I was helping my buddies out with a gig the other day [roadie friend!], and we set up and stuff while waiting for the lazy sound man to show.
"Sorry I'm late, I was on tour with Gwen Staffani".
While my first reaction was "Sure you were, you lying sack of crap!" I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he would be a good sound guy. After all, I work with some pretty big name acts and I get ID'd buying video games sometimes [not a jooke, it's pretty funny and sad considering I'm turning 30 in 6 months]. So yeah, this guy should be able to handle this little club noooo problem if he does sound for big touring acts.
*I'm going to throw in a disclaimer here that even though I am a sound guy, I never step in and hassle others if I'm not working. I like to just enjoy the shows I see without getting all upset about nitpicky details.
Anyway, this guy was 100% attitude - that leaves no room for talent. He told my drummer friend who is also the lead singer of their act that the feedback he was unable to tame was his fault, because drumming and singing at the same time is just stupid and a gimmick. I agree that getting a monitor loud enough for a drummer to hear over the drums is hard sometimes, but if it's your job... you should do your damn job.
My friends asked me to fix it [which was totally awkward and put me on the spot] and this guy literally threw his arms into the air. He was one step from falling down crying and/or throwing a temper tantrum. I wanted to send him for a time out. So I fix it in a few seconds with the eq and that made him even more uppity. So they are going through the sound check and he gets it to the point where you can hear everything all right. It was a lousy mix, but you could hear everything, I'll give him that.
After each song he would say something unrelated to sound. I got a little pissed off actually but stayed out of it. For example: "You guys will be boring on stage because you don't move around". It was sound check - who jumps around at sound check!?!?!? And then my favourite - "There's no audience interaction"... wtf, the bar isn't even open, and it was me, the bartender, and senor soundman.. A few other choice comments included "You take too much time between songs" [while the guitar player was fiddling with his amp - you know, the ind of stuff you like to do before and not during the show] and a few comments on how some of the songs were over 5 minutes long and noone would buy that on an album these days.
Meanwhile the bartender was rolling his eyes as if he's heard this guy berate all the other bands that come through. It was pretty infuriating, and noone stood up for themselves. Later, they asked why I didn't stand up for them. I am pretty outspoken but if they won't stand up for themselves then why should I?
I talked to the entertainment bookie and he said this guy gets to be the sound man... because he owns the PA. Simple as that. How unfortunate for the acts that go through there.