Ever had a trainwreck?

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I've played a lot of great shows, some were just so-so. Most of these are just kinda an alcohol-induced blur with a few really memorable moments I can still reflect on. But then there are these two gigs that I refer to as trainwrecks. It was two different gigs with two different bands, but each one I remember every moment precisely. The gigs were so bad that the bands just broke up immediately afterwards. One of them my wife came to watch. It was so awful that we were kicked off the stage.
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Ugh... Sadly the way you describe the situation makes me laugh, but those moments are soooo painful and cringe-inducing. I don't think I've ever had a full on trainwreck of a gig. Certainly some songs that weren't going well, that I wish we could get out of.

One gig last winter comes to mind though. We were playing at a club and that particular band is not crowd-friendly. No one talks to the audience, we can't take requests, hardly play anything familiar and most of the tunes only have like 2 chords. Anyway, we were consistently having people come up to us and tell us that we had to play more "dance music" this was essentially a hippie-jam band. Not terrible or particularly complex music. It was in 4/4 120 bpm for about 3 hours. At one point someone brought a napkin to the keyboard player that said "play more classic rock, you're losing the crowd"... Our overwhelming feeling after that was "F*** this crowd, we are not booking gigs here anymore" and we haven't.

Oddly, I play that same club with another band that kills. It's a generational/music genre thing. I understand it, but it doesn't make it any less uncomfortable. I really resent crowds sometimes.
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
I'm abit confussed didn't you know the band stunk before you booked it? Why would you book a weak band? Unless your in a theatre or playing a concert gigs aren't "shows" playing at "Johnny's Dump" isn't a "show" it might be in your drunk induced mind but reality calls it a job or gig. I've played poorly in my life but never booked a band that couldn't play. I've never been removed from a gig in my life and if I ever was I doubt if I'd return. Maybe rehearsing without drinks and drugs might help or giving out drunks an drugs at your "Shows" might help!!! The next time your removed from a bandstand take it more personal and rethink your ability to play drums unless ofcourse it was the fault of all the other members. Then again you were at the two disasters that might be a clue of some kind?? Nah!! Good luck at the coming "shows"!!!!...hope the lights don't cloud your view. Doc
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Hey Doc,

Is that for both of us? Not which post you're referring to...

You've got an awesome way of putting things in perspective. Perhaps I'll go home and hang myself tonight after taking lots of drugs ;)

But seriously, the jam band doesn't suck, it's just not a classic rock band. The crowd at that particular venue is generally older, like 40-50 and older. Not huge fans of music that they don't hear on the radio.

In reference to the second band that I play with there, I meant "kills" as in good. Killing is a good thing in the parlance of our time. I still make a nice chunk of money playing there through the winter season.
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
Nah, the OP, I hardly ever comment on a post, if I do I always state the posters name. I just get tired of the use of the word "show" playing some corner dump just isn't a show. Also kids thinking you need to be drunk and/or on drugs to play music, its like when Garcia came out of rehab and listened to the demos he made before he went into rehab. Reality bites hard!! Doc
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Also kids thinking you need to be drunk and/or on drugs to play music,
Agreed... This gets talked about in a lot of threads (carefully). I've never felt great playing intoxicated. It really only helps on off nights. I've played to empty rooms in casino's, and found that drinking a few extra beers is a good way to pass the time. Nothing worse than finishing a song and instead of applause, all you hear is the slot machines.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Nothing worse than finishing a song and instead of applause, all you hear is the slot machines.
Sure there is... You could be the guy cleaning out the ash trays, or the bathroom attendant... But you're getting paid to play drums :)
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Sure there is... You could be the guy cleaning out the ash trays, or the bathroom attendant... But you're getting paid to play drums :)
Good point... I should've split my pay with the janitors in order to get them to clap for us.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Yes. We had a show a few years ago, that really sucked. It was actually our second show that night, and we put too much into the first show(which went well), ended up playing about 2 hours, then drove an hour to the "next" show at a relatively dive-y bar. We were dead tired, and the band before us went long so we didn't end up getting on stage until after 1am when scheduled at midnight. Then I got into an almost argument with the sound guy who hated me for my un-ported kick, and he pressed the suck button on the whole band.

So yea, we were all just wiped out, and nothing was going right. Most of the crowd left while we were getting on stage and there was zero motivation. We went through the motions, and it was painful the whole time. My coordination is gone when I need sleep, and people were forgetting transitions... You get the picture.

We learned from it. We're much more careful about multiple shows in a day now, and we try and stay away from the super late bar shows unless we know there's still going to be a crowd.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
I was part of a concert where I witnessed the other drummer, mess up on his groove in the middle of the song and stopped for 8(?) measures.

