too hot.. get a fan to blow at you... and gatoraid or find something even better.. and just keep drinking it... never let yourself get that bad.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Man, that sounds like pure hell. I hate being in the sun. Everyone thinks I'm a freak for running from one shady spot to the next whenever the sun is out, but what can I say? It's like I can feel the UV damage happening and actually hear the sizzle of shattering DNA. Might as well be standing butt-nekkid in the core of a nuclear reactor.

If it were me, I'd bring a canopy to put over my drums. To rip off Sublime (with water instead of joints) I'd drink two bottles before I drink two bottles, and then I'd drink two more!
Don't give sublime credit for that. That's why I think it should be illegal to cover a song on a commercial album without crediting the original author in the song-title.

I'm with you on the sun thing, though. I don't like direct sunlight, mostly because I know that it's f'n radiation! I've seen a few real bad sub burns, and to think of what actually caused that and how bad it must be for us it terrible.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I played in various marching and second line groups for years, and I have to second the gatorade idea (you cna make your own gatorade at home for a fraction of the cost and you can control the ingredients as well)

Gatorade works because it's salty (electrolytes) and sweet (sugar). The electrolytes help keep your muscles going and your blood flowing, while the sugar is a carb that will give you energy (calories).

Stay away from diet drinks or drinks with artificial sweeteners in them...

Also, make sure you are eating enough; if you are getting light headed like that it may be that your body isn't taking in enogh calories to sustain your energy level.

PS you may want to change the title of the thread, when I clicked it, I thought it was going to be about drum heads when playing in humid places. I think you meant to say "HEAT and humidity"
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Enough water is a very variable term. Most people drink way too little. Just tons of water might not be enough though. At least add some salt and a bit of lemon.

There are foods that are more cooling than others. Cucumbers being the most obvious one. Celery for natural sodium, and so on.

High temperatures and high humidity is a challenge for anyone. Not just for you, but probably your gear as well. Definetly bring a fan. A BIG one. Bring two. And a towel.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Enough water is a very variable term. Most people drink way too little. Just tons of water might not be enough though. At least add some salt and a bit of lemon.
Also worth mentioning, proper hydration begins a day or two before the event. Simply hydrating an hour before the event leaves you under hydrated and possibly bloated. Good call on the electrolytes.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Definetly.

For anyone suffering genral low energy/concentration. Nutrition is offcourse important, but downing a quart of water first thing every morning will make a ton of difference. Before reaching for that coffee or worse coke for a bit of energy, have another quart of water and just think ahead. Don't wait until you're thirsty. Just make it a routine. Add a bit of high quality protein snacking, depending on your personal metabolism, and it shold get you through anything.

My own "secret" energy drink is just simply nettle tea. It really works. Not a cup. I make a gallon and keep it in the fridge.

I do another one with luo han guo and gynostemma + extras, but I'm telling you. Nettle, maybe with a bit of mint for your taste preferences is simple, but it also simply kicks ass. Cheap too.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
A high velocity squirrel cage fan...the kind they use to dry out wet carpets... is a required piece of gear for me. My cooling system works a little too well so I have an excessive moisture problem. First thing I set up is my fan so I can keep cool while setting up. I am usually pretty wet from moving gear in the summer before I even set up, so it's crucial. I hate being wet! But I had to get used to it. So I am in a constant state of evaporation when I play.

You should see me when I work electric. My clothes get so wet, I have salt stains at the bottoms of my pant legs. They're soaked all the way through, clear to the bottom. It sucks, but I feel good sweating all the crap out of my body.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Also worth mentioning, proper hydration begins a day or two before the event. Simply hydrating an hour before the event leaves you under hydrated and possibly bloated. Good call on the electrolytes.
OK (minor thread derail) but beware the rampant myths on hydration, promoted by bottle companies and eschewed by medical researchers. No need to drink if you don't have thirst. Your kidneys do their job either way.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/hydration-myths-debunked-in-5-easy-sips-1.3155705
 

STXBob

Gold Member
I just came from St Croix, US Virgin Islands. Every gig is an outdoor gig. Every gig is hot. Every gig that starts before 6PM is sunny (350 days of full sun per year).

Yeah, I've been there. ;-)

Lessons learned include:

Drink LOTS of non-alcoholic fluids. I prefer coconut water. Yeah, I know it's the current hipster thing, but it does actually work. It's really, really good for you and it's a great hydrator. Gatorade pales in comparison. The advice to carefully tailor your hydration and nutrition, on a daily basis, with a view to not dying when you're out in the environment is 100% awesome and win.

Take your time during setup and teardown. Get there early and dawdle over teardown. Consume fluids during both time periods.

Get. A. Fan. I had a small multi-speed fan which I only forgot once. I suffered greatly that one time and never forgot it again.

Avoid ice-cold fluids. The shock to your overheated system does, in my opinion, more harm than good. Room-temperature or slightly cooler will have a cooling effect. Plus your body will absorb fluids closer to its temperature more quickly than it will ice-cold fluids.

By the same token, acclimate. If you live and work in an environment where AC keeps the ambient temperature 20F colder than it is outside, that's a tough task. But it really, really helps to simply get your body used to the ambient temperatures you'll experience during your outdoor gigs.

Hope this helps!
 

GrimmReefer

Senior Member
I can't thank everyone enough for the responses. A person feels like they know what to do but you can always learn something.

I tell you what...a fan is the number one thing I am getting. I honestly just don't need it for indoor venues, even on a hot stage. The outdoor heat and humidity just really did me in.

Hydrating days in advance is great advice. Actually since this past weekend hydration is something I have focused on every day so that should help.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
You don't have a fan? In this weather you need a fan. Even when it is cooler I still bring my fan, just in case I need it.
 
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