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Always bring your gear


Iamthesky

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So, Saturday night we had a short opening set scheduled at a small local venue. We were the opener of three bands, the other two from out of town, and were supposed to play from a little before 10 to 10:30 or so, other two bands to follow.

 

Room is tight here, and standard practice is to share drum sets. We knew that, the band following us knew that, and we all expected to use the headliner's drum set. Load in was at 8, and we were actually loaded in before that. Second band loads in about 8:20. We all pile our gear near the stage and wait for the headliner.

 

And wait. :confused:

 

And wait... :eek:

 

By 9:15, with no headliner and not even a word from them, things are looking bad. Of course the expected headliner's drum kit hasn't shown up either, and bar owner and second band are looking really worried.

 

But we're not worried at all. Because despite fully expecting to have to share drum kits, we brought ours anyway. We unload it from the car, set it up on stage, and the show is a go at the scheduled start.

 

So we quickly expand our set, including our occasional but well received "Dylan broke a string" jam with just bass, solo Minimoog, and drums. When the crowd demands an encore we even pull out a brand new long number we've been working on in practice but never played out before. They loved us, loved the new song, great set.

 

Next band comes in, uses our drum kit, even asks me to sit in on one number so I leave my keyboard rig set up too and pull out another Minimoog solo with them. Fun stuff.

 

It ended up a good show. And all because we brought our drum kit when we "knew" we wouldn't need it.

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Gig list rule:


Redundancy in all systems.


Same as NASA.

 

 

All of us guys who either go used to go to sea on ballistic missile submarines feel the same way. Redundancy is built into everything I do now (if I can help it) - and I tend to feel naked and vulnerable without it.

 

I bring extra complete half of a PA to every gig. No failure of a single piece of gear will prevent us from doing a show. It would have to be multiple failures before we pack it in on any given night.

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Excellent! I never plan to be dependent on anyone else.

 

Similar deal for us on Friday night... this was with a PA. Showed up at a brand new room, a dance club and this was the first time they had bands. They had an in house system that you would just plug your board into. As soon as we did it was 'buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz' an audible low freq buzz that would just not go away. Usually when rooms have sound we will reverse pack the van and leave the trailer behind. This time we ended up taking the trailer with the PA. Good thing too, because we quickly decided to unload our PA and use that instead.

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I had the opposite happen last Thursday. We brought all our usual gear to a show and then the singer for the headlining band came up to me and told me thay had a full band's worth of quality rental gear already backlinedand we could use any of it we wanted. We could have brought next to nothing, had we known.

:facepalm:

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Seems that I've had 2-3 posts disappear over the past few days as HC freezes upon clicking "Post", but I'll try again:

 

If I am playing a gig and it is confirmed a kit will be provided (directly from the band or venue providing it), I will bring my stickbag, snare, cymbals, pedal and throne. And that's it.

 

For those of you where the gear lives in the van/trailer, I can see how it makes little difference, but my gear lives in my house and rehearsal space.

NO WAY IN HELL am I toting the rest of the kit along when I'm specifically told not to ahead of time.

The fun part of the gig is playing. The worst part of the gig is lugging gear.

 

If the venue is more than 10-15 minutes from my gear, I am perfectly ok with the show not happening due to lack of gear being there when someone flakes out because I choose to bring the appropriate gear (and reasonable back-ups) for the situation. 'Reasonable' back-up does not mean the retarded heavy hardware cases for my stands and the bulky kick drum & toms, BTW.

 

Then again, I always confirm kit availability ahead of the show. Would never leave it up to 'that's how it usually is" or walk into a questionable situation in that regard in the first place.

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It depends... if the promoter is supplying backline, I will depend on them to do just that. And I'll take the gig knowing I get a free ride with regards to cartage. If, on the other hand, as you point out the closing band is promising to share drums... I'm not going to depend on that. I have however been the closer and had the opener promise to share backline. I'll travel light knowing I'm covered. We don't go on till they do...

 

My point, sometimes the attractiveness of a particular gig is the very fact that you don't have to haul backline. I'm not going to go overly redundant if it is an agreed upon condition of that gig.

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Seems that I've had 2-3 posts disappear over the past few days as HC freezes upon clicking "Post", but I'll try again:


If I am playing a gig and it is confirmed a kit will be provided (directly from the band or venue providing it), I will bring my stickbag, snare, cymbals, pedal and throne. And that's it.


For those of you where the gear lives in the van/trailer, I can see how it makes little difference, but my gear lives in my house and rehearsal space.

NO WAY IN HELL am I toting the rest of the kit along when I'm specifically told not to ahead of time.

The fun part of the gig is playing. The worst part of the gig is lugging gear.


Then again, I always confirm kit availability ahead of the show. Would never leave it up to 'that's how it usually is" or walk into a questionable situation in that regard in the first place.

 

 

I'm exactly the same. Hauling all my drums to play for 30 or 40 minutes sucks, and if there's a reasonable way to avoid it and just bring me cymbals and snare, count me in! Ditto for when I'm playing guitar- as long as there's an amp in the ballpark I can use, it's all good.

 

There's few things I like more than having to haul almost nothing to a show.

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My point, sometimes the attractiveness of a particular gig is the very fact that you don't have to haul backline. I'm not going to go overly redundant if it is an agreed upon condition of that gig.

 

Right on. The old "show up and play" deal. I don't want money for some gigs. But don't expect me to haul my gear.

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In the old days, keyboard players knew there would be a B3 and a Fender Rhodes available in these situations. Now, the rash of excellent keyboards with unfamiliar controls is amazing. I always bring my own keyboards.

 

 

no kidding. My ata case for my new board should be here by friday. Any one have experience with boards and the airlines?

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I don't go so much for redundancy as I follow the Boy Scout motto, "Be prepared."

 

I do carry a spare guitar, but if an amp goes out I am prepared to go through a pedal into the PA. If the PA amp goes out, I have a small Crate PowerBlock that I can use in an emergency. If a speaker blows, I improvise with the one that's still working. It's not so much a matter of having two of everything, as it is being able to come up with solutions on the fly.

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This is great. I prefer to bring a few extras just in case... I had a harp player/singer who got all bent out of shape helping to load into a gig because I had a couple of extra mic stands. mic stands....

 

Of course, when a friend of his wanted to sit in, he was more than happy to offer that extra mic stand (and my extra mics/cables) for them to use (not to mention have me patch them into the PA, dial them up and set their levels....

 

SO, yeah, I still prefer to bring stuff/extras. Even if backline is provided, a small rig will be in my car... though lately I have been forgetting stuff and ending up at gigs with no guitar stands..... getting old sucks.

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Last weekend, I went to see a friend's band play on what was supposed to be a four-band bill---THREE of the four bands did not show up. Only one actually called to cancel before the show. I'm sure that made his brand-new band look better in the eyes of that booker, who handles several venues in town.

 

On the flip side of that, we once had a band playing before us on a bill show up expecting to use our drummer's kit without inquiring beforehand. When he didn't want some obviously-not-very-bright drummer he'd never met or seen play before banging on his stuff, they packed up and went home.

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