Remember the gig when ...
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The Legend of Amerikana
May 8, 2009
Remember the gig when ...
submitted by Amerikan Junk
A few years back we had the bright idea of putting together an outdoor show called ‘Amerikana’ featuring a couple of area acts, a touring band, our band “Amerikan Junk” and then a DJ to fill the tear-down times with music.
First thing we needed was land, you can’t have a show without a venue. A couple of places were scoped out, but the final decision was made to play at an unused farmhouse that was owned by the family of a friend since there was a nice open area in the center with outdoor power so we could setup conveniently. Perfect. One of the Acts agreed to bring a stage they had. We rented a mixer, some monitors and mains from a local audio business and a porta-john to keep the attendees comfortable. All was falling into place.
A few days before the gig, after everything appeared to be taken care of, we called our friend who had agreed to let us use his property and we received no answer. We went out to the farm where we were supposed to play and right in the middle of where we were intending to set up the stage, there sat a 15 foot tall pile of manure which I believe to have been there to fertilize the field nearby. After countless attempts to contact the land owner, we finally gave up the night before the gig and sat on a street corner with no options left.
A friend called and told us to come to a party south of town and stop worrying about it and we reluctantly agreed. When we got to the place, there was this long driveway that lead to a small farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, and we realized that this could be “the place”… this could be where we put on ‘Amerikana’. With a little convincing, the guys that lived there agreed and we were back on track.
The next day we went to our old site and posted a map to the new location, setup the sound system and prepared to finalize everything, but then the band that was supposed to bring the stage never showed. It didn’t matter anymore, we finally had a place to play. So we set up our system on the bare earth (with the exception of a drum riser) and played well into the night and the rest is history!
Never give up kids.
April 24, 2009
Remember the gig when ...
submitted by Shasta Blvd.
Wind, rain, lightning and tornado warnings best describes one of our first paying gigs. It was a beautiful, hot June day in rural Minnesota, and we were the opening band at our city's street dance. About 3 songs into our set, clouds began to shade us from the heat, somewhat of a blessing and relief. Then, in what felt like a split second, and ironically while playing T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday,” it began to rain. Several people had tarps and we were able to cover up all of our equipment. (The show must go on right?) But what we thought would be a quick intermission, turned out to be a musician’s worst nightmare.
Soon after the rain, came huge gusts of wind causing the tarps to fly and our equipment (a.k.a. Les Paul, Fender Amps, Strats, Pearl Drums, sound system, etc) to be completely exposed to the rain. No longer able to hold the tarps down, we had no choice but to try and load everything back into our trailer. In the meantime, as the headlining band closed the curtain on their trailer, their $5000 Korg keyboard got caught and fell (about 6 feet) landing face-down on the pavement. Ouch!
So there we were… outside, soaked, with tornado sirens going off. The black and purple clouds above us were spinning. It’s now downpouring, lightning and windy. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the crowd had long been in the basement of the neighboring bar.
Anyway, we managed to get all our goods into the trailer and in - no joke - probably 3 minutes. We still to this day don’t understand how, in the mess and chaos of all that happened, nothing was damaged and the only thing we lost was a mic case. But let’s just say that was one huge wad of cables to untangle!
All in the name of Music!
Peace out – Shasta Blvd
We are happy to say that this experience did not scare us away from being a gigging band.
Check us out at www.myspace.com/shastablvd