Your most memorable/biggest or best gig you ever played

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I never had any really big high profile gigs. I guess the dozen or so festivals I've done would qualify, but to me they weren't high profile. Just another band on the roster.

I'd like to think I haven't done my highest profile gig yet.

Would love to hear stories of your best gig.

So what's yours?
 

Spaz

Senior Member
Im' a huge Dream Theater fan and when they went on tour many years ago they came to my area and played with Fear Factory and my band was chosen to be an opening act at that show. It was a dream come true. Even though we went early in the day and had a small time for the crazy people who got there super early to be up front it was amazing to even be on the same stage.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I've probably done a dozen gigs that are particularly memorable for different reasons.

Attendance-wise, I think the biggest in-person audience I've played in front of was at Hurricane Relief at Joe Robbie Stadium in 1992. It was an all-star line-up, and although we went on late - 1:30am - there were still about 30,000 people hanging in there.

Surprise-wise, it was at the Governor's Ball last year, where a ton of non-Al fans loved us, and reviews universally rated us the #1 act among the 45 bands there.

Prestige-wise, there have been several cool places. The first time we played the Greek Theater in L.A. was a big deal. The Bonaroo festival was big. Red Rocks was cool (actually we opened for the Monkees there.) Wolf Trap, Massey Hall, Pantage's in L.A., Hammersmith Odeon in London, all very cool, some specifically (for me) because the Beatles played there. :)

There will be at least 2 memorable gigs/venues for Al in 2016, one of them extremely cool in terms of where our supposed "novelty act" should be playing. I mean EXTREMELY cool, and kinda unlikely... and we'll be there headlining 2 nights!! I can't imagine it getting any better, but I've been proven wrong before!

On a local level, there have been a few really cool gigs. One in particular was in 1981 or 82. I was in the house band for a bunch of Rockabilly artists, and it was an almost 4 hour marathon in the sweaty basement that was the Cathay deGrande. Sweaty is putting it mildly. I remember even at the time thinking it was a Cavern Club moment - packed, rockin', and a lot of fun. I still work with two of the main guys there, Rip Masters and Ray Campi.

Bermuda
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
For me being in an oldies band we get to open up for lots of the oldies acts when they come to the Boston area.

My list to date.
The Beach Boys twice
Grand Funk
3 Dog Night
Grassroots
Johnny Rivers
The Rascals ( this gig was fun, Felix actually had our band come out and join them on Good Lovin)
Paul Revere and the Raiders.
Original Crickets
Gretchen Wilson
Josh Turner.

Plus many Do Wop acts like The Drifters, The Shirelles, Tokens, bunch of other ones.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
Sorry, but I have to choose 2, for very different reasons:

1. First time I ever played a club with a proper sound stage, and engineer. I knew our sound was fantastic , particularly for me - a not very heavy hitter. Loved it. (It was also the first time I played on a shared kit, and was proud that I managed it with no difficulties).

2. Played a tiny pub, we were crammed in a bay window. After a couple of numbers the plaster of the ceiling above me started to flake and was falling down on my kit. I noticed because of the dust flying up with I hit the cymbals. We had to stop, the bass player taped over the cracks with gaffer tape and we carried on. It just gave the gig the best atmosphere ever, and I was laughing so much I totally forgot my usual nerves.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
I have two, too, and for reasons that are at the same time similar but different.

1. My very first gig ever. It was at a small charitable festival, but whoever had done the set-up had made it look like RockStarVille. I had expected to feel nervous but I didn't: I played better than usual and nobody knew that I'd never done it before. The minute I walked on stage, I knew that this was exactly where I wanted to be.

2. The last gig (to date) with the band I played with above. We'd improved and developed in the two intervening years, and again I played better than usual, but what made this gig so special was the look on my bass player's face. Previously, she'd always looked at the floor and it had been impossible to communicate with her, but this time she smiled the WHOLE time, at everybody, and it was wonderful to see her so happy and at ease. This was where SHE wanted to be. She's been playing for 20 years, and this was her favourite-ever gig - and I feel very, very privileged to have been a part of it.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I barely ever play out now, but a good while ago I got to play at the Whiskey a Go Go to a full house. The staff was amazingly professional and the stage sound was fantastic.

My most memorable time was playing on a hot July night at Squeaky's Tip Top in Augusta Ga. A tiny little bar with the best attitude. I got a good dose of nostalgia from that one.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Back when I was in the Army, I often had to leave bands long before I wanted to. In one case, I was stationed in Monterey and ended up joining the best, most fun band I've ever been in. Then I got orders to head overseas.

