Pit Stories: Shut Down By The Manager Of The Year
Man, the summer's almost over already and we're in our first August Pit Story somehow! Where did the time go?
This week we've got Chicago hard rock crew Aeraco on tap to dispense a new tale of pit hijinks, this time with a wrench thrown in the works not by an unruly fan, but rather by a venue manager who just wasn't feeling the music...
Aeraco bassist Beast recalls the harrowing experience like this:
My first gig with Aeraco was at a local bar in the western suburbs of Chicago. Nothing too crazy to brag about, but it was a good size bar with a good atmosphere. These were the thoughts that ran through my head the night prior to the gig as the whole band went out to scout the place. A local talent known for their profane titles and lyrics was playing that night. There was a pretty good crowd that evening, which set an expectation for the following night.
The next night, Saturday, we load all our gear in to find out that the venue only provides a very small and outdated PA. No mics, no cables, no stands. Good thing we came prepared, but that was about as good as it gets. We were able to salvage the gig by providing our traditional 3 vocal mic setup across the front of the "stage" (most likely recognized as a corner to most people). Not having any other mics or inputs for the PA, we dialed our amp volume levels to the drummer and then dialed the PA over everything else. I was actually pretty impressed at how it sounded considering the conditions.
An hour later, we began rocking out some of the greatest tunes to ever hit the radio. Some of the people that came out to see the gig were digging it, but nowhere near the amount that was there the night before. We had 3 hours or so of set time, so I was in it for the long haul. After about 2 or 3 songs, we had a woman approach us. I'm thinking alright we are doing pretty good and now our first request of the night. But she quickly changed that perception after she snarled at us, "Turn down! You guys are too loud!" Our contract says Hard Rock Band, what else would you expect? So we turn down our amps a little bit and the PA as well. Still a good balance overall, just less in your face.
After another song and a half, she comes storming in again, but we keep chugging along thinking she'll have to wait till we're done to speak to us. Instead, she B-lines it towards the PA and just starts turning knobs. Being the one that setup the PA and being the closest at the time, I noticed the knobs she was turning were for the vocals effects type and volume. I started chuckling as I watched her try to figure it out and becoming increasingly frustrated with no noticeable results. The rest of the band wound up stopping the song after noticing her struggled effort. She proceeds to tell us that she is the manager (who we had been looking for earlier in the day so we could get paid), and that we were still too loud. So reluctantly, we turned down even more, both the amps and the PA till we got her approval.
At this point, the drums are now the loudest thing, I can barely hear myself through the amp, and the PA isn't producing enough sound in the room to hear the vocal cues. What a nightmare! We make it through another song. Woo! We must be quiet enough to play the rest of the night. Finally!
We continue rocking out despite the low volumes and not being able to hear ourselves. After making it 75% of the way through the next song and are about to bring it home, when you guessed it! The Manager of the Year stomps her ass all the way to the stage. I was thinking she was going for the PA again. But she's full of surprises, and this was no exception. She starts waving her arms in the air like she's trying to signal for help as if she was Tom Hanks in Cast Away. She yells for us to stop! Stop Playing! We finally settle our instruments and roll our eyes as she begins to open her trap again.
She says, "I'll give you $200 to pack up and leave right now." We all were perplexed. We couldn't believe what we were hearing. We bickered for a little while, but eventually gave up as it was quite clear we were not wanted there. We had a contract to play for 3 hours for way more than 200 bucks, but apparently they weren't willing to uphold their end of the deal. Kind of a shitty first gig after a killer audition for me. After all that, I definitely had some second thoughts on whether or not I made a good decision to play with this band. But in the end, I stuck it out and now we have our brand new album titled "Baptized By Fire" which was inspired by experiences like these. Always keep Rockin!
A music video for the title track off that album can be found below, and you can hear more from Aeraco by heading over to SoundCloud here. To follow the latest on Aeraco, check out the group's Facebook profile.
Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.
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