Originally Posted by larryace
Security? No such thing. The 50 year old woman tending bar was the security. We are our own security. I'd be happy w/ a roadie! We play right where everyone is dancing, literally within touching distance of all the equipment and personel at that particular bar. It's tight there. We are in the thick of things.
This is where monitor wedges are your friends. Those gigs in small resturants/bars where you are essentially on the floor, I always try to establish some sort of defensive perimeter around the band. Floor wedges, guitarists pedal boards, cables (taped down with gaff tape) mic stands, whatever. The psychological effect of the "barrier" keeps some folks away and gives you time to react when others "cross the line". "Hey everyone, lets hear it for the birthday girl!" as you spin her around to the audience. "Oh, it's not your birthday, I though you just turned 21!" as you push her back into the crowd and pick up where you were.
Even in fairly small places I've played where there is the most infinitesimal of stages, the club has a rule that only band members are allowed "on the stage". The bouncer/bartender/door person will tell the drunk that it's because of insurance reasons. What they really don't want is some drunk shouting into the mics or having the band come after them for broken equipment.
The worst part about such places is that they always seem to assume that a drumset is diamond shaped in footprint and shove you into a corner. In reality a drumset has a basically rectangular footprint with a hi hat on one side and floor tom on the other. So you're always banging your elbows into the walls behind you. Then some bright light decides to carpet that corner to "help the sound" and your snare sounds like a 60's Montgomery Wards catalog toy as you beat it to death trying to hear it. Okay, small bar rant off. Most of us have to play in such places.