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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Neat stage - NOT



Earn while you learn
May 16th, 2016 06:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

I provided the sound system for a concert this past Saturday evening with a headliner and opening band.

In the afternoon I sound-checked the headliner and then the opener. The opener's gear was to remain on stage for the duration of the event.

I always make the stage neat by creating orderly lines as I spike the wires/cables with gaff, use all black cables, etc.

I arrive early, set up the rig, run the wires/cables, run the band power cable across the stage - no problem.

The headliner does the sound check - no problem then the opening band sets up for their sound check.

The rub:
The opening band's guitarist insists on using his 12 gauge "orange" extension cord to connect his petal board to the band power cable. I offer him one of my black extension cords but he "insisted on using his".
BTW his orange extension cord was a 25 footer and he stored it all jumbled up in a milk crate....thus it didn't lay flat. It was a jumbled ball of wires that stood-out like a sore thumb on the stage....

I'm at the rear of the auditorium mixing the show and all that I could see was that jumbled mess making the stage look hack.....

Both bands played well and the opener's guitarist played well also... As a musician I know that the music comes first but appearance does come into play as it's part of the package.

Rant over...

(This message was last edited by acplayer at 08:18 AM, May 16th, 2016)

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

May 16th, 2016 11:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

Some performers freak out if they don't have their woobie [whatever it may be] on the gig.

You're the sound guy. It's not up to you to make sure the band looks good...but I do admire your penchant for an orderly, neat, and *safe* stage.

Many stages are a collection of human-sized squirrel snares.

FDP Data Goon

When I sin

I sin real good
May 16th, 2016 01:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Given the short shrift I dealt with back in the day from sound guys, I'd use my power cable as well.

I never worried about dress code or matching cables either!

Contributing Member


May 16th, 2016 02:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I HATE going on after another band that leaves cigarette buts and beer cans everywhere after their set. Have some respect for the next band!

FDP Data Goon

When I sin

I sin real good
May 16th, 2016 02:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yea, leaving junk for the next band is a bad choice, agreed.

What you use when you're up though is on you!

Contributing Member

Philly, B-3 Capital

don't dream it be it
May 16th, 2016 02:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

what venue still has cigarette butts?

Contributing Member


May 16th, 2016 02:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you don't serve food, you can still allow smoking in clubs in OKC. For example, the Blue Note is a great venue to play, but you'll be inhaling a lot of 2nd hand smoke if you play there.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
May 17th, 2016 10:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's the same here 5 and I absolutely hate playing in these places. All your gear smells like an ash tray for the next several days.

As far as a neat stage goes, I try to do my best to keep things orderly, but it can be tough to do at times. I wouldn't worry about an orange power cable on stage though. The looks of the stage is more on the band than the sound guy as far as I'm concerned.

Contributing Member

It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
May 17th, 2016 01:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

"The looks of the stage is more on the band than the sound guy as far as I'm concerned."

While I can appreciate your intentions, acplayer, nobody watching the show is going to say, "Great band, but I wish the sound guy would've kept the stage a little neater."

I can also appreciate the guitar player wanting to use his own power cord - it's part of his rig and knows it works. Keeping the unknowns to a minimum and all.
That said, I do try to keep our stages as clutter-free as possible.

RE: cigarette butts/smoking. I live 10 minutes from the PA border. I tried a few open mic/jam things at one of the PA bars and had to stop. Fun place and nice people, but I hated coming home with my throat burning and smelling like a giant ashtray. I've gotten spoiled playing in NY's smoke-free bars and restaurants....and am happy for that.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
May 17th, 2016 04:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

"...but I hated coming home with my throat burning and smelling like a giant ashtray."

My, how things have changed!
I remember when that was just part of being a musician. NOT that it was a *good* part but...

I've never been a smoker and think the new laws are great but... my, how things have changed ;^)

As for the orange cord, wouldn't consider it a problem unless the show was being filmed for broadcast or promotional video.

Contributing Member


I like guitars and amps
May 17th, 2016 07:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

I played with a bunch of guys who belonged to a union that had their annual picnic at my place. We were good friends, had fun and did some fundraiser type events. We were more of a club than a band, 10-12 of us. At practice we would share the stage and lineups.

We got a chance to play a fundraiser at a bar that we probably we never play for pay. Not our crowd, but it was a big Jersey Shore place that we just wanted to say "we played there."

So we ALL go to the gig. The stage is 12' deep by maybe 20' wide. Imagine setting up 2 full drum kits, a small electronic drum kit, 2 keyboards, bass rig, 4 guitar amps and a singer. Our sound guy played his acoustic from the dance floor through a wireless. We also opted to bring our own PA and skip the house system. The $150 we saved was given to the charity.

I couldn't move without hitting someone or a mic stand. My amp was under the keyboard. Set it and forget it. One guitarist brings a guitar stand on stage because he has to have specific guitars for some of the tunes. I told him pick one guitar, lose the stand.

The stage looked ridiculous, but we had fun. Everybody got in the sandbox and played nice. The stage had to look like a refugee ship ready to capsize. We should have done Petty's "Refugee" That would have been appropriate.

The crowd of 600 liked us and danced some. It was the after party for a charity walk on a cold December day. The owner said we were welcome back to play, for free and see what kind of crowd we could draw on a Thursday. No thanks. Once was enough playing there and I can say I played there.

Martin G
Contributing Member


May 19th, 2016 10:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

Anyone who has done weddings or corporate events will understand where acplayer is coming from.

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Neat stage - NOT

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