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18 Jun 09 What Was Your Strangest Performance Experience

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My band played under very unusual circumstances Saturday night. And that got me wondering what some of the strangest performance experiences our readers have experienced.

Our group, the Black Prairie Band, was booked to perform at a crawfish boil. We have been playing a lot of fundraisers lately, which makes us feel good. But this was to be a paying gig. Add to that the fact that we would also get our fill of crawfish, and we were pretty excited. The organizer of the event had sold 130 tickets, so we knew we would have a crowd. We would play beneath a beautiful arbor in the large back yard, and would entertain everyone for three hours.

That was the plan. But Saturday morning, it began to rain. It rained, and rained, and rained. The organizer was forced to move everything indoors. Luckily, he has a very large house. It held all the tables needed for 130 people. But one problem remained: where would the band set up?

The anwser came from above – literally. The organizer put us upstairs, on the second floor landing. It created a square around the perimeter, with a big open air area overlooking the main entry hall. We set up on two of the four sides. Our drummer sat in the doorway to a bedroom, with his drums turned sideways, so they would not face a large pillar directly in front of him. The walkway was less than three feet wide, leaving us little room to move once we got into position. Our guitarist switched to keyboard for one song. But in order to get to the keyboard, he went down one set of steps and up another set to get to the other side, where the keyboard waited.

As we performed, we talked to the people we could see below. They had a dance floor, obstructed from our view.

Despite the obstacles, it worked. The sound was good. Our guitarist had a wireless setup, and would descend to the main floor and mingle with the crowd. And after each song, we could hear applause coming from all corners of the house. It was surreal and satisfying at the same time.

Today, I began to think that our readers likely have similar stories. So I ask you, what is the strangest performance experience you have ever encountered? Send us your stories, and we will publish the best ones. We look forward to hearing what you have survived!

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