Turning The Audience Against A Drunk Patron

Jim Mattingly

Senior Member
Short band history..The band I am currently in has been together since April 2011. We have literally been playing out 4-6 times a month since two weeks after we joined forces, great bandmates with literally zero drama to date. We have a great following already and really get some great venues to play with some great audiences. Our main focus is on in your face blues with some great funk, originals and a few choice classic rock covers. Anyway, I got us a gig in the town I live in, not where I am from, I am from the Wash., D.C. area and moved to a small town outside of Grand Rapids, MI. about 15 years ago, most definitely city gone country. Alot of my friends and even the bar owner have been asking us to play in our town for a few months and I finally got us a gig for a huge Halloween party at this bar. I had my reservations playing there because I know how the people are and they are a little/lot rednecky and will get into fights at the drop of a hat. This being said to all the band members they still agreed to play, good money so what the hell. Into our second set and this drunken idiot walks up to our lead singer and says what the hell we want to hear some frickin rock and roll, we are here to have fun and want to hear some good frickin music. Our female lead singer commences to say sir we are a blues band and don't play alot of rock music. He continues to be an a-hole and so she finally goes over the PA and says hey everyone, this guy says he does not want us playing this music but wants to hear some rock, what do you think about this ?? SO the audience started booing this guy telling him to get the heck out of here, and actually his own daughter ended up getting him thrown out. I have to give our lead singer kudos for handling this so well, she really came through in what could have been a very ugly situation. We consider ourselves a band that caters to the biker crowds, playing a ton of biker events and bars and we have not had one issue as some would stereotype the biker crowd, we play this little podunk town and this is what happens, needless to say we will not be playing in my town again, definitely their loss.
 

Attachments

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Well played!!

I used to play with a singer who was fond of "borrowing" comeback lines he'd seen comedians use when they were dealing with hecklers. They were often brilliantly cutting yet so funny. He'd take them from lion to lamb in a few short words, with the whole venue along for the ride. Great stuff.
 

bigd

Silver Member
The singer did a good job. You have to expect that stuff and worse when you're playing in a bar. You're not playing to a black tie and tails crowd. People go and get hammered. That's the point for some people isn' t it?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Sounds like your singer handled it perfectly.

Is that you holding the cake? Representing the Carhartt, I gotta give you some props for that!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, nice job there. The girls have a way of disarming drunk guys. There's so much power in their charms, as there often is in their understated playing.
 

ddrumman2004

Senior Member
Our band plays in a "redneck" venue once a month...a two night gig.
There is no danger from a drunk doing the same thing as you describe. Security will have him or her out the front door in a heartbeat.

Now I have played in places where drunks will get in a fight...usually over a woman and at a pool table.....and literally clear the place out. Worst thing to do is stop playing when that happens. And all the times that's happened, the band was always safe. Plus, me behind the drums, I always had a front line of defense. LOL!

One time i remember a drunk getting up in one of our lead guitar player's face some years back and the drunk "paid" for that mistake. Lead player was a big fella!

Anyway.....your lead singer handled it right.
 
D

Doctor Dirt

Guest
Bikers now a days are just yuppies and harmless wanna beez, however make believe red necks are idiots and love to get beat up. Trust me now I'm in SW Fla and about 45 minutes away from red neck hunting grounds. Their pretty much everywhere Maine (the ultimate re necks) out West, okies in Sacramento you name an area and their on the out skirts some where.
You can't let your female singer stand there with some jerk yaking in her face, sorry your wrong. You need someone in the band to learn how to "walk em off" another words get their attention get him turned and moving away from the band stand. If no one can handle this then hire someone or explain to the bar/club that they need to have an eye on the stand and in front of the stand. I'm very old school in regards to anyone coming to the stand or trying to get on it. Its NOT happening, EVER! I fronted my band from 1969 to 1989 (Blues band) and worked double drums occasionally and when I was behind a kit the boys up front took control of the situation.
I view it the same as entering my place of work and jeopardizing my earnings and possibly physically hurting someone in the group. I grew up in some pretty tuff bars and worked alot of private clubs at a pretty young age and you learn to care for your gear and how to grade drunks. Its not our job to handle security issues but no one is gonna endanger my people. The head stock of a Fender bass in the forehead is a good attention getter and atleast one mic stand needs to have the round base so the shins get a slam.
Last time for me was in 1999 at a bar on Rt 41 south of Sarasota he should be walking straight by now, maybe not hahahaha!!! Protect one another especially the female singer.
Doc
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
The clubs I went to all the drunks would form this thing called a mosh pit and beat each other up by flailing around like bumper cars with drunken fists flying around. Pure energy!
 

Jim Mattingly

Senior Member
The singer did a good job. You have to expect that stuff and worse when you're playing in a bar. You're not playing to a black tie and tails crowd. People go and get hammered. That's the point for some people isn' t it?
Oh believe me I do expect it, this was a very mild altercation compared to some in the past. But you are absolutely correct, depending on the venue(s) played you need to be prepared for just about anything. But I have also run into "situations" playing corporate gigs before, where you would not expect it. It truly is the alcohol or superman juice that can make someone become a real idiot, real quick...
 

Jim Mattingly

Senior Member
Bikers now a days are just yuppies and harmless wanna beez, however make believe red necks are idiots and love to get beat up. Trust me now I'm in SW Fla and about 45 minutes away from red neck hunting grounds. Their pretty much everywhere Maine (the ultimate re necks) out West, okies in Sacramento you name an area and their on the out skirts some where.
You can't let your female singer stand there with some jerk yaking in her face, sorry your wrong. You need someone in the band to learn how to "walk em off" another words get their attention get him turned and moving away from the band stand. If no one can handle this then hire someone or explain to the bar/club that they need to have an eye on the stand and in front of the stand. I'm very old school in regards to anyone coming to the stand or trying to get on it. Its NOT happening, EVER! I fronted my band from 1969 to 1989 (Blues band) and worked double drums occasionally and when I was behind a kit the boys up front took control of the situation.
I view it the same as entering my place of work and jeopardizing my earnings and possibly physically hurting someone in the group. I grew up in some pretty tuff bars and worked alot of private clubs at a pretty young age and you learn to care for your gear and how to grade drunks. Its not our job to handle security issues but no one is gonna endanger my people. The head stock of a Fender bass in the forehead is a good attention getter and atleast one mic stand needs to have the round base so the shins get a slam.
Last time for me was in 1999 at a bar on Rt 41 south of Sarasota he should be walking straight by now, maybe not hahahaha!!! Protect one another especially the female singer.
Doc
I totally agree with watching out for your bandmates and gear, this was a suprisingly quick evolution and in no way would I ever let any harm come to any of my bandmates. I actually went into the bathroom during a break without knowing the guy was in there, my wife saw this and sent the harp player in after me, because she knows how "I USED" to be and knows that when I was a young stud I was a scrapper and would never back down from anyone who "Starts" crap. I would like to think, or I know, I have mellowed out a ton from my younger days. I grew up in Wash., D.C. and if you were not fighting, you were getting your ass kicked. I have gotten my butt whipped a few times, but I have also taken care of myself and friends really good over the years...
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Great work from your singer. If the crowd had said "yeah, we want some rock" you might have had to crank up.

Agree, I found bikers ok and the occasional belligerent drunk much worse.
 
Top