Bass player goes down. Continue set or take a break?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Big John Studd, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    Had a gig last night at a free summer concert series on the lawn type of thing that the city puts on. One 90-minute set. A pretty good crowd of 100 was out there sitting on lawn chairs, kids throwing the football, a senior center brought a busload out, etc.

    The bass player's wireless rig went down right in the middle of the show. I honestly didn't even realize he was having technical problems until the other guitar player hollered at me between songs that we need to "wait for Joe to fix his bass". I'm not the leader of this band (cover band...Cash, Elvis, Rascals, SRV, etc.), but I am the front man and feel some responsibility to take charge in these situations.

    I said well let's just keep playing through the set list figuring the bass picker will get squared away during the next song and hop on the train when he's ready. The drummer (leader of the band, guy in charge, etc.) says no, we can't play the next song without a bass. Well, OK. I suggest that I lead us through some three chord sing-a-long deal like Margaritaville, Country Roads, etc. to buy a few minutes. Again, no, we will wait for the bass player.

    So...there we stood holding our picks for about two or three minutes (seemed like ten). I did my best to thank the audience for coming out, commented how nice it was that the city provides this event for us all, etc., some other guys in the band started chiming in with witty remarks...it just flat out sucked.

    The other 87 minutes of the show was fine.
     
  2. christhee68

    christhee68 Friend of Leo's

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    I saw this same thing happen to the bass player of a band I was watching at an outdoor show last week. The bass went out (I'm not sure why). The frontman chatted up the crowd for a minute, saying who they were, where they're from, buy their CD, website, etc. and when he finished that the bass player still was down.

    Then the frontman said "I'm going to do a little acoustic number right now called..." and played a song solo acoustic. I don't think anyone even noticed the problem with the bass.
     
  3. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    This is basically what I wanted to do...and what I am mentally/emotionally/whatever prepared to do in these circumstances. Just couldn't get the band behind me. I probably just should've launched into something anyway. I think I'll at least use it as an opportunity to suggest to these guys that we have some sort of plan in the future...ie. get "permission in advance" to call an audible if necessary.
     
  4. Brian J.

    Brian J. Tele-Afflicted

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    i'd have kept playin' **** happens, no reason to stop a show unles he was doing a bass solo, or you are in primus...lol
     
  5. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    People came there for music. The singalong thing, or an acoustic song, sound like good ideas to keep things moving on.
     
  6. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    If your bass player didn't have a cord as a backup for the wireless, he's an idiot.
     
  7. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    I think he did eventually switch to a cord as backup. He's a really good multi-instrument player and singer, gigs with several different bands, has good equipment, etc. So I had no doubt he'd figure out whatever problem he was having (plus our soundman was helping him), I was just looking for a way to avoid 100 people in lawn chairs staring at us while we were doing nothing.
     
  8. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Good idea. Another one might be to get rid of the wireless rig. Couldn't he have just plugged straight in instead of messing with his device?
     
  9. bluesfordan

    bluesfordan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    oh, jeez, from the title I thought he had a medical issue and collapsed on stage in the middle of a set. I was wondering what kind of heartless bastards the rest of the band was. :lol::D
     
  10. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    I think so, and I think that's eventually what he did. Yeah, I guess it's a tough call on these wireless rigs. I love playing through mine, esp. on a big stage like we had last night. I can move around more easily. Of course if they crap out on you...I guess if it ever happens to me, my immediate on stage solution will be to just pull the ten foot cable that runs from my board to my amp and plug it right into my Telecaster.
     
  11. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    Me too. Had a vision of him falling off the front of an elevated stage.,....
     
  12. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    This has happened to me before with a drunken fiddler. Obviously we just kept right on picking as best we could amidst trying not to laugh.
     
  13. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    That's entertainment.
     
  14. 410DeVille

    410DeVille Tele-Meister

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    Keep playing. A couple of years ago our female singer fell off the stage during a song. We all just kept playing.
     
  15. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    How long does it take to unplug the wireless and plug a cord in?!?
     
  16. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    My thoughts exactly.

    First rule of playing wireless - always have a cord nearby. Shouldn't take more than half a minute to change out.
     
  17. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I guess I'd go with whatever the leader decides and not question it further.

    For work, I'm in charge of lots of stuff and in our band, I'm in charge of lots of stuff, but I don't question the stuff I'm not in charge of because I don't dig having a bunch of questions about stuff that I need to decide quickly.

    if it was a 2 minute wait on a 90 minute set, it really doesn't matter. I used to back a guy a few years back, he had a great band but couldn't keep guitar players... this cat was a BIG guy (like maybe 350-400 lbs) and it was HIS band. he was a good singer and a good player and his 'family' (the bass player and drummer who were somehow related to him) seemed comfortable with him talking for about 5-8 minutes between every song... it was brutal for me as I'm used to moving from one song to the next...

    My son reminded me of this over the weekend because I used to TEXT my son between songs (it was that long!)... but, he paid 150.00 a night and when they were playing, they were really good. I never questioned it or said, "shut up." I was hired to play and play I did... it was easy money and this cat had a following of sorts... oh well!
     
  18. guitar dan

    guitar dan Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree. I always have a cord ready to go when I use a wireless.

    I would've played a solo acoustic song to keep the show going. As mentioned earlier, you should probably have a song or two in mind that you can do in the absence of each particular instrument. Technical difficulties WILL happen sooner or later, someone will be sick, etc. Have a plan in place.
     
  19. Sideways Jaye

    Sideways Jaye Tele-Meister

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    Your band needs to talk about this as a group, and you need to politely gang up on the bass player and impress upon him that anything other than a quick changeover to a cord is not acceptable. That is a ridiculous reason to destroy the momentum of a well-attended show.
     
  20. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is probably the best solution. My band has myself and another guitarist/singer and either of us could whip out a solo ditty if we needed to.

    In answer to your question though I would say continue without the bass, even if it's for the remainder of the set. The guys in my band all live fairly far apart, so at practices we'll occasionally we'll be down a member. The rest just plug on with the practice as best as we can. We practiced this last Friday night with just two guitars and a drummer and we had a good time.
     
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