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My cover band's management at the time was infamous for throwing us, at last-minute, all the gigs his bigger, more-popular bands would turn down, or would dump the second they'd get a better job. We got the call around 8AM to work an out-of-state gig that evening, nearly two hours' travel away, at a club I'm certain none of us had ever heard of. Yes, we were that desperate.
Our caravan finally arrived at the end of some pretty shaky Internet directions, in the dark, around 8PM. The club had an unlit sign along its side entrance, and the only window in it's outer brick wall was a lone neon beer light. We loaded our gear inside and found a fairly large bar that had seen far-better days. The interior was a bit like your typical lodge rental hall, with a single bar on one far end, about 50 feet of lonely empty space that would've been much happier with some customers to occupy it. The nine people at the bar could've been cardboard standees considering how little they reacted to us.
The club manager found us and showed us where we would set up: not near the bar patrons, or in the vast openness that was the empty venue...
We performed in the coat room.
At least that's how it was being used. A small room the dimensions and look of a kindergarten class, with a long coat closet covered by an accordion-fold plastic sliding door. Several foot-tall risers stacked in the middle of "class" made us look like a high school choir, with amplifiers. Our PA speakers were stationed outside our "class" where they could blare across the void and hopefully reach the barflies' ears. Thanks to some monitor trouble, we could barely hear ourselves. Our guitarist, also our soundman, would frequently dart from the risers to the doorway to check our mix. Bless our singer, who was charismatic enough to make cadavers dance in their coffins, gave it her all, using her wireless to get upfront and personal with the drinkers. Of course, as the sound echoed through the unused space, she ended up singing behind the band, making it sound like a typical graduation speech. (another school reference)
Afterwards, the pissed club owner refused to pay us, saying we didn't bring in enough people (from another state on no notice) and the club was empty of locals because we had no light show (that the town was apparently supposed to see through a two-foot front window behind a neon beer sign). Our guitarist/leader had gone upstairs to the office to negotiate with the guy, but finding a number of heavies and fearing a Goodfellas situation, wisely headed downstairs, woke up management back home on his cell, and we sat outside the bar in the cold for 90 minutes while these two shouted at each other over the phone about money. We got paid just over half, used a large portion of it for breakfast at a diner, and took the long ride home, swearing off playing any more coat rooms.