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Where is the NICEST place you have played?


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Ok.. for the last two years I have been playing in crappy bars (which are the most fun).

 

Last night we played outdoors at a place called Liberty House https://libertyhouserestaurant.com/

 

What a view!. And the moon rose over the Manhattan skyline part way through the third set... We then switched gears and played a few "moon songs" (Shame on the Moon and Harvest Moon).

It was really a neat experience... Packed. Wedding spillover... Young folks...

 

I played my Martin D15... I think I am switching back to the Gibsons... I then won't have to worry about pick noise near the Baggs M80.

 

Share some pics of where you play? Your setups? Either garden or public! (I already know in advance BK wins garden photo picking spots)

 

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That looks very pleasant, Sal!

 

For me, blues and playing in a nice place don't seem to go hand in hand, so I have ...zip. [mellow]

 

 

But...years back, I went to the Better Half's friend's wedding and of course grumbled and complained about the whole thing the whole way there but left fully stunned when the music began - it was a non religious ceremony in a beautiful university chapel made of limestone and light wood and the first notes of the little purely acoustic string quartet that played - WOW, and wow! Liquid gold notes filled the room and the sun shone a large shaft of light on the musicians through the huge stained glass window.....just magic - and they played to suit!

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Nicest in what sense -- acoustics, audience, venue? I talked with this with my wife and we had a hard time deciding.

 

We have a summer home near Shelburne NS and we have gotten to play occasionally at the local theatre, the Osprey Art Center. This is a very well designed multi-function facility that does many different kinds of stuff -- it is like playing in heaven for us in broad terms -- stage facilities, green room, audience connection and particularly sound. We are able to use a small number of large diaphragm condenser mics and make the whole place sound acoustic. As acoustic musicians, there are very few places where one can go on stage with a large audience and make the whole place feel acoustic.

 

The other places where this has happened tend to be churches and community centers made from converted churches -- there are quite a those out there and they can be great.

 

On the other hand we have played a lot less than perfect places: tents, firehouses, community centers, open air festivals, flatbed trucks, and ox barns come to mind. Also small saloons, bars, coffee houses, and restaurants. We hate to plug in, but many such places are nearly impossible without close action mics and instruments with pickups. Historically we have played a lot of bluegrass festivals and small festivals of other types. Those can be great fun and they can occur at beautiful (and less than beautiful) places, but with heat and other environmental conditions they can be less than perfect. But anyplace you can make music and connect with the audience is good. Fail in that, it is a bad day.

 

Let me mention one other place. In the summer we play ever Saturday morning at a local farmer's market. We (wife and I) generally play for 2-3 hours and we run an all acoustic jam session. I can be anything from bluegrass, folk, jazz, old time, etc. Sometimes it involves everything from visiting professionals whose names you might know to novices. For years we held the jam outside of the main open building -- we generally drew a small passing audience, but it was basically a social event and not a performance.

 

But this year they completed a new facility -- maybe 40 by 50 foot open building with an interior peaked roof planked with wood. Well that turns out to be an acoustic lens where the interior sound travels. It turns out that here we can be heard everywhere and suddenly we are getting applause across the whole market. I have never experienced anything like it, and the vendors love it. It is audible but not intrusive.

 

Pretty unique I think -- at least in my experience.

 

Let's pick,

 

-Tom

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I did love playing those bars with an electric band in the none too good part of town with the mission across the street with the big "Jesus Saves" sign out front. Often stayed in the crash pad above the bar.

 

But the nicest place would have been the park where the early Great Hudson River Revival Festivals benefitting the sloop Clearwater were (and still are) held. I was never on the bill but got the occasional chance to sit in. A beautiful park on a peninsula jutting out into the River, a great cause, loads of smiling people all over the place, and no pressure on me.

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about 15 years ago. I was in a country show band, (and I didn't even play country prior to getting the gig)...

 

the band was named "The Memphis Project"

 

we opened up for Billy Ray Cirrus at Indian Ranch. (Billy was way too cool to meet us, but we did meet a few of his band mates).. That was pretty cool. the Guitar player for BRC at the time was this massive dude, he had to have been 6' 4" and built like a Offensive Lineman for the NFL. Hands the size of New Jersey. his strat looked like a toy when he was playing it. he was good tho..

 

The other one was a Dinner show at a ball room in Lowell Mass. This place was HUGE, had about 100 tables, each table sat 10. They sold out the show, and actually added more tables to accommodate the ticket sales. The crowd, mostly adults 40+ ate it up. We always hired out sound system, & light show, which was impressive, they had lasers, follow spots, fog, portable risers and staging,, the whole 9 yards.

 

those were the two of the more memorable gigs. Photos some where, but none available to post here.

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I've played everywhere from a converted public toilet (seriously!) to arenas, but the nicest place I've played is the Royal Albert Hall in London. It's the jewel in the crown when it comes to U.K. music venues and it was both an honour to play there and humbling at the same time.

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I've played everywhere from a converted public toilet (seriously!) to arenas, but the nicest place I've played is the Royal Albert Hall in London. It's the jewel in the crown when it comes to U.K. music venues and it was both an honour to play there and humbling at the same time.

 

I BOW. There are a few of you who are pros. You must have great memories/experiences/pictures. I would love to see them. The place above is no doubt the nicest gig I'll get. You should see the bars I normally play at.

 

There are so many places I want to see shows at once life slows down. Royal Albert Hall is one.