I once started a song without turning the snares on, so we stopped, I turned the snares on, and we started over.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I'm abit confussed didn't you know the band stunk before you booked it? Why would you book a weak band? Unless your in a theatre or playing a concert gigs aren't "shows" playing at "Johnny's Dump" isn't a "show" it might be in your drunk induced mind but reality calls it a job or gig. I've played poorly in my life but never booked a band that couldn't play. I've never been removed from a gig in my life and if I ever was I doubt if I'd return. Maybe rehearsing without drinks and drugs might help or giving out drunks an drugs at your "Shows" might help!!! The next time your removed from a bandstand take it more personal and rethink your ability to play drums unless ofcourse it was the fault of all the other members. Then again you were at the two disasters that might be a clue of some kind?? Nah!! Good luck at the coming "shows"!!!!...hope the lights don't cloud your view. Doc
--It was some guys I met who had me stand in as their drummer for a party they wanted to play. It was experimental rock. Those guys really stunk it up, I was guilty by association. You're just being judgmental, so who cares what you think about having a couple of drinks or what a show or a gig is? Do you squeak when you walk too? I've never been drunk at a gig or a show or whatever you call it.
The other one was a 4th of July party that just didn't go so well, not so much on my part.

Geez, that's what I get for trying to post something here and try to associate with other drummers. Dr. Dirt, whatever...I'm not a troll so I'm just gonna leave it be. I'm done.

Ugh... Sadly the way you describe the situation makes me laugh, but those moments are soooo painful and cringe-inducing. I don't think I've ever had a full on trainwreck of a gig. Certainly some songs that weren't going well, that I wish we could get out of.

One gig last winter comes to mind though. We were playing at a club and that particular band is not crowd-friendly. No one talks to the audience, we can't take requests, hardly play anything familiar and most of the tunes only have like 2 chords. Anyway, we were consistently having people come up to us and tell us that we had to play more "dance music" this was essentially a hippie-jam band. Not terrible or particularly complex music. It was in 4/4 120 bpm for about 3 hours. At one point someone brought a napkin to the keyboard player that said "play more classic rock, you're losing the crowd"... Our overwhelming feeling after that was "F*** this crowd, we are not booking gigs here anymore" and we haven't.

Oddly, I play that same club with another band that kills. It's a generational/music genre thing. I understand it, but it doesn't make it any less uncomfortable. I really resent crowds sometimes.
--yeah, playing the wrong music for the wrong crowd doesn't sound like much fun. That's a weird feeling when people just aren't into it.

Yes. We had a show a few years ago, that really sucked. It was actually our second show that night, and we put too much into the first show(which went well), ended up playing about 2 hours, then drove an hour to the "next" show at a relatively dive-y bar. We were dead tired, and the band before us went long so we didn't end up getting on stage until after 1am when scheduled at midnight. Then I got into an almost argument with the sound guy who hated me for my un-ported kick, and he pressed the suck button on the whole band.

So yea, we were all just wiped out, and nothing was going right. Most of the crowd left while we were getting on stage and there was zero motivation. We went through the motions, and it was painful the whole time. My coordination is gone when I need sleep, and people were forgetting transitions... You get the picture.

We learned from it. We're much more careful about multiple shows in a day now, and we try and stay away from the super late bar shows unless we know there's still going to be a crowd.
--That's kinda how that 4th of July party went. The lead guitarist couldn't make it at the last minute but we decided to play anyway. The singer wasn't motivated at all and forget parts, the rhythm guitarist didn't know the leads, I fumbled the sticks once and bumbled another part. We all played uninspired the whole miserable time.
 
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Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I was part of a concert where I witnessed the other drummer, mess up on his groove in the middle of the song and stopped for 8(?) measures.

I once started a song without turning the snares on, so we stopped, I turned the snares on, and we started over.
--That's got to be a nightmare for a drummer when that groove goes away. It's a tenuous progression playing gigs and shows when you're better than novice and not quite advanced. I've forgotten the snares before too. Guilty.
 

iwantmemoney

Senior Member
'trainwreck' is such a perfect word to describe what happens when you lose the sound of the clik track on a sequenced song...dead bodies and carnage everywhere!! because the clik doesn't stop and it doesn't have any intention of following you. it happened to me on the first night I ever worked with a clik, because I didn't have it loud enough in the headphones and I lost it. I was solely responsible, as all the live music crashed into the pre-tracked stuff. and it kept crashing! talk about surreal- no one could even comprehend what was going on. we went down in flames.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Not an entire gig (or show!! :)), but I've certainly made mistakes. Most of them are easy to cover up and if you didn't know, then you wouldn't know. But I can recall a complete "trainwreck". Couldn't hear a thing, the fill ran over the bar line anyways but I overdid it and then tried to "fill out of it"....combined with the fact that none of us could hear and none of us were playing the same thing, it was a disaster. No hiding it, no covering it up or glossing it over. Everyone in the room knew what a monumental stuff up it was. A total abortion and it was the most embarrassed I've ever been on a stage.

Sure, I couldn't hear. But that wasn't the biggest element of blame. I'd not been able to hear before and I've not been able to hear since. The biggest mistake was knowing the stage sound was poor and then not bothering to keep visual contact and watch for cues. I learned a valuable lesson that night........watch as much as you listen.
 
