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  • What's your worst nightmare load in story?

    For me it's gotta be playing at the top of the Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe.

    We played this one a few years and it was such a nightmare that we vowed to never play it again. When we got a call a while back to do a wedding up there, we told the client it would be an extra $1000 on top of the regular just because of the venue and they bit.

    So that enabled us to hire a few guys to help with the load and put some extra coin in our pockets. Here's some pics from yesterday. Top This!

    Somewhere at the top of this mountain is the venue:

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    Here's the tram we had to load our gear into. Took two trips.


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    Somewhere at the bottom of this hill is our now empty trailer.


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  • #2
    Out of the tram onto the loading pad

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    Push it all around to the other side of a building so we can load it all into this bus. Again, took two trips.

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    Here's is the actual venue where we are playing. The bus has to drive down there where we unload yet again.

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    • Pat'sStrat
      Pat'sStrat commented
      Editing a comment
      I( play a gig like this twice a year, on one of the world's longest Gondola rides at Silver Mountain (25 minutes to the top). And they won't pay more than 375 dollars. You end up handling the gear at least 8 times. Usually, I play it as a solo with a minimum amount of gear.

  • #3
    They wanted us to play outside but luckily we talked them into moving everything inside since it poured rain for about an hour as we were setting up. But that did result in a nice sunset from the deck.

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    And the guests all had a great time. So it was all worth it! Hmmmm....maybe...lol

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    • #4
      Worth it for the extra grand to hire a couple of roadies for the grunt work!
      I have a few but not as bad as that...the Queen Mary in Long Beach is up there. I should have taken pics. You can't unload anywhere near the tiny and slow elevator, which then lets you off, not at deck level, but in front of a long ramp up to the main deck, then down a narrow gangway until you finally get to the ballroom. And then you still have to park your vehicle almost a quarter of a mile [400m] away...and walk back...truly a joy.

      Another 'favorite' is the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. No parking near the entrance there either, so you pull up, unload, leave a band member or two behind [one to watch the gear and one to forage for a cart], you go find a place to park, again about 1/4 mile away, wait for their shuttle to take you back to the entrance.
      The cart part is the main issue. It is called the Sawdust Festival because all the grounds are several inches thick with woodchips. Rock'n'roller carts, cab/roadcase casters and hand trucks bog down; you need large pneumatic wheels to navigate. They have a couple of carts [30" x 48" /.75 x 1.2m], but finding them is always a challenge as all the vendors and entertainers have to use them. We would play at their 'waterfall' platform which is elevated about 25-30' [7-8m] above the entrance level, so slogging this cart laden with PA gear, amps, instruments, etc up a relatively steep grade covered in woodchips...multiple times
      We always did well there, the money was decent, but we finally just had to stop gigging there due to the load in/out pain.
      Last edited by daddymack; 08-06-2017, 11:42 AM.
      "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

      Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'
      "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

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      • #5
        Our other "favorite" was the Julia Morgan Ballroom in SF. Load into an elevator on the sidewalk that takes you down to a basement. Push the gear around all sorts of narrow hallways and corners to get to another elevator to take you the proper floor for the ballroom which is down a few narrow corridors and corners.

        Hiring the extra guys yesterday helped but the logistics of all the different load-in and load-out points meant it was still largely an all-hands-on-deck affair. The venue was great in providing 3-4 guys that helped out a lot too.
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        • #6
          That would have been 2K extra for me.

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          • #7
            Originally posted by sventvkg View Post
            That would have been 2K extra for me.
            Ok!
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            • #8
              That load-in is hard to "top."

              Closest I can come to it are the gigs we've done on Bald Head Island (http://baldheadislandferry.com/) in North Carolina. You can only get there by passenger ferry and there are no outside vehicles allowed. So you have to:
              • Unload your gear from your vehicles at the dock
              • Load it onto these special covered dollies (which you have to reserve in advance) that are then rolled onto the ferry
              • Take the half-hour ferry ride to the island (during which you fret about how water-tight your cases are)
              • Transfer your gear from the dollies onto small trucks they use to shuttle people and gear around the island
              • Take a 30-minute ride to the clubhouse on the far side of the island
              • Unload your gear -- again -- tote it into the building, setup and play
              When you're done, you get to go through all that in reverse. Whew!
              Live: Yamaha S70XS, Roland Fantom X7, Hammond XK3-C & Neo Vent, Traynor K4
              Home: Yamaha S90ES, Fantom X7, Arp Odyssey
              QUIK-LOK X STANDS!

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              • #9
                Saw the Ski Lodge while I was in Tahoe. Not a load in I want to do. Went to the Queen Mary when we reserved the Spruce Goose exhibition for a private party. Don't want that load in either. You guys got me beat. Worst load in I had was we used to play a show on the second floor of a local marina. Only way up was a metal outside fire escape. Keyboardist had a Leslie 147 and a B3. We got decent money for the shows, but I always hated them. I had an OR120 head and both 4x12s at the time (around 1974) and the band didn't care for my contribution to the fun either. Glad those days are behind me.

