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Share your onstage trainwrecks!


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#1 edhunter

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:21 AM

We've all had them. Onstage screwups for the ages. Spill the beans!

2012 Club 90 Utah, playing Addicted To Love for the 2nd time. Our singer misses his entrance, which was fine. Just wait for the progression to come back around right? WRONG! He comes in midway through the progression. Because of the bouncy bass line, I have no way to shift gears that fast. The song is completely off-kilter till the "you like to think that you're immune to the stuff" line. Afterward, singer says, "I knew I was coming in early, but you guys should've adjusted" ASSHOOOOOOOLE!

2 years earlier, same club playing "I'll Never Let You Go" by whoever it was. I've been steaming all night because lead guitarist is loud as hell with an ugly, brittle tone. Finally look over at him and yell "Turn the f**k DOWN!" and completely blow the middle vocal section of the song, leaving us all flubbing for 8 bars or so.

2016 in Hartford CT playing She's So High. I've adapted to how my guitarist plays the little arpeggio intro and again before the last verse, because he doesn't quite play it right. At the end I usually let him go through it once before I start singing. This time I came in right with him because I'd figured out the timing. But he was so used to me waiting he panicked and skipped to the next section of the verse. We're literally looking at each other onstage trying to see who will make the next move so the other can try to adjust. Utter disaster.

Your turn...

Edited by edhunter, 12 April 2017 - 09:22 AM.


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#2 JARG

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:55 AM

No big disasters like that, but we used to play a hole in the wall owned by a tune-deaf-Grizzy-Adams-Vietnam-Vet whose policy was that if you played his shack, he got to sing a couple of songs with the band. This is what that hell sounds like:



Make sure you watch up to about 2:17 so you can see Charlie wonder where the hell I'd disappeared to. :)

#3 1-0-0-1-0-0-1

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 10:23 AM

^^^ Ouch.

My band had a big gig, Friday night in our high school auditorium. Big stage, full lighting rig, full house, people actually paying for tickets, the whole deal. As big time as a high school garage band could get.

Someone was nice enough to sneak up onstage and de-tune the D string on my guitar right before show time. Curtain goes up, intro music finishes (Firebird Suite -- fancy!), and I kick off the opening power chords to Boston's "Rock and Roll Band"...but instead of hearing that nice and heavy B-major, we hear a very dissonant BLAGHFRAPPG!!! My first thought was I was playing it wrong, but I wasn't. The guys in the band all gave me the WTF? look, and my look in return was, "I have no f*cking idea."

We got through the song with me trying to retune on the fly. Rest of the show went pretty well, though.

#4 JARG

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 10:25 AM

With friends like that... :)

#5 edhunter

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 10:36 AM

My guitarist has a detuning pedal for some songs. Every now and then he forgets to step on it either before the song or afterward, and he doesn't have enough of an ear to know the difference.


#6 Sir Lerxst

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 12:30 PM

Starting the first song of a gig (Owner of a Lonely Heart), which we started with the guitar riff rather than the little drum sample - bass guitar joins in but no drums. Turn to see that the drummer hasn't got his drum sticks at the kit...

#7 edhunter

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 12:39 PM

View PostSir Lerxst, on 12 April 2017 - 12:30 PM, said:

Starting the first song of a gig (Owner of a Lonely Heart), which we started with the guitar riff rather than the little drum sample - bass guitar joins in but no drums. Turn to see that the drummer hasn't got his drum sticks at the kit...

We once started a big outdoor gig with American Band, and one of the drummer's sticks went flying out of his hands right during the drum solo intro and he had to slap them with his hand.

#8 Permanent-Rush

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 01:14 PM

When I went on stage for my first preformance I was in the opening song and I messed it up.

#9 Mr. JD

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 03:11 PM

Usually my trainwrecks were just walking onto the stage!

