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Forum Contributor 2017
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I played a gig last night from 6pm-9pm in 109 degree temperature and let me tell you it was BRUTAL!

First of all my plasticover reeds were so dried out and warped from sitting out for 10 minutes between set-up and downbeat it made it impossible to play softly. I had to play for around 20 minutes just to get the reeds wet enough to do any articulating or control volume.

My horns was very warm to the touch and I was sweating all over the horns which made it impossible to play fast passages without slipping off the keys, and sweat was pouring into my eyes and on to my reading glasses, and at times I felt faint.

Crowd was sparse due to the heat but the people that showed up (mostly friends/family) said they couldn't tell that I was having any problems at all. :)

If I had not booked this gig back in April I doubt that I would have participated if I knew we would hit all-time record temps.

However, I made it through and felt since this corporate function was an important stepping stone for getting "in the fold" of a large Natural Gas Energy company here that sponsors many events with live music.

I feel like I played in HE double hockey sticks!

Anybody have severe weather gig stories?

B
 

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Yikes, that sounds like a nightmare!!!
How did you stay hydrated enough not to pass out?
 

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Yup, many years ago I played in Dubai, in the summer, on about the hottest day. Was something like 50 degrees Celsius or more, I think that is around 120 degrees in US terms. Six months before that, I was playing with a kids band in Canada on new years, about -40 (which I think is the same in both scales).

I think a few people in this forum can attest to this being true.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yikes, that sounds like a nightmare!!!
How did you stay hydrated enough not to pass out?
My wife is a Marathon runner and she made me hydrate for two days prior. I only wish my reeds would have cooperated. At one point my tenor reed was warped in to a "C" shape.

B
 

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Yup, many years ago I played in Dubai, in the summer, on about the hottest day. Was something like 50 degrees Celsius or more, I think that is around 120 degrees in US terms. Six months before that, I was playing with a kids band in Canada on new years, about -40 (which I think is the same in both scales).

I think a few people in this forum can attest to this being true.
Okay 120 beats me. I really don't like playing gigs outside in temps over 90f but its good work when you can get paid well for it.

I would rather take the heat then the cold though. I hate cold weather ever since moving from New York.

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That's tough. I just played a gig two weeks ago in Massachusetts in an outdoor concert. I set my saxes down in the shade under a gazebo when I was ready to play the sun had already did its work on my alto sax. My sax seemed to be out of tune causing me to do major readjustment for the song. (Oh yeah I was playing with a soundtrack). Fortunately for me there was a band there that could back me up on another song. I immediately stopped the track and went to another song to save the embarassment. the Temp? around 101 F. The woes of playing in extreme temps. smh.
 

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Oh yes I forgot to mention how sharp the horns played. Brutal summer in the US.

B
 

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Man you live in Oklahoma and it's August... does the term "Dust Bowl" ring a bell? Indoor venues only in the summer! A/C is a pre-requisite. Keep reeds in a humidifier pouch and rotate them between sets. If you have to, don't put a wet reed on the horn until maybe a tune or two before you need it. I live in Arizona, and basically, a rule of thumb would be "If school's out, go north."
 

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I don't know what the temp was but a few years back I played a big band gig, in dress pants and white shirt, that was like playing underwater. I sweat so much that my pants legs were drenched and I couldn't keep the sweat out of my eyes (they stung like a mutha). Whenever I stood for a solo I was afraid I was going to lose my britches because they were stuck to my legs from the sitting position. We set up around 5 PM and started playing at 6:30, for only an hour and a half. That's the hottest time I've ever played in.
 

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I haven't had chance to talk with him yet, but my brother-in-law played in Oklahoma City in late July and told me it was supposed to hit 108... not sure how he dealt with it (trumpet with BS&T) I should see him sometime later this month or next. I have heard from him since, so I know he got out alive..lol
 

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Played a 110 degree gig in Palm Springs once (in a Winger, aluminium portable stage). Never again. I mean that. NEVER again!

Also played a big band gig on Okinawa when the humidity was so high and thick that the music literally slid down the stand in a pile; couldn't read squat.
 

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I just play around the house, but these unrelenting 105+ degree days are getting tiresome. I stopped practicing on the back patio back in May, and our a.c. is having a hard time keeping up. Even playing in the house, my neck strap is wetter than my swab when I'm putting everything up.

Summertime in Hell.
 

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One of my first gigs when I joined a military band 36 years ago was a ceremony on the grounds of the Washington Monument in the middle of the summer. It was sunny, hot, and humid (though I'm sure nothing like 110 degrees) and we had to stand in place a long time before the ceremony even started, then continue standing through the ceremony itself. I got fainter and fainter and started breathing hard trying not to pass out. I was 18 and had just enlisted for four years and I remember thinking to myself "This is going to be an extremely long four years." Luckily we didn't do a whole lot of similar gigs during my enlistment.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just play around the house, but these unrelenting 105+ degree days are getting tiresome. I stopped practicing on the back patio back in May, and our a.c. is having a hard time keeping up. Even playing in the house, my neck strap is wetter than my swab when I'm putting everything up.

Summertime in Hell.
YEP. If this is Hell then I am going to start being nicer to people.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Played a 110 degree gig in Palm Springs once (in a Winger, aluminium portable stage). Never again. I mean that. NEVER again!

Also played a big band gig on Okinawa when the humidity was so high and thick that the music literally slid down the stand in a pile; couldn't read squat.
....but its a dry heat.....
 

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I played for an outdoor wedding in a public park in Detroit once as a favor to my wife who was playing for a friend of hers...for FREE. My wife played keyboard and I was on Tenor Sax. The air conditioner in the car picked this particular day to conk out and it was over 100 F that particular day...I can't remember exactly how hot is was. But we drove from Dayton, Ohio to Detroit (about 4 hours) to play for this wedding. I was drenched in sweat and when the bride started walking down the path my wife started playing the opening strains of 'Trumpet Voluntary'. My task was to play the melody (trumpet part). I had already played a couple of Jazz tunes prior to the start of the festivites but had sat down in the shade to try to cool down a bit. I stood up and started playing and all of a sudden, my hearing and vision started to 'fade away'. I kept playing thinking either I am going to pass out completely or this will clear up and I will recover my wits. I did NOT pass out...I finished the song and went and laid down behind some bushes in the shade after I was done playing. Someone brought me a bottle of water and by the end of the wedding I was able to play again when the bride and groom left the ceremony. I can't remember what song they chose for their exit music. Then, the 4 hour drive back home with no air conditioning...???
 

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I remember being in Kansas in the summer of 1980, when the temperature was 116, and the temps were above 100 for two weeks straight. It didn't get below 95 at night. I didn't have a gig, but I did have to walk two miles to my bartending job on the 116 degree day. I was worried because as I walked my skin was dry. I thought that I wasn't sweating. When I went inside the bar to work in the AC, suddenly I was soaked.

It was so hot that my sweat was evaporating before it got me wet. When I went inside, the sweat stopped evaporating, thus soaking me.
 

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For contrast (and just to add some chill) 20 months ago we played some Christmas carols in the town's main street. It was some degrees below freezing with a f*ing breeze blowing. One after the other, all instruments died away, mid-tune, and my alto (clarinet) started binding and I got icicles on the lower keys.

Only later it dawned upon us that we were the only ones silly enough to do that kind of gig on that specific day. Even the salvation army brass stayed home for a good reason.

Now, this summer (to get back to topic) was +100 as well, but +100% RH rather than temperature. ****** weather! All of our outdoors gigs were cancelled so far. <sigh>
 
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