Our first gig together as a band was in this really cool coffeehouse downtown, and so for our last gig with the original lineup, we booked the same coffeehouse - the entire thing - and had "An Evening With". We had two long sets of our mostly original material, with individual members doing acoustic bits in front of each set. We set up a projector that was doing a nonstop kaleidoscope of pictures we'd taken over the years, and packed the place full of our friends, family and fans. We played for nearly three hours, had a tearful final bow, then made our way across the street to a pub where an epic wrap party was had. No gig before or since, regardless of size or stature, matches the deep meaning of this one.
 

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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
My favorite of all time was a small gig my punk/grunge band played a few years ago. It was a place in San Pedro, and to our surprise, right before we went on, Mike-Freakin-Watt strolled in.

Our bass player got a bit of nerves as he's a huge Watt/Minute Men fan. Even so, the crowd was amazing, and judging by the amount of people who came prepared with earplugs, they were there to have a good time and hear some good music.

We gave em both barrels. When I looked up to see our hero Mike Watt moving his body to our beat, I got the biggest smile on my face and had a great evening. We drove all the way back up that night from LA to SF and I think I had that same smile for the whole trip.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
This one. Being filmed for tv, subsequently appearing in the papers and everything. It was where they do V fest and was for the southern englands biggest beer festival. First time doing a proper festival with an 8k crowd, full lighting and sound rig. Never been so afraid in my life.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
My biggest thrill came after mentioning to my Army buddies in the Berlin EM club one night that I played the drums. Next thing I know the singer/leader of the band was tapping me on the shoulder and asked if I would like to sit in for a song. I almost fainted. I said sure and after the break was over they invited me up on stage, played my song, and left shaking like a leaf, but smiling ear to ear. When that break was over, the singer was there again and asked if I would join them the next night, and I could play an entire set. I don't think I slept that night. They were a cover band playing some oldies,(it was 1969) some current stuff, so no practice was really necessary. My buddies had no idea how big of a monster they had created. Thank you The Children of Berlin, translated, for the memory. I think the band was Berliner Kindle & Kids.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
Smokie and the Danish band Shu-bi-dua are the 2 most well know acts the cover band I was in has shared stage with. On both occasions is was sports clubs annual dinner/party. Lots of drinking, lots of dancing and good fun.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Well in high school I played high profile marching band competitions, at least high profile for the area. Performed in front of 5000 people at Autzen Stadium, for example. In terms of sheer numbers, that wins.

As far as recently, my Lady Gaga band played our first two shows at a smallish rock venue, packed it without any acts, and made some half decent money from it. We're playing at an even bigger venue in less than a month, we're having an opener, so that will be even bigger.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Halloween 2015, last day of European tour. Germany. Place was packed and crowd forced us to do so many encores we ran out of tunes and had to play one song twice.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Playing in a death metal band we don't get to play to the largest crowds, but I have gotten to open for a few pretty legendary metal bands that I have looked up to for years. Some of the memorable ones are

Suffocation
Napalm Death
Dying Fetus
Impaled
Hate Eternal
Origin
Misery Index
Dismember
Vital Remains
Disgust
Augory

I may not make a ton of money as a musician but I have a lot of good times and have made a lot of great friends and memory's.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
I was out in Marin County for a year or so in 1977 and my Uncle in San Leandro called me up and asked if I could fill in for a gig. He picked me up and we drove and drove out to Napa and played a few hours at a fairly significant wine festival, we were the afternoon band. There were a lot of people out that day and we figured around 3 thousand to 4 thousand but the crowd was in and out, coming and going etc... nice sound system, nice stage. Dug it. My uncle rarely took breaks, he was old school, but the water was cool and the weather was perfect.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Wow. Some really fine stories here. Madge, I loved your post, it was awesome. Daisy's too. And Bermuda's. Heck all of them are fairly impressive.

2B, envious! Man I haven't done crap compared to all y'all.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Not huge in the scheme of rock and roll but a gig we did back in 1072 in Newcastle. Debenhams department store in Newcastle had there staff Xmas party in the Rainbow Room, a huge venue on the top floor of the Co-Op building.

We were slightly bemused as we were an originals band playing slightly proggy stuff at the time. The pressure only intensified after setting up on the huge stage in the afternoon we returned at about 7.00 to find the venue filling up with worthies in evening dress to take there places at the lavishly appointed tables. Must have been 400 people there.

We had a huge dressing room just off the stage and two nice young ladies in the black waitress gear and white aprons surprised us with platters of wonderful food, the same as the guests were having. Luxury.

We were presented to the audience by the MC for the night, a first and only for me, and a stage hand was to operate the stage lighting.

Looking out I could see all the middle aged and older shop assistants etc curious to see what the four long haired yobbo's on stage would present them with. It was great. We just smashed into the firs fast song and they all danced....in evening dress and tuxedos. No one asked us to play "Something we know", they just danced and danced. We did speed some of the songs up to make them easier to dance to, and repeated a few as we were short of up tempo stuff.

At the end the store manager thanked us and presented us with £150. The average local gig at the time was £25.
 
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