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nhzoso

Guest
My very 1st gig I had my right hand (hi hat) go completely paralyzed and all my fingers curled into a ball in the middle of a song. Freaked me out, I thought I was having a seizure. I pulled my finers apart with my left hand and kept going.

The next song my left hand did the same thing and I lost the groove temporarily and after the song I told the band I could not go on (we only had 3 songs left of the 25). I was really freaking out and went to the hospital.They said it was a potassium deficiency and to eat banana's..LOL I think it was that and being my 1st gig I was probably tight as hell and barely breathing. Honestly I have not played a gig since (about a year now) but am looking forward to giving it another try.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
'trainwreck' is such a perfect word to describe what happens when you lose the sound of the clik track on a sequenced song...dead bodies and carnage everywhere!! because the clik doesn't stop and it doesn't have any intention of following you. it happened to me on the first night I ever worked with a clik, because I didn't have it loud enough in the headphones and I lost it. I was solely responsible, as all the live music crashed into the pre-tracked stuff. and it kept crashing! talk about surreal- no one could even comprehend what was going on. we went down in flames.
--Oh thanks for the advice. I've never played to a click track before. I can see how that can be a disaster for sure.

Not an entire gig (or show!! :)), but I've certainly made mistakes. Most of them are easy to cover up and if you didn't know, then you wouldn't know. But I can recall a complete "trainwreck". Couldn't hear a thing, the fill ran over the bar line anyways but I overdid it and then tried to "fill out of it"....combined with the fact that none of us could hear and none of us were playing the same thing, it was a disaster. No hiding it, no covering it up or glossing it over. Everyone in the room knew what a monumental stuff up it was. A total abortion and it was the most embarrassed I've ever been on a stage.

Sure, I couldn't hear. But that wasn't the biggest element of blame. I'd not been able to hear before and I've not been able to hear since. The biggest mistake was knowing the stage sound was poor and then not bothering to keep visual contact and watch for cues. I learned a valuable lesson that night........watch as much as you listen.
--That is so true. I have moments when I'm so into the song I kinda forget where I'm at and I look up and the the guitarist and bassist are looking at me ready for the next break or change and I'm flat lining as far as where I suppose to go next. But thanks to the cue, it pulls me right back in. Their cues help a lot. I need that visual contact as an integral part of the song too. Especially on the endings of songs, that's the hardest part of the whole song to nail sometimes. I have to specifically request on a few songs that we practice endings over and over.

My very 1st gig I had my right hand (hi hat) go completely paralyzed and all my fingers curled into a ball in the middle of a song. Freaked me out, I thought I was having a seizure. I pulled my finers apart with my left hand and kept going.

The next song my left hand did the same thing and I lost the groove temporarily and after the song I told the band I could not go on (we only had 3 songs left of the 25). I was really freaking out and went to the hospital.They said it was a potassium deficiency and to eat banana's..LOL I think it was that and being my 1st gig I was probably tight as hell and barely breathing. Honestly I have not played a gig since (about a year now) but am looking forward to giving it another try.
--Ahh, man, that had to be horrifying. I've had hand cramps before to but not in a song playing a gig, thank heaven. My biggest problem is leg cramps that wake me up at night after a long session. I ate bananas too, but what really helped was not drinking more than a beer or two. The only other thing that happened was when I was in this post-punk type of rock band. I had to play the high hats so fast (here's an example) that my arm would freeze up in the middle of a song. All the sudden my arm waas so tight that I couldn't play those quick 16th note beats anymore and had to resort to 8th notes. It just took a little time to build up the muscles properly, then it wasn't a problem. I'm sure if I tried to play it now, my arm would tighten up.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I once started a song without turning the snares on, so we stopped, I turned the snares on, and we started over.
Seriously, you stopped for that? Wow. I'd just carry on & flip the strainer at the first opportunity. The audience would probably perceive it as an artistic choice, if at all :) Stopping really is a big no no, apart from sudden death, electrocution, or total power cut.

And that brings me nicely to my band's encounter with one of those damn noise cutoff device thingys. We were at the mercy of one of these bloody contraptions earlier this year. We kept the volume right down to appease the beast, but certain bass notes would cause it to wet it's underwear & cut off all power. After two dance floor clearing episodes, we stopped the set & had the venue manager bypass it.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I've never played anywhere where the volume cutoff wasn't already bypassed...those things are utterly stupid.
 

mxo721

Senior Member
don't kill me but yes ( just not on drums ) on guitar. it was a big deal that this club was closing down after like 25 years at this location, I was seated, playing mo town type stuff, with 3 girls out front singing, a drunk girl stumbled up next to me, and screamed at the top of her lungs in my ear, I played the wrong chord for 2 whole bars..I had forgotten about this till 3 week later, at a bar-b q a guy breaks out the "video" of that gig, and when i hit the wrong chord, every one on the stage flinched and looked seriously angry... I didn't get thrown of the stage, but it was nasty.
 

nickg

Silver Member
we've ALL had our share of trainwrecks. take it for what it is and move one. every night can't be a gem either individually or as a band. :)
 
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