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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / 6 hour gig last Sat

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 23rd, 2017 06:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Last Sat was Tomahawk WI's annual biker event...the "Fall Ride." Little Tomahawk, in Northern WI becomes Sturgis, with thousands of bikers populating the town for the weekend, to enjoy the beautiful color up here.

We were hired to play outside at a bar 30 miles north of there, in Woodruff WI to catch passing bikers. We played from noon-6...with three 15 minute breaks.

I am 64 and our drummer and guitar player are 62 and 65. I surely don't have the stamina I had 20-30 years ago, and have some serious arthritis problems (knees replaced 6 months ago, cervical fusion, etc.)

We made it through the gig in fine style. My voice held out, my legs held out (I sat for about 1/2 of the 5th hour) and felt pretty good after. Our guitar players fingers were really sore the last hour, but he did well.

The aftermath was difficult. The arthritis in my left hand flared terribly and has taken all week to settle down. I've used heat, cold, tens unit, light therapy, diclofenac cream (prescription anti-inflammatory cream) and rest...

And I bought an Ibanez Mikro 5 string bass. The 28.6" scale doesn't force me to stretch nearly as much as my regulation scale basses.

Great gig, but 6 hours...maybe not again. We usually play close to 5 on our regular gigs as we usually start early and play late.



Say what one more time!
Sep 23rd, 2017 09:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

I am in a similar boat. I am 58 but in the last 5 years I have had some major surgeries. Almost died a couple times but I have managed to stay alive and still play. I am getting better but we also play some long gigs and sometimes don't take any breaks at all. My most recent issue is stenosis and severe arthritis in my back. Pinched nerves with feet and hands going numb. But you know what, I still love playing and will only stop when they pry my guitar out of my cold dead hands. :-)

Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Sep 23rd, 2017 09:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've become one of those "sitting on a stool" guys. Had a knee replacement 14 months ago. It is doing quite well, but my back isn't. I get around pretty well as long as I don't have to simply stand for any length of time (like standing on a stage playing).

After about 15 min, my back and legs start hurting. After an hour set, my back and legs are tense, stiff and pretty much locked into place. I can' bend over to pick up anything off the stage and have trouble stepping down off the stage.

I hop off the stool for a song here and there.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 25th, 2017 06:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

I had both my knees replaced 6 months ago (one first, then three weeks later, the other.)

I worked like a dog to get range of motion and strength back, but it took 4-5 months to get comfortable standing at a gig again. I did most of the 6 hours standing, except for about 30 minutes the 5th hour.

I always have my "custom" stool (tall, foldable with a wide bicycle seat...no horn) behind me, in case I want to sit.

These days, my ankle gives me more trouble at a gig, after standing a few hours than my knees. The knees have a lot of healing to do yet.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Sep 25th, 2017 08:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've done several 6 hour gigs for bike weeks. Never with only 3 15 minute breaks though. I think we did an hour on and half hour off so it was basically 5 sets in 6 hours. My fingers would be locking up by the end. Gatorade seems to help some with that.

The place was so crowded with bikes you couldn't load out of there anyway until most had left.


It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Sep 26th, 2017 06:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

6 hours and only 45 minutes off?

You guys are troopers...or maybe insane. (;^D)

We regularly do ~2 hours for a set, but most gigs are done after 2 of those sets.
Adding one more full set would definitely add to the following days' recovery time.

And, yes, at 60+, that is "days" as in more than one. HA!

We may be old, but we're still RAWKIN'!!



Rockin' the Delaware Valley
Sep 27th, 2017 09:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

I gotta give you credit: I'm closing in on 64, and I would NEVER play a gig over 4 hours. Well, maybe if I was getting an insane amount of money and could sit down the entire time. ;-)

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Sep 27th, 2017 10:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

The classic rock oldies band I play drums for has two regular venues, a twice a year beer fest and a regular club gig in the mountains. These places are 5 hour gigs. At 61 I can still hang. I feel very fortunate. Our bass played is 68. He is amazing. He's a small thin guy and light on his feet. He never seems to tire.

6 hours is a bit nuts. I'd have to pace myself which is hard to do when you are getting into what you are playing.

Contributing Member


I like guitars and amps
Oct 3rd, 2017 08:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

Last Saturday, I was on my feet all day running an event. That night, the band had a gig and we went on at 8 and played straight until 1015. Sore feet. 45 minute break then back on for another hour+ set.

I hit the pillow at 2am. I am not cut out for this vampire RNR lifestyle anymore, but once in a while, I can manage to suck it up

Contributing Member

Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Oct 4th, 2017 11:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

Power to you Steve.
I don't think I could pull off a 6 hour gig, even with generous breaks.


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Oct 9th, 2017 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

FWIW I don't think the stool helps much. Yes it gives your legs and feet a break, but seems to create a lot of tension in my lower black.

Best thing I can do is move around. The relativel low cost of a wireless allows me to wander the stage - and the venue, and I'm much less fatigued at the end of a gig.

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / 6 hour gig last Sat

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