Last night (28th of February 2008) started as one of those gigs and musicians hate. We were playing rockabilly/honky-tonk and, at first, the crowd seemed to like the music: dancing, applause after each song. However, by the time the second set started we were hated. A few groups of tourists had come in and approached the band with requests for funk, reggae, Nirvana, Three Weeks ‘till Tuesday (our one of those bands). Finally, one guy in a down jacket (Why do you wear down jacket in a club?) requested Johnny Cash but wanted it played with a funk beat. (I'm not even sure what that means.)
Not that we were particularly playing for these guys, but we play Johnny Cash, without the funk beat. As we started to play the song, or guitar player walked up to the mic and said "We're going to play Johnny Cash for the guy here in the life jacket," referring to the guy’s down jacket. Basically, for the rest of the set were getting ready for a fight.
It's a hard gig when the crowd doesn't like you. It's harder when they're drunk and want to physically hurt you.
For the rest of the second set, no applause. No dancing. Just scowls. Near the end of the set the drunken tourists of note got up and did some strange 1980s looking dance. Something Molly Ringwald would've done in the Breakfast Club. I think they were trying (a high school sort of way) to make fun of us. (I don't mean to be condescending, it’s just how you would make fun of a band in high school: dancing away you think reflects poorly on them. If I was still in high school or have the IQ of a bowling ball, I would have been offended. OK, now on being condescending.)
Fortunately (I guess) the group of tourists in question each did 14 shots of Jagermeister. (On their web site, Jagermeister promotes responsible drinking. Maybe they meant responsible binge drinking?)
Somewhere between the second and third sets, the tourists of note disappeared. A bouncer told me he threw out two of them for getting a fight with each other. A server told me the one of them got sick and the girl’s bathroom. (I should mention, they were all guys.) Maybe it was just the presence of these guys, but the third set had dancing, applause, and smiles on the faces of all. In the end it was a fun gig, although I think we were a little disappointed that are revving up for a fight was for naught.