Bar Gigs – Are you experienced?

Guitar Squid | Timeline of a Bar Gig
Guitar Squid | Timeline of a Bar Gig

So, I found another amusing Guitar Squid article; Timeline of a Bar Gig. It made me laugh.

Lately, I’m digging all the stuff that I find at Guitar Squid, Guitar Fail, & The Guitarz Blog.

While amusing, their bar gig timeline runs completely different from one that I’d put together.  I’d like to make my own, maybe a little less jaded.  There’s several subsets of bar-gigs, and it depends wholly on the bar, the type of band, and the crowd.

Before I do that, I’d like to see yours.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a band, just a person who goes to shows… or even the bar, promoter, or the sound guy.  I’d like to see the timeline from all parties involved.  If your drummer can read, is he tired of the drummer-bashing?

7 thoughts on “Bar Gigs – Are you experienced?

  1. Actually, that graph is pretty accurate in my view. I’ve had to do that many times sans the playing two sets.

    For me it’s:
    Show up early to get a check on things i.e. feel of venue, talk to soundman for anything we may need “extra”(like multiple mics), thank owner for opportunity, work the few people there at the time to ensure SOMEBODY will be watching us, have a cocktail to get over the 2 hour drive, load in.

    Watch first band. Be irritated by their antics/lazy approach to working the crowd for later bands. Drink more to alleviate irritation.

    Get told that you’re playing last even though the flier and agreed upon lineup has always said you’d be playing next to last. Drink more to alleviate fury.

    Load gear on stage. My cab(which weighs a legit 70lbs at least is always done by me, solo), help bassist with his cab, and then the drummer who’s usually getting high once his bass drum is on. Bring on guitar, tune. Wait to see if sound guy will mic the drums(rarely happens). Brief soundcheck.

    Wait 10 minutes for sound guy to get his drinks and acquire my own.

    Start set.

    Set goes swimmingly for 20 minutes until drummer’s pot kicks in and then it progresses into a spiral of missed spots, blown endings, and dirty looks from yours truly.

    Finish set.

    Load off quickly and then go to bar to drown misery in brown party liquor.

    Talk to drummer outside and we go over what went right, what went wrong, and who fucked up what. (Usually him on the latter).

    Go back in and convince bassist that he isn’t the worst person in the world ever and that his tone didn’t suck and people could hear him. (He’s not, it did, and they couldn’t.)

    Drink more until what was previously an opening band finishes and then ask for our guarantee. Sometimes we get it. When we don’t I demand free drinks.

    Leave bar at closing time. Lather, rinse, repeat next weekend.


    • Reverend Funk, thanks for taking the time to reply! I’ve never been in a band that has this “guarantee” you speak of. Ha ha.

      I’ve also seen the sound guy take 20 minutes to mic/check drums, then just throw a mic in front of the guitar cabinet… hoping it’s facing the right direction, let alone hitting a sweet spot.


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