#10 goose

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 07:17 PM

I played an outdoor twilight gig at a golf course once.  I set up the gig through golf course management, who were buddies of mine.  Midway through the first set the sprinklers came on, soaking the patio and my guitarist's gear.  Needless to say, that was the end of the show.  And my time with the band.  And the friendship, for that matter.

#11 Ancient Ways

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 07:59 PM

Playing a graduation party in high school heavily attended by the music class kids that actually had lessons and were trained while my band was definitely not.  Drummer gets drunk and decides the vocalist isn't hyping the crowd up enough (they were snobs so it wasn't going to get hype) and he crawls under the kit to try to talk into the microphone we set up for his kit.  Being that drunk yiu can imagine how his playing went.

#12 stoopid

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:04 PM

View PostMr. JD, on 12 April 2017 - 03:11 PM, said:

Usually my trainwrecks were just walking onto the stage!

Considering some of the bands I was in... I was going to post something like this.  :P

Edited by stoopid, 13 April 2017 - 03:04 PM.


#13 HemiBeers

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 06:57 PM

View PostJARG, on 12 April 2017 - 09:55 AM, said:

No big disasters like that, but we used to play a hole in the wall owned by a tune-deaf-Grizzy-Adams-Vietnam-Vet whose policy was that if you played his shack, he got to sing a couple of songs with the band. This is what that hell sounds like:



Make sure you watch up to about 2:17 so you can see Charlie wonder where the hell I'd disappeared to. :)
If you were on wireless, you should have kept walking until you were out in the parking lot. :D

Edited by HemiBeers, 13 April 2017 - 06:58 PM.


#14 HemiBeers

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 07:15 PM

I played my stepdaughters wedding about 5 years and put some things together on guitar. Mind you, I hadn't played in front of any significant audience in about 30 years since I'm a 'basement only' player.

For the bridesmaid procession, I put together Pachabel's Canon in D using a Boss Loop Station to sample 2 beginning sections and then solo on top of it. I was sweating bullets not to screw up the samples, but they went off fine as well as the rest of the song (other than the bridesmaids sprinting in and killing the last 2 minutes I had planned). Whew...hard song was done.

For the bridal procession, I did a simple version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Simple simple chords with the melody in the middle of the chords...piece of cake. But I developed a habit of playing a Am instead of the last C major chord....and I beefed it again with the wrong Am chord. Anyway, I snuck in the the '...and the meek shall inherit the earth' chord arpeggios at the end since he was a Rush fan. She looked at me strangely but he was smiling. :D

#15 JARG

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 07:40 PM

View PostHemiBeers, on 13 April 2017 - 06:57 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 12 April 2017 - 09:55 AM, said:

No big disasters like that, but we used to play a hole in the wall owned by a tune-deaf-Grizzy-Adams-Vietnam-Vet whose policy was that if you played his shack, he got to sing a couple of songs with the band. This is what that hell sounds like:



Make sure you watch up to about 2:17 so you can see Charlie wonder where the hell I'd disappeared to. :)
If you were on wireless, you should have kept walking until you were out in the parking lot. :D
That would've been a hoot! He was so lost up there!

#16 HemiBeers

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 07:49 PM

View PostJARG, on 13 April 2017 - 07:40 PM, said:

View PostHemiBeers, on 13 April 2017 - 06:57 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 12 April 2017 - 09:55 AM, said:

No big disasters like that, but we used to play a hole in the wall owned by a tune-deaf-Grizzy-Adams-Vietnam-Vet whose policy was that if you played his shack, he got to sing a couple of songs with the band. This is what that hell sounds like:



Make sure you watch up to about 2:17 so you can see Charlie wonder where the hell I'd disappeared to. :)
If you were on wireless, you should have kept walking until you were out in the parking lot. :D
That would've been a hoot! He was so lost up there!
...after the show....

Charlie: why the hell did you walk out to the parking lot?
you: because that was the only place where your singing didn't sound like shit. :D

#17 Lucas

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 12:48 AM

The first gig I ever did in which I sang in addition to playing the guitar was a Halloween show at a bar where the locals apparently preferred background music ..

