First Public Gig.

thelimpingtoad

Senior Member
My band had our first public gig this past weekend. It was fun since we got to get out and play in front of people at a bar. We played a private party a few weeks ago, but this was the first public performance.
We played 3rd in a group of some 10-12 bands so we were on at like 5pm. It was a charity concert for a scholarship fund. Since there were so many bands playing and we only had 45 minutes to play, we didn't get much of a sound check. So we started playing and after about 5 seconds I realized I couldn't hear the guitarist at all, and i could barely hear the bass or vocals. Basically there was no monitor sound... so after our first 2 songs, our singer asked the sound guy to turn up the monitor mix. he did this but we still really couldn't hear even though i had a huge monitor right next to me... the only thing i heard through that monitor the whole time was when the sound guy asked through his mic "what needs turned up?"
I think all in all we played well but there is one song i COMPLETELY fell apart on (the doors "wild child"). I am so embarrased about this because I'm used to knowing songs really well and practicing them until i can play them perfectly. Unfortunately this song is really lead by the guitar and i rely heavily on our guitarist to know where the cues and transitions were. since i couldn't hear him, even when i pulled back my volume, i basically was on my own. I dropped out 2 times and barely recovered. It totally sucked.
I also was playing on another drummer's kit and i couldn't position the floor tom exactly where it needed to go because he had these broken memory locks on the legs. Since I couldn't adjust the floor tom properly, i had to tilt my ride cymbal back farther then usual so i had trouble hitting the bell correctly... i also ended up hitting the mic cable for the floor tom several times with my stick while trying to get from the bell back to the snare for fills. The other drummer had a fan on stage that was blowing at the drums... at first I thought it would be great to have a fan, but i had some problems with it because it was blowing cold air-conditioned air on my right arm... this caused my muscles to tighten.
Anyway, this was really disapointing to me for our first public gig... i really hope that we can get back on the horse and play out some more so i can recover from this terrible incident.
I got a lot of great advice from people on here about what to take with me since i was playing on the other guy's kit... but i guess no matter how prepared you are, something can always go wrong.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Don't sweat it!! Take what happened and learn from it. We've all had embarassing moments in the spotlight, a lot of us more than a few times!

And alot of it sounds like all these events were simply beyond your control. It should be a law that all sound guys running the sound equipment at whatever venue, need to put in time in a real band playing real songs on a real stage live in front of people so that they realize how much the band members rely on listening to each other. Sometimes the sound crew refuses to listen to you as well. Just because a monitor is right next to you doesn't mean it works right! LOL

You were asked to play in a most difficult situation: little to no sound check, playing on someone else's kit, not able to adjust to suit your playing style, not able to hear the other members, etc, etc. etc.

I know this may sound a bit cheesy, but you are your own worst critic at times. I bet it didn't sound as bad as you make it out to be.

How did the other bands sound? Did they experience the same frustrations mentioned in your post?
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
is this your first public gig or just the first public gig for your band?

man, i've been through all the things you went through and more. welcome to the world of gigging! except the fan thing. i don't think i've ever had my arm freeze up because of the fan, but it has frozen up for other reasons, like playing too fast or tensing up from nervousness.

not being able to hear the other band members is potentially a big problem. i always ask the sound guy to put mostly vocals and lead guitar in the mix because those are the two things i rely on mostly to keep track of where i am in the song. if i can't hear those things then it's pretty easy to get lost.

i'm famous for hitting drum mics. i've gotten better about it but i'll move them around myself if the techs put them in my way. i usually like the floor tom mic positioned underneath my ride cymbal so i can't hit it while moving around the toms.

playing an unfamiliar kit can lead to all kinds of issues, as you discovered. if i have to do that i'll adjust it as much as i'm allowed to.
 

thelimpingtoad

Senior Member
How did the other bands sound? Did they experience the same frustrations mentioned in your post?
Not sure... I only heard the first 2 bands... I had to leave right after we played because I told my parents I'd eat dinner at their house.
The first 2 weren't great but i don't know if they had the same probs we had with not having the monitors working well... not sure.

No... this wasn't my FIRST gig... just the first with this band... but i haven't gigged that much or in years.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
and one more thing, if i seriously can't hear the band, i'll stop the show after the first song and get the sound tech to adjust my monitor levels. it's pretty rare that i've had to do that, but it has happened.
 
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