Distractions While Playing

cbphoto

Gold Member
Looking back at the last 30 years of playing, I could break it down to:
Church: 70%
Bar: 15%
Festival: 14%
Tailgate: 1%

Pretty tame stuff.

It was during a tailgate gig that I saw so much stuff going down in the crowd I almost lost it. The distractions came from every corner of my sightline. Girls humping guys, guys humping girls, people puking, people toppling over as they blacked out, girls waving their (clothed) tits in someone's face, guys fondling anything they could. Our music/performance was good, but it sure didn't call down Hedone from the heavens.

Anyone else get distracted during a gig? Dish the dirt. Let's hear it.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Only time I'm genuinely distracted is when someone makes their drunken way up there to try and shake my hand, or talk to me while I'm still freaking playing! If they're drunk enough they'll even get mad at you for not acknowledging them.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Let's see, mostly people or stuff falling down. Buut...

Cops showed up at an outside gig. It was "Witchfest", a wicken fest running concurrently with "Springfest", a yearly thing where part of the city shuts down and parties. Witchfest didn't have a permit. Our band was so loud the cops came from Springfest to see what the noise was. They let us finish our set, then shut it down, at like 11am. I think we played second. They were staring at me for what seemed like an eternity. That was distracting.

Some dude and his kid got to the side of the stage. I was set up right on the edge. He kept sticking his hand right up to my feet and pointing at my pedals while I was playing. I was worried he was gonna get his finger caught in something.

Got to watch WWE wrestling while playing Milwaukee Metalfest 13. We were on the main stage, they were at the other end of the arena. Too cool to not pay attention to.

People used to try to give me drinks while playing. I didn't drink at the time. Try explaining that to a drunk person who can't hear you while playing.

Fights. Injuries. A few seizures. Normal stuff.

We would try to do distracting things at practice to plan for such events. None of the above things were ever practiced. You can't plan for this stuff!

EDIT: I totally forgot about the random drunk with a stick that thinks my cymbals are their cymbals. Where do they come from?
 

HeadForTheSticks

Junior Member
In the mid 80's I use to play a 6 night run every couple of months at a strip club. There was no stage so the band played on the dance floor which had square panels that lit up like the disco clubs of the time.....That wasn't the distraction though. Did I mention it was a strip club?
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
In the mid 80's I use to play a 6 night run every couple of months at a strip club. There was no stage so the band played on the dance floor which had square panels that lit up like the disco clubs of the time.....That wasn't the distraction though. Did I mention it was a strip club?

It must have been distracting watching your guitarist hustling for $ € ones.
 
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cbphoto

Gold Member
In the mid 80's I use to play a 6 night run every couple of months at a strip club. There was no stage so the band played on the dance floor which had square panels that lit up like the disco clubs of the time.....That wasn't the distraction though. Did I mention it was a strip club?

Given my level of easy distract-ability, this would’ve been impossible for me. But I would’ve tried.

I gotta ask, if you played a certain beat, would you get a gal to dance just to you? And then, would she . . . <never mind>.

Fights. Injuries. A few seizures. Normal stuff.

geez. I’m such a noob.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
Played a strip club which was weird and distracting, because the band played melodic death metal. It didn't mix well with strippers.
Band banner falling on my shoulders at a gig in Vegas in July.
Sound guy "adjusting" the kick in my monitor after sound check to eye blurring volume. I didn't know about it until we started the first song, and by then it was too late. 16ths at 200 at that volume nearly made me barf.
Last year we played a show, it was an underground show in at a biker clubhouse/wear house, where at some point in the set someone in the crowd unplugged the power amp to my monitor. Between songs we told the sound guy that I had no monitor, so he turned it up on the board, and still nothing. So we continue with our set, and midway through the next song the sound guy found the problem and plugs in the power amp and BOOM, loud kick out of no where. I don't how I didn't get derailed, eventhough it scared the crap out of me. Good thing I have always worn hearing protection.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
It was during a tailgate gig that I saw so much stuff going down in the crowd I almost lost it. The distractions came from every corner of my sightline. Girls humping guys, guys humping girls, people puking, people toppling over as they blacked out, girls waving their (clothed) tits in someone's face, guys fondling anything they could. Our music/performance was good, but it sure didn't call down Hedone from the heavens.

No idea what the hell a tailgate gig is but clearly I've been missing out!
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Lights distract me when I'm playing. Other than that, not much that happens past the stage gets to me. Then again, you guys have played far wilder shows than I have.

Last year we played a show, it was an underground show in at a biker clubhouse/wear house, where at some point in the set someone in the crowd unplugged the power amp to my monitor. Between songs we told the sound guy that I had no monitor, so he turned it up on the board, and still nothing. So we continue with our set, and midway through the next song the sound guy found the problem and plugs in the power amp and BOOM, loud kick out of no where.

That sound guy doesn't sound like much of one. Why not just turn the gain down before plugging the amp back in? Also, why did the guy in the crowd unplug the amp to begin with?
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
No idea what the hell a tailgate gig is but clearly I've been missing out!