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I don't think they're around any more but Pepper's in Kalamazoo, Michigan was pretty cool. Strip club during the day, rock bands at night. We were allowed one free meal a day, during the day. There's a few others that we played in the 80's and 90's but I can't remember the names of them all since there was probably about 50 or so different ones we played. I always considered free food and free housing a bonus.

 

There was also a place we played with chicken wire on the windows and I remember saying, "If there's chicken wire in front of the stage, I'm out of here. I don't know how to play Rawhide."

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Nicest Place would have to be on Cooper's Island Bermuda, just past the runway on the base, just before NASA Tracking Station. We used to play joint base/NASA parties out there on the beach, all kinds of cooking going on, sun setting over Bermuda. It was magic.

 

The White Horse Tavern, north shore of Pembroke I think. We used to have blooz jams every Sunday, played with people from all over Europe and plenty of Yanks and Bermudians. The deck nights were #2 nicest place, really good memories.

 

Forty Thieves Club in Hamilton. The Sharks, of course, and whatever pickup bands we had from the base and NASA. A great nightclub that had all kinds of famous faces in it, even when we were playing.

 

The nicest playing had to be opening for The Outlaws a few times on giant flatbeds at outdoor things. 4, 5 thousand smiling faces, it really stays with you to see such crowds.

 

D1ck Lee's, Bruce playing later, a guy named Ritchie and his buddy Jon from a new band called Bon Jovi hanging around and drinking with us.

 

And of course, Club Mardi Gras, playing with Miss Vicky dancing. She was Tiny Tim's wife.

 

Couple places over in Philly were great, but long gone now. Out in Reading and up in Harrisburg too, all long gone.

 

Today we're lucky if 20 hang with us to midnight! I still find every place I get paid to set it up and tear it down and do the middle bit for free to be a nice place.

 

rct

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I've played the picturesque, an outdoor patio with a panoramic lake view, tho no temple (props JT) and had as good a sound that you could ask for, off one condenser mic in a converted barn-turned-yoga studio. But Ive had just as much fun playing bars, from Boston watering holes like Johnny D's, House o'Blues, and Harpers Ferry to our own local legion hall.

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I BOW. There are a few of you who are pros. You must have great memories/experiences/pictures. I would love to see them. The place above is no doubt the nicest gig I'll get. You should see the bars I normally play at.

 

There are so many places I want to see shows at once life slows down. Royal Albert Hall is one.

 

Thanks Sal! It was an incredible experience and a wonderful room. The only downside is that the dressing rooms are RIGHT next to the boiler room and I played there in November, so the dressers were unbelievably hot!

 

I'm no stranger to the bar circuit at all-it's my bread and butter to this day, tomorrow night I'll be playing to about 25 drinkers/drunks in a bar in my old hometown. I love playing in bars, whatever else is happening I always come back to the bar circuit, it's real and keeps any player honest...great place to try out new material and bend old material around to see when it breaks too!

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Thanks Sal! It was an incredible experience and a wonderful room. The only downside is that the dressing rooms are RIGHT next to the boiler room and I played there in November, so the dressers were unbelievably hot!

 

I'm no stranger to the bar circuit at all-it's my bread and butter to this day, tomorrow night I'll be playing to about 25 drinkers/drunks in a bar in my old hometown. I love playing in bars, whatever else is happening I always come back to the bar circuit, it's real and keeps any player honest...great place to try out new material and bend old material around to see when it breaks too!

 

 

 

Can you still smoke in your bars in the UK, Jinder?

 

They firstly banned smoking indoors here and the bar crowd went south and recently the die hards that go outside the bar for a smoke got told they can't, so the bars are pretty empty...you know, only one watching the gig is your uncle asleep leaning on the bar....

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Can you still smoke in your bars in the UK, Jinder?

 

They firstly banned smoking indoors here and the bar crowd went south and recently the die hards that go outside the bar for a smoke got told they can't, so the bars are pretty empty...you know, only one watching the gig is your uncle asleep leaning on the bar....

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

We've had a smoking ban for ten years this year, BK...I remember playing a show in a proper spit and sawdust venue in Northampton on the day the ban came in, the weird carousel of smokers coming in and out constantly really threw me off guard!

 

It's massively impacted turnouts for bar shows in general, but things stabilised a few years back and with the advent of vaping, more people are either coming to bars and vaping or quitting and coming out for a few drinks like they used to, just minus the cigs. We have outdoor smoking areas at pretty much every pub and bar too, it's shocking that those have been banned in the US!

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Think the nicest placed I played was on a amphie-theater-like scene placed in the middle of a forest close to a system of middle-sized lakes.

An afternoon summer gig. The weather was fine and we were scheduled before B.B. King so the place was full - not too big, not small at all either.

Only problem was that exactly these circumstances attracted an audience which was, , , actually too nice.

They were so neat and placed in that surrounding it all just got over-nice.

Now over-nice isn't ideal for rock'n'roll - it puts a veil on top and there's a chance you quickly end up more or less devilish, , , which I of course kind of did.

 

No, nice places are for theater, family-shows and old people, who want a retro-breeze from their rock youth.

The real venue to seek is a half raw room/stage that works as a passage to another zone. Naturally a certain atmosphere or history is welcome.

A neutral club, hall or outdoor ramp that sets the attenders free and therefore liberates the band also - vice versa.

 

Place - Arrangers - Audience - Musicians must be free to create the magical cabinet together.

It's like the 4 legs under a table on which the bowl of fruit is served.

 

And btw. outdoor concerts must take place during or after sundown. Broad daylight steals sound and focus, , , and pours too much thermos-coffee.

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