Having never sang in public before - or through a decent PA for that matter - most of my thoughts were put to how my voice would sound singing -- I had given absolutely no thought to talking or saying anything between songs ..

Our first three songs ran together ala The Ramones, and after the 3rd song ended, there was silence .. Immediately the thought of "wow, I didn't prepare for this" went thru my mind ... But there was also next to no appreciation from the crowd, which added to the uncomfortable vibe ..

just be yourself .. being that it was Halloween show, I remember being struck at how disconnected I felt hearing my own speaking voice loud and clear saying "wow, there are a lot of people here tonight dressed like dead people"

Needless to say, we got no new names on the mailing list that night

#18 rushfanNlv

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 02:56 PM

I was in 8th grade and playing bass in a high school talent show.  We had two songs: Breaking the Law and an original tune.  During the drum break down in breaking the law I managed to step on my cable and pull it out of the amp jack.  Got it all fixed before the next song started but in the chaos, I must have hit the headstock on something and took my E string down a few steps.  Started the next song out of tune.

2nd one was playing an acoustic thing with a friend at a bar and we started with Patience by GNR.  I was supposed to do the whistling part but I was so nervous my mouth was dry and I couldn't whistle for shit.

Edited by rushfanNlv, 14 April 2017 - 02:56 PM.


#19 HemiBeers

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 05:57 PM

View Post1-0-0-1-0-0-1, on 12 April 2017 - 10:23 AM, said:

^^^ Ouch.

My band had a big gig, Friday night in our high school auditorium. Big stage, full lighting rig, full house, people actually paying for tickets, the whole deal. As big time as a high school garage band could get.

Someone was nice enough to sneak up onstage and de-tune the D string on my guitar right before show time. Curtain goes up, intro music finishes (Firebird Suite -- fancy!), and I kick off the opening power chords to Boston's "Rock and Roll Band"...but instead of hearing that nice and heavy B-major, we hear a very dissonant BLAGHFRAPPG!!! My first thought was I was playing it wrong, but I wasn't. The guys in the band all gave me the WTF? look, and my look in return was, "I have no f*cking idea."

We got through the song with me trying to retune on the fly. Rest of the show went pretty well, though.
you're lucky it was only one string they de-tuned.

#20 HemiBeers

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 06:04 PM

View PostLucas, on 14 April 2017 - 12:48 AM, said:

The first gig I ever did in which I sang in addition to playing the guitar was a Halloween show at a bar where the locals apparently preferred background music ..

Having never sang in public before - or through a decent PA for that matter - most of my thoughts were put to how my voice would sound singing -- I had given absolutely no thought to talking or saying anything between songs ..

Our first three songs ran together ala The Ramones, and after the 3rd song ended, there was silence .. Immediately the thought of "wow, I didn't prepare for this" went thru my mind ... But there was also next to no appreciation from the crowd, which added to the uncomfortable vibe ..

just be yourself .. being that it was Halloween show, I remember being struck at how disconnected I felt hearing my own speaking voice loud and clear saying "wow, there are a lot of people here tonight dressed like dead people"

Needless to say, we got no new names on the mailing list that night
sounds like my first singing experience in public. It was amatuer night at the local pizza place. First prize...a large one item (ooo ahhh). For a stupid high senior it sounded pretty good and my buddy talked me into it. he was my 'manager' (probably just wanted some free pizza). So i did a crap version of 'Lucky man' and then did my comedy routine of bad pun jokes in the middle of playing some guitar (think henny youngman, but with a guitar). Well there was probably 6 people in the place. A couple clapped when i was done. Then a girl singer got up and sang some folky stuff way off key. Just awful. But she won the pizza and I lost (she was kinda cute which was her saving grace). Welp...guess I'm done with this singing and comedy shit.




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