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Gig Report - Life is Drama @ Blue Chip Casino

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Posts: 314
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This past weekend my band LIFE IS DRAMA played Blue Chip Casino's Rocks Lounge (Michigan City, IN). This is the first time we've played here & the first time LIFE IS DRAMA has ever played a casino gig. I played Harrah's twice with another band a couple of years ago and the rules are “No drinking, gambling, swearing & NO ONE on the stage at anytime”. Once you get your security badge your “working for the casino” so when we're done playing you turn in your badge and you're just another patron of the casino. They provide the band with a case of water bottles which I think we killed ¾ of.

We played from 6pm-10pm so I was expecting a “light” crowd. The day of the gig I heard that the hotel “sold out” so I checked the website to see what was a special event going on but I didn't see anything. The band who played after us won the “Best of the Burbs” contest for “Best Cover Band” & “Best Guitarist” this year so I was wondering if maybe their crowd had anything to do with it but that would be a stretch, Blue Chip is a BIG place. When we arrived to check into the hotel I asked the desk why they sold out and she said “its Saturday...we sell out EVERY Friday & Saturday night”. WOW!!! :D

When we got the gig they told us that the drums and amps will be provided, just bring your pedal boards and guitars. They had a Fender Bassman and a Randall with a Marshall & Xtacy module which is what I use in my rig so I put dibs in for the Randall. The week before the gig they said the Randall was in the shop so we'd have to bring an amp, so I brought my rig (not doing that again). I loaded in, got my security badge and walked the floor pushing my rig through the crowd to the Rocks Lounge and stood over to the side w/my gear. The band before us played 2 songs and the crowd hanging out numbered about 20ppl. The stage was about as big as a postage stamp & the drums & the amp cabinets all had a plastic shielding them to keep the volume down. This REALLY suppressed the LOUDNESS of the instruments & everyone I talked to during breaks said we sounded AWESOME (sound guy did a great job). We were joking amongst ourselves that when the drummer breaks wind it'll be contained now. :D

We were scheduled to play 6pm-10pm (1 hour sets w/1/2 hr breaks) and expecting a light crowd at first & maybe having the band after us crowd hanging out from 9pm-10pm. Based on that we pushed up songs that we normally play in the 3rd set to the first set. We started w/our first 3 songs that we normally start with which went over well and we had about 5 people dancing. Then we started doing our Drop D tuning songs “Slither”, “Beat It”. It was kinda funny watching people trying to continue dance during “Slither”, you could really tell they didn't know the song & it was pretty “heavy” but we played it tight and it had a good groove to it so they stuck w/it. :D We've been working on “Ballroom Blitz” & it was kinda shaky in practice when we went over it a bunch of times on Wed night, even so we decided to debut it Sat night making sure it was in the first set in case of a disaster...which it almost was. We got a little off track but at least we didn't stop playing and we finished it all together (whew). Dodged that trainwreck!!! After our first set we started building a crowd around us. People were getting into the Pink songs. Our second set was going to be our “money maker” set and we had about 20 people who came out to see us by then just off to my right. The bar area was PACKED during our second set and we started gathering a crowd on the outskirts of the bar area. The bass player and I went out in the crowd on the dance floor playing and I had a lady stand in front of me and go all the way down and come back up on me. THAT was pretty cool!!! :D The entrance to the casino was just to our left and people file in and walk past the open bar area to the casino floor. We could REALLY see a crowd started to stop, gather and listen to us!!! At every break we went out and talked to people and passed out our business cards and I've never rec'd as many compliments as I did this night!!! :D Our third set was just AWESOME!!! The outer ring of people around the bar area had grown to be at least 5 people deep and I started looking for the band who was playing after us but I never saw them come in. I found out later that due to the crowd size they had to go around the back through the kitchen area to get to the side of the stage. From there they could see our crowd reaction. We had worked the crowd into an ABSOLUTE FRENZY and during our last couple of songs the crowd was literally BOUNCING to the beat, hands in the air, singing louder than the band, it was like it was a rave party!!!  We finished STRONG!!! I'm sure the first time they heard of us was when our name kept coming up as a nominee for the same categories they WON. Sat night they got to see us in action...WOW!!! One of them joked to our bass player afterwards “We have to go on after THAT???” We thanked the crowd hanging out w/us and I unplugged my guitar and I had a fan came up and asked if we were playing all night? I told him no, we were done for the night and another band was coming up. He said “I don't think they're going to compare to you guys!!!” I expressed my gratitude!!! When I got off the stage and went to retrieve my cases I saw the singer to the band that was playing next and she said “GREAT JOB”!!! I introduced myself and she was really cool!!! I told her we really worked the crowd into a FRENZY for them so it should be an “easy night” for them. :D Of course all by cables were just tangled up (embarrassing) so my wife took my guitars back to our room while I worked on packing my gear up. I was surprised the guitar player who won the “Best of the Burbs” contest never said anything to me even though we saw each other couple of times during our transition...

After the show I took my gear outside to the car and I was SO sweaty that 40 degree air outside felt FANTASTIC!!! I went back to the bar and our singer, drummer & I had a celebratory shot!!! I went to buy a beer and the guy standing at the bar said “weren't you just up there playing?” I said “Yes, now I'm hanging out with you!!” He bought me a drink. My bandmates hung out and watched about 2/3rds of the next band's first set and I totally crashed...I was SO TIRED...I just went to bed.

We really grew an audience Sat night “organically” starting with about 20ppl in the crowd and just watched it grow all around us. We did it by playing well, jumping around & interacting with the crowd. Absolutely one of my Top 5 shows EVER!!! :D The sound guy said he was going to recommend us for a return engagement and to another venue in Indiana that has 300-400 people on the weekends. I hope BOTH come through for us!!! I can't wait to play Blue Chip again!!! :D

Let's keep the momentum going!!! Here's a reminder of our upcoming gig schedule!!
Fri 5/4 - Tailgaters (Bollingbrook)
Fri 5/11 – Shark City (Glendale Heights)

Pics will be up on Facebook SOON!!! (Yes we had people w/cameras at this gig!!!)
Thanks for reading and all the great comments!!! KEEP ROCKIN' !!!!

Tommy Gunz

Ambition is the path to success...persistence is the vehicle you arrive in!!!

Posted : 23/04/2012 1:51 pm
Posts: 50
Trusted Member

I just saw the pics from this gig on your band's Facebook page. There's some great shots of that crowd you described -- definitely looks like you had them going real good. :-)

I said it before, but will say it again -- I really enjoy your gig reports TG, they're very descriptive and fun to read. Keep em coming and keep those pictures coming too. You guys just seem to be having an absolute blast and it's great to see. :-)

Posted : 10/05/2012 12:08 pm
Posts: 314
Honorable Member
Topic starter

Thanks Hammer1!!! Yes that crowd @ Blue Chip was absolutely off the hook AMAZING!!! We can't wait to play there again!!! Because we did so well here we picked up another casino closer to home (Hollywood Casino, Joliet) in August!!! We have a BLAST playing live & even at practice on Wed nights we make it fun!!! Last night we had a small audience come in to listen and we played better after they came in :) Its kinda funny how we changed from just going through the motions & trying to make each other laugh/screwing aroung to REALLY nailing the songs tight!! I'm trying to keep a "tour diary" going so I can look back and remember how my journey went (even if all the drinks makes the gigs a little "hazy")!! I have pics from Tailgaters on my FB page but I plan to add them to the band page soon but the grass needs a trim first ;) Ahhh...the life of a "rock star"!!! :)

Ambition is the path to success...persistence is the vehicle you arrive in!!!

Posted : 10/05/2012 2:26 pm