Smallest and largest stages/venues you've played

pgm554

Platinum Member
10K seat McCormick convention center in Chicago and 20 seat Wishing Well in Masontown Pa.
 
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BobC

Member
I've played many small stages, but the most dangerous stage is in a popular NJ Shore town where I played last night. It's a raised metal structure, that is very small and totally inadequate for four band members, and there are no guard rails. Directly behind, is a stone and cement platform with a flagpole. The first time we played there, I fell off the stage onto the platform and badly scraped and bruised myself. I have been very careful since then, but to say we are cramped is an understatement. In addition, there are overly bright halogen lights shining on us that are blinding.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I've played many small stages, but the most dangerous stage is in a popular NJ Shore town where I played last night. It's a raised metal structure, that is very small and totally inadequate for four band members, and there are no guard rails. Directly behind, is a stone and cement platform with a flagpole. The first time we played there, I fell off the stage onto the platform and badly scraped and bruised myself. I have been very careful since then, but to say we are cramped is an understatement. In addition, there are overly bright halogen lights shining on us that are blinding.
I’m guessing you didn’t bring a big Neil Peart kit.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
Well my largest stage was mostly empty-except two performers and then brass, standup bass, and piano on side, but then it was also my smallest because I was set behind the curtain ROFL. You can see part of my kit below red star. Screen Shot 2022-09-05 at 2.02.01 PM.png
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Biggest for me was probably Autzen Stadium at UO when I was in HS marching band. Smallest is any number of tiny ass bars in Portland. Or if you count house parties, I've played some smallish living rooms.
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
Smallest was probably a house concert with maybe 25 people jammed into an intimate place. Pretty sure the largest was the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall (roughly 2800 seats).
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
for me, both of those gigs were played before people had cameras with them at every moment.

smallest: any punk house basement show I have played
"biggest" show: Murat Theater in Indy opening for David Byrne
largest crowd: roughly 15,000 at the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Festival Weekend in 2018
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Not the greatest pics, but here goes. One of the smallest places I've played is this pizza joint way up in the mountains.
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The biggest show I've ever played was at the Palladium at Carowinds in front of 10,000 people. I auditioned for the band on drums and ended up playing keys and bass. Almost 70 shows in 11 weeks.

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This is not the evening we played, but it is a picture of the same venue and gives you a better idea:


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BruceW

Senior Member
The largest I've ever played was probably this one, The Sea Shell, located right on Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. Played it every summer for several years before Covid...

As for the smallest, I don't have photos, but we've been crammed into some very small spaces over the years. I have stripped the kit down to 1 up, 1 down, just 1 cymbal with hats, and had to take out the snare to get in behind the kit, then put it back in place once seated.
 

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Smallest was a boating club out near Hull here in England. The stage was something like 6ft X 3ft, and to make it more fun the club’s trophy cabinet was above the stage so you had maybe 5ft of height. For reasons unknown, despite doing probably close to a hundred gigs with the band previously, most of them arrived earlier and must have forgot I existed as they set up on the stage, meaning I could get my bass drum behind them but no room for me - I’m not sure if they expected me to sit on top of my bass drum and maybe hold a snare between my legs or what!

I’ve also played to literally no one before - just the bartender.

Biggest was Elland Road, home of Leeds United. I played before a World Cup Rugby Union international (Scotland vs USA) in the pipe band I was in. There were 33521 in attendance, was a great feeling.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I’ve also played to literally no one before - just the bartender.

yeah, I grew up playing in progressive metal bands....that was most of our gigs...
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I don't have pics, but, smallest, period- in a bar room in a bowling alley on Hillsborough St. in Raleigh NC, it was basically a small drum riser. Even some of my stands were on the floor, off the "stage". Smallest, that a full band still fit on- probably O'Rocks in Greenville NC- had a wooden handrail around it, oddly. Largest indoor, for a band of "mine"- probably The Attic, Greenville NC, pretty sizeable, with a riser, for a club of its size. Largest indoor, period- the auditorium in the music school building at East Carolina University, for a Percussion Ensemble concert. Largest outdoor- probably outside PNC Center (then called RBC Center), pre-Carolina Hurricanes hockey game.
 

iCe

Silver Member
The smallest "venue" i ever played was in a bar on Christmas Eve (believe 2008 or 2009). We played some covers that night. The original venue was being renovated and asbestos was found in the walls or ceiling (maybe both. old building) and the venue couldn't open, so they had to reschedule the gig to a bar. Cramped together on a small "stage" made out of pallets with floorboard on them. Really packed together, but it was a lot of fun.

Biggest stage was when be participated in a 20x30 festival (20 bands, all 30 minutes play time). Bands 30 - 21 played the stage in the basement, 20 - 11 in the Upper stage and 10 - 1 played the main stage. We ended up being number 15 in the contest and we played for roughly 100 people in Amsterdam Paradiso Bovenzaal (Upper stage). Paradiso is a legendary venue in the Netherlands and playing there is definitely one of my top 5 musical achievements. Remember vividly sitting behind the kit (didn't had time to check the set in detail since we literally had 5 minutes to set up, but it was a high-end Yamaha) and that it was over before i knew it. First 3 songs was a haze and during the 4th and last song i started to relax, only to realize 'oh, we're halfway through the last song.. oh well... better look around and soak everything in!'.

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