Update: Crocodiles just emailed me about last night's show -- their side of what happened. It's reprinted below; please read it!
we played the firebird in october, when it was called the bluebird. it sounded great. it was a different soundperson than last night and it sounded incredible. i don't know if they changed some of their equipment too or what, all i know is that last night everything was different.
to start with, we love st. louis. we ask to be routed here because we like your city and we have friends here. in fact, we played a free show here just a few months ago.
we got to the club yesterday in time for our soundcheck. we started to do our soundcheck and right away it was clear that it was going to be awkward as far as the sound goes. i don't know if it was an equipment issue on the club's part (again - it sounded great just a few months ago) or if the soundman just didn't feel like mixing it the way we know it needs to sound. we struggled through a really poor soundcheck - in the friendliest way we tried to get the soundman to get our levels on and off stage the way they need to be; the way they are at 99% of the clubs we play. he disagreed with us on nearly every request we made. we weren't blatantly at odds with each other but it is our band and no one knows better than ourselves how it is supposed to sound on stage and in the front of house. we did the soundcheck and got the levels to a passable (but in no way desirable) place.
when we got on stage to try and start the set, it sounded nothing like it did at the soundcheck. the drums were non existent on stage and off. i talked directly to the soundman from the stage and asked him to turn it up. he responded that he hadn't changed anything in the sound. it was VERY different than it had been at soundcheck and the few people who were around during the sound check could vouch for this. the soundman came on stage and continued to argue that it was our fault - at that point we got frustrated and opted to not suffer through bad sound and an unsympathetic soundman. the club offered to rewire everything and basically do a whole other soundcheck in front of the crowd. but if the first one, which went bad, had no bearing on the actual sound, what would the point of doing another one be?
in our situation, we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. we didn't play, to spare ourselves and the crowd from an awful show, and we get crucified for it. if we tried to suffer through it, it would have been awful and we would be crucified for being an awful band. either way, we're fucked. we'd rather retain our dignity and not play then sound terrible and completely ramshackle.
we feel bad, because again, we love this city and we wanted to play. we drove 9 hours to be there. we did everything we were supposed to do on our part.
we apologized from the stage and we apologize again, but maintain that it's better to spare the crowd something unlistenable than to plug through because "the show must go on" or something...
we stayed to the end of the show, enjoyed the band after us and conversed with anyone who wanted to talk with us. we didn't harass the promoter about money.
unfortunately, a band can't escape incidents like these unscathed, but we tried our best to let the audience know that it was out of our hands and that we were sorry and would be back soon... hope this clears up some of the confusion... xo crocodiles