Sick for Gig night? What did you do?

  • I'm curious to hear stories on how you dealt with yourself, or a band member, getting too sick to perform for gig night. I'm sure it happens to everyone at one time or another. Do you have backups, cancel the show, or other?


    Sunday night I got food poisoning that lasted 24hrs. Fortunately, the only gig I had that night and the next day was a beeline to the bathroom. That was F-chord miserable. No way to perform under those conditions but I have performed (not a guitar gig) having Pneumonia before. So, this got me thinking on what options to have.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • Yup, the show must go on by any and all means possible. In truth, I've always been able to work through it for myself. I've had issues with band members not making a show for various reasons - some related to health and some not. This has lead me to being able to sing all songs so that I am never without a singer. Then I have a list of backup musicians that I can call on when needed.

  • Been fortunate enough to never have to cancel. In the instances I did play sick I just made sure I was hydrated well and rested up as best I could be and pushed through it.

    The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

  • I can imagine having the runs could be a game changer, but for most other things a healthy dose of ibuprofen or similar taken at the right time should get you through the gig. Only had to do that twice.

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  • 30 years and played through broken fingers/legs/ribs, colds/flu & food poisoning...never missed a gig even when a flight back from Sweden got delayed by 5 hours and I got off the plane, drove to venue and as the band had picked up my gear and set it up we only started 10 mins late until a few months ago.....COVID. Felt OK, but was contagious so called the venue, explained and they were as pro about it as any employer should be....understood, agreed with choice not to turn up and play/infect others...and immediately asked what dates were available for next month for us to play. Was pretty refreshing attitude!

  • Never had to cancel a gig in 20 years, till Corona showed up. Had positive tests last autumn and was und er quarantine. Was wrong positive, it turned out.

    Right now, i am truely positive (all well, i'm doin fine), and should be on stage for 2 h already...

    Apart from that, I played with a brocken foot, sitting on a flight case and stuff like that...

    Having a sub for every band member is not really feasible, I think.

  • ...

    Having a sub for every band member is not really feasible, I think.

    It's feasible, at least for me. ;) Booking gigs takes a level of effort that I am not ever willing to waste just because someone can't work. Having a substitute isn't completely transparent in my case. I quite often remove 'complicated' songs from the night and replace them with others. The complication is usually related to specific starts, stops, and hits that will sound bad if not done right. I avoid those.

  • yeah, I guess it comes down to the level you are playin on. I am not a professional player, playin in two cover bands. But for those 20 gigs per year it is pretty much effort to keep a sub up to date for the whole set. A sub for drums or base is OK, but guitar and keys is a lot oft work.

  • So, I guess I'll have to wear some Depends when I do the Eruption solo for gig night because I'll be shitting in my paints for sure, and the only backup I might get is extra roll of toilet paper. =O


    It's funny now but it wasn't funny 5 nights ago.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • I few years back I had bronchitis after a cold and weekend gigs stacked up. I subscribed to “the show must go on” attitude so decided to suck it up and push through… as the night went on my voice degraded and three quarter way through I lost my voice all together. That persisted for a couple weeks and it took six months to fully recover. The lesson learned is you can cause long term injury pressing through illness and end up compromising not just one gig but many gigs due to injury. I no longer subscribe to “the show must go on” attitude.