About 20–30 years ago traffic at American football games became very congested. So, the smart people would drive to the stadium parking lot very early, way before the gates opened to avoid traffic. With nothing else to do, they’d stay within their designated parking spot, set up a BBQ grill behind their vehicle (near the tailgate), cook some meats and wash it down with beer. This grew into huge parties amongst friends and fellow sports fans. The activity was dubbed as “Tailgating” by the authorities. It is generally fun and a smart way to avoid paying high prices for stadium food and beer.

However, in a college setting like the one I played at, the young adults get absolutely carried away and behave like the world is ending.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
That sound guy doesn't sound like much of one. Why not just turn the gain down before plugging the amp back in? Also, why did the guy in the crowd unplug the amp to begin with?

That show wasn't in a permanent venue, and happened because a number of national acts.had an off day on their tour. The back of the power amp rack was near where the audience could get to, so my guess is that the power cord got stepped on. I'm also guessing that the sound guy forgot that the gain was turned up on my monitor.

In my original post there are two different monitor stories from two different gigs. I'm glad that I always wear hearing protection when playing drums.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Anyone else get distracted during a gig? Dish the dirt. Let's hear it.

Ok cbphoto.......here's mine.

About 2 years ago, I got a call from the ladies local A grade netball team wanting a band to play for their end of season/awards ceremony.

We set up in the indoor netball courts.....it was the single biggest "stage" I've every played in.

It was basically a massive shed full of empty netball courts.....I think they're the same size as a basketball court.

Anyways, the A grade women's team were the last to have their awards etc, that's when we started playing.....about 9pm.

By the time we started playing, the women were all full of booze and drunk as skunks.......they all started screaming and ran onto the netball court that we were playing on and they started dancing all around us. Women were coming up to me and kissing me while I was playing and grabbing me etc.

They had ditched their kids, husbands and boyfriend's for the night and left their worries behind them for one night.

So there I was with about 40 very sweaty, athletic, fit 30 to 40 year old women completely surrounding us. I got bras in my face and all sorts. Our female lead singer wasn't too impressed though......
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I think my biggest distraction was a puppy that wanted to play.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Used to play a Tuesday night gig at a local bar and restaurant across the street from a hotel, where every Tuesday it was "Lingerie Night". The (super hot) female waitstaff wore lingerie instead of uniforms or whatever. They really got into the outfits, too -- bustiers, stockings, corsets, high heels.

I did NOT mention this little detail to my then fiancee, now wife. Distractions all around, all night! Good times. Miss that gig...
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Oh yeah believe me it use to bother me (no that is too polite)-especially other percussion playing poorly that it distracted me from what I was playing. But I realized they were "owning me" yeah the bloody bastards got in my head. Their playing had nothing to do with mine-that was all in my head. That realization helps me tune them out-focus on the whole song. Heck one dude was my friend and I love him (I was getting pissed)-he can't help he can't play the djembe (I can't either), and I barely pass on kit. We started playing together more and working on stuff together and finally melded ok-so just took a little patience.
 

BillH2121

Junior Member
Many years ago, I played in a band that played regularly (monthly) at a club in a college town. At some point the management decided to transition to a strip club. For a month or so, bands played and ladies danced nude. Not complaining, but it was different. Another strange one, I was playing in a pop/rock band at an up-scale club and a dance lesson group came in. Very elderly women ballroom dancing with young guys in their 20's to rock music - a funny sight.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Playing in early 90's hardcore shows I had to learn very early on to play through anything. I played the guitar more then and at the front of the stage you would get stagedivers, crowdsurfers, guys who wanted to sing, guys who wanted to fight, guys bleeding on you, guys puking on you, guys trying to hit you with a dildo (actually happened), crowd throwing bottles of piss, shoes, batteries, syringes, furniture, bandmates passing out, bandmates fighting, bandmates jumping into the crowd to fight with some kid in the pit, and kids setting the venue on fire. And the crowds generally liked us! Imagine if they hadn't. So yeah, after that indoctrination anything short of a natural disaster and I am probably just gonna keep going.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
About 20–30 years ago traffic at American football games became very congested. So, the smart people would drive to the stadium parking lot very early, way before the gates opened to avoid traffic. With nothing else to do, they’d stay within their designated parking spot, set up a BBQ grill behind their vehicle (near the tailgate), cook some meats and wash it down with beer. This grew into huge parties amongst friends and fellow sports fans. The activity was dubbed as “Tailgating” by the authorities. It is generally fun and a smart way to avoid paying high prices for stadium food and beer.

However, in a college setting like the one I played at, the young adults get absolutely carried away and behave like the world is ending.

Oh right- like that scene in Silver Linings Playbook where they all go to a football game and everyone's having a BBQ in the parking lot (all my knowledge of American culture comes from movies) : )
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Plenty of stuff that cracks me up whilst playing. I'm on autopilot most of the time so people watching gets me through a lot of gigs. I'm lucky I get to play to a lot of good looking women who have made an effort that evening, you get the jealous partners too, it's funny how insecure they get.

Main distraction I have is drunken the retard that thinks it's a good idea to come into the playing area and have a jump and dance around all the wires/gear. I'll stop mid song until said retard goes away. This is closely related to the idiot who has no sense of time but always gets the singers tambourine and you end up with a time signature that Zappa wouldn't have touched :)
 
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