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                • #10
                  i wouldn't call this (worst) nightmare, yep a lot of effort, but i think a cool location and a nice view from the mountain.

                  worst nightmare would be if you havev to carry your stuff by foot up the mountain and you have to do it 3 time cause the tram is broken...

                  Comment


                  • daddymack
                    daddymack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    yeah, but the guests can't get up there either...gig cancelled...

                  • t_e_l_e
                    t_e_l_e commented
                    Editing a comment
                    not if the mountain climbing is a game part of the wedding... really odd people do exist with very strange ideas

                  • daddymack
                    daddymack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    this might be the bridal suite then...
                    http://img.izismile.com/img/img4/201...nts_640_02.jpg

                • #11
                  Some of those gigs suck because while you are playing you are dreading the load out. The struggle is real.
                  "Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

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                  • daddymack
                    daddymack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    you just have to play the gig in the moment. The load out is a known issue at that point, but like our Queen Mary gig, the load out was less dire than the load in.

                • #12
                  Load outs are always quicker, but usually more dreaded simply because of the late hour. Even more so if it's a cold night.

                  The types of gigs we do, we try to figure in the whole day and effort into the fee. And then at least be SOMEWHAT mentally prepared for the entire event. And often the load-in/load-out are the most work of the entire event.

                  Did a wedding last weekend: Easy load-in where we can back the trailer up right next to the stage. Typical 3-hour load-in/set up time. 1 1/2-hour load out. Only ended up playing one 90 minute set and provided a small system in another location so they could run some background music and have a wireless mic for speeches.

                  Still though---with all the waiting between when we set up and started playing? 11 hour day. And that's not including the hour drive each way to the gig. So 13 hour day. Gotta figure all of that stuff into the fee to charge. As well as being mentally prepared so that you don't end up dreading any of it.
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                  • #13
                    Yeah my guys bitch about it but it beats having to hire out sound. We are pretty much self-contained. If I could afford some roadies and a trailer it would be great. In fact it maybe the next step.
                    "Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      A couple of fun ones:

                      A gig poolside at the Playboy Club in Vernon NJ. Had to load in from the parking lot, go thru the lobby, down the service elevator to the basement, along appx. 9 miles of skinny hallways past the furnace rooms, boiler rooms, laundry rooms etc, finally to emerge out the back of the building appx. 200 yards from the pool. Drag our gear to the pool, then be told we're playing at the opposite end of the pool, so away we go again. Note: this as July in NJ, about 95 degrees with humidity at about 3000%. We ended up putting a bunch of gear on top of my Sunn 2x15 twin reflex cabinet (I had mounted heavy-duty wheels on the side) and rolled the heaviest gear to the stage.

                      A night-time Blues Cruise on the Hudson River on one of the Circle Line ships. Load-in was interesting but not too bad (ramps, narrow passageways etc). Fun gig. We finished playing just before we docked back in Jersey City. the MINUTE we docked, the ship-hands started hosing down the decks while we were still trying to get our gear off the boat. Ended up almost throwing the gear off the ramps to avoid soakage. We saved the gear but were soggy bandmates for the ride back home.

                      Playing a wedding at a hotsy-totsy hotel in midtown Manhattan. Had to double-park to offload, then leave one member watching the gear while the rest of us hunted for parking. Got back and had to bring all the gear thru a side-door, thru the kitchen (long, skinny and HOT!), thru the basement to the service elevator, up to the 19th floor where the hall was. The room was cut in half by an accordion-like 'room divider'. We set up on one side of the divider, but had to do it silently as the wedding was taking place on the other side. Funniest thing in the world is watching a drummer try to set up silently. I'm sure the wedding party heard our snickering on the other side of the room. Great gig, lots of fun - the bride and groom still keep in touch.

                      Last story (not a load-in or load-out, but sort-of on topic)
                      Had spent the day at Kamen Audio studios in Manhattan. Left the studio, went to our cars, loaded our gear and moved out towards the Lincoln Tunnel back to scenic NJ. Approaching the tunnel entrance, we see that the lead car's hatch in back has sprung mostly open and one of the guitar cases is slowly vibrating out the back. We start honking and flashing our lights (no cellphones at that time) and finally get their attention. The guitar player in the passenger's seat swings around and, in a blind panic, grabs the butt-end of the case just as it's starting to swing down onto the road. Hasty pull-over to the side of the road and reloading and to stop shaking.

                      Good times, good times.
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Originally Posted by MattACaster : *Runs 2 blocks down the street to Guitar Center, grabs detuned Schecter off the wall, plugs into Line6 Spider and proceeds to bring teh brootalz*

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                      • #15
                        Hotel gigs always are a PITA...can't even tell you how many kitchens, narrow passages, stinky service elevators or half flooded subterranean garages and boiler rooms we have had to cut through in the last 20 years...but around here, that is normal.
                        "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

                        Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'
                        "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

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