Don’t Set Up Too Early!!


Sometimes we’re still surprised by the actions of rookie musicians.  Over 30 years of attending live music shows, We knew better than to think we’d seen it all, but this one still floored us.

A band was on stage performing.  It was toward the end of their set. The band scheduled to play after them had canceled and a last minute hip hop show had been quickly booked to fill in.  The  lead singer announced that they had 2 songs left in the set and launched into the song.  At around this point a musician/ DJ from the hip-hop show gets up on stage, behind the lead singer/bass player and sets up a laptop on a stand.  During the course of setting up, he accidentally unplugged the amp – in mid-song!  He got it plugged back in quickly, and then just stood there with a smile on his face.

We thought, “Oh he must have been invited to sit in with the band on the last song, or something.”  But we were wrong.  The song ended and the lead singer/bass player looked at the guy with the laptop and said “Did you get all set up?  Good thing you got that set up now, since it takes so long to set up a laptop? Thanks, for unplugging my bass rig in the process!” [Maybe not a word for word quote, but pretty close]. He was understandably ticked off.

We have never seen this happen before.  We’ve never seen a musician try to set up gear, of any kind, on stage while another act is still performing  (Except, the occasional comedian who is being paid to entertain during set changes.)  Now, we understand being eager to get on stage and get set up and everything, but never have we seen anyone try to do it while the earlier band is still performing on the same stage.  

We hope never to see it again.

Now, to his credit the offender with the laptop did apologize after several of his buddies pointed out how wrong his actions were.  The apology was accepted and everyone went on with their lives, but there was a point where I was concerned that a fight might break out.