Friday, July 13, 2012

Advancing...Horror stories

Jon's recent post about advancing made me cringe and think of some incidents that I found myself stuck in years ago while working at a local club. 

The promoter of the club also owned the audio system installed in it, so i was hired by the promoter to run production on their equipment, but they were responsible for maintaining it, which meant it wasn't. I would get called and scheduled for shows with no real knowledge of what I was walking into. 

I used to advance the shows with the TM or soundguy of the band coming in, and let the promoter know what if anything needed to be supplemented. After a while, the promoter said they would take care of the advancing for me. This was the worst decision ever. 

Hell #1. Pretty well known metal band. Sold out show weeks in advance. Band shows up. "What's that Mackie doing at FOH?" "Well, that's the house console" "Our show has 34 inputs, I need all of them. Didn't you get the rider?" "No I didn't, did _____ advance the show with you?" "No, who's that?" "oh boy."  phone calls are made, and I put the TM on the phone with the promoter. Hearing just the TM's side of the conversation was pretty comical. "I need 34 inputs.....No I won't cut any.....Didn't you get the rider?......You thought you could just use last year's rider? This is a completely different show.....I don't care, get me another console" click. Thanks promoter guy for delaying that show while the headliner waited for the rental house console.

Hell #2 "Promoter guy, there's 2 blown wedges, I only have 1.5 downstage mixes now." "Oh don't worry about it, this show is all on in-ears." "really?" "yeah I advanced it with them" "All of the bands on the tour are on ears?" "Yes I advanced it with them." LIAR! he really only advanced with the headliner that had all ears. The other 3 openers had no ears, and were pissed at me that only one complete mix was working.  I left a scathing voicemail at 2am about how i was sick of promoter dude lying about what was coming in, and leaving me to be the fool. That was my last show there working for him.  Sometimes you just gotta move on. 

Lesson to be learned? Insist on advancing yourself, unless you really trust the guy on the other end of the phone, which should not be a promoter! Remember to keep a smile on your face, and don't fight with the touring guys about it, do your best with the info at hand, and get the show running! Have fun, good night.

1 comment:

  1. The opposite end of the spectrum is when people who don't usually promote get their hands on an event. The local church or civic group books a stage full of acts and leaves not one minute between them for change over. Zero advance. Bands that show up with no instruments because they thought the sound guy had everything they needed. (Yes you read that right.) And the crowning glory was a small event that wanted the first six acts on the grass in front of the gazebo and the last one in it. Had to shut everything down for five minutes to reset.

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