The Hazards of Playing Live

As always, the #1 hazard of playing live is the drunk-off-their-ass person or persons in the room. I first wrote about this problem back in October of last year, but I encountered three instances over the past 2 weeks that I need to share.

"The Singer" - Saturday night, 1AM, middle of our second set. This girl, obviously wasted, comes up to us between songs and asks if she can sing with us. As the lead singer the question naturally get directed at me. Really? Why do you have to damped the night by asking me that? Do you really think I'm going to say yes? The looks I get from the other members of the band are priceless. Now cue her friends, also wasted, who insist that she's a great singer. While I'm sure she is, this is not open mic, and it is not karaoke. But I don't say that. The best way to handle it? Don't answer the question an simply launch into the next song. Well, that's at least what I did.

"The Repetitive Requester" - The next Saturday, 12AM, middle of our second set. An older drunk woman comes up and requests "some 80s - 'Everybody Dance Now'!" Now, setting aside the fact that we've been playing plenty of 80s music all night and that "Everybody Dance Now" was released in 1990, we don't know it, and I tell her that. People request songs that we don't know all the time, but unfortunately we can't know them all. This, however, is not good enough for her. Again, she comes back and get right in my face, adamantly requesting that we play some 80s, and specifically "Everybody Dance Now." She's insistent that she throws an f-bomb at me. Now slightly pissed, I again tell her we don't know the song and throw an f-bomb back at her. She leaves, but I think she was too drunk and oblivious to realize how annoying she was. One wonders if the obliviousness and the drunkenness were related at all.

"The Hit & Run" - Same Saturday, 1:30AM, middle of our third set. In fact, I remember specifically that we were going from the 3rd verse to the 2nd pre-chorus of "More Today Than Yesterday" (by Spiral Starecase, but we do the Goldfinger version). Drunk woman walks by, can't keep her balance, slams into my music stand. Like a bunch of dominoes, the music stand hits my mic stand and my keyboard, all of which then hit me. It happened so fast no one saw it coming, least of all me, and for a moment I'm sent into a state of "did that just really happen?" Yes. Yes it did. But what could I do? Everything was still standing, and aside from some wrong notes on my part the band kept chugging along. Nothing goes wrong on stage.

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