Wow, I am impressed at how utterly incompetent the backstage soundguy was at the Meridian. Everyone else was really nice (no dis against everyone else from the club) but the backstage soundguy was a fucking moron who probably gave me some permanent hearing damage.
It all started pretty well; the main soundguy was very cordial and funny which put me at ease. He did a good job with Whorehound’s sound so I felt we were in good hands. The monitor mix (controlled by the backstage sound guy) was weird but I just moved to the middle so I could get some physical queues from Clinton or Larry if I needed. The first three songs went off well then we hit the new song Old Crow. Being a new song I rely heavily on Clinton’s guitar for queues; if I can’t hear him resolve his solo I have no clue where to stop and sure enough that is what happened – everyone blew the break and the end of the song. I could see it coming and tried to give a hand signal to the sound guy to turn Clinton up but to no avail. So what do I do after the song? I jump on Charlie’s Mic and tell the backstage soundman that I really have to be able to hear Clinton in the mix and to turn him up. The asshole then proceeds to blast Clinton so loud that I can’t hear anyone else. I think to myself that this has to be a joke. I mean it’s clearly frikkin so loud that everyone is backing away from the monitors. I see Charlie signal him to turn it down to no avail. We finish the song and I figure it would be bad manners to berate the guy over the microphone. I figure, as we have one more song, I’ll bitch him out afterwards but the next song is a disaster. I am so discombobulated from the volume that I just give up and put my amp on stand-by while the rest of the band finishes as best they can. Utterly worthless! The second the song ends I shut down and pack up.
On packing up I see the backstage soundguy and call bullshit and tell him I had asked him to turn Clinton up not blast him to the point of pain. He claimed ignorance – that he’d just barely turned it up – but that was bullshit the more I think of it. He was an asshole, a moron, or both. How could you not tell that it was so much louder than everything else? How could you not see us backing away from the monitors? Bullshit and unprofessional bullshit. I‘ve played a lot of crappy places and this was supposed to be a cool professional place but fuck that. Sorry to the nice people at the Meridian (the main soundguy, for example, was pretty concerned at what happened) but all it took was one guy to make me say “Fuck this.” My right ear is processing sound much quieter than my left and my left has a big ass ring in it. I play music to have fun not have my hearing jeopardized by idiots.
My best to everyone else at the club, I’m sure this is a-typical, but I won’t be coming back and I don’t think you could blame me.