I'm not really a soundman and am usually the last resort for sound when people need one, because they know I own a PA. In general, I find that being a sound man is much like being a sports referee. The best you can hope to accomplish is that no one even knows you exist, but more often than not, everyone blames you for the band's inabaility to listen to your instructions.
I ran sound last Saturday for a few bands of my friends. The first two took all of my directions and actually sounded great! The third band was a different story. I'd actually worked with them before and, though they are friends of mine, I've learned that I can only offer them suggestions and they will likely ignore them. My attitude is, if that is what they want to sound like, then its thier problem, not mine.
For starters, one of them moved the kick drum mic without asking or telling me. I can only guess that they have it in their head that the mic "goes in the hole." I wouldn't have minded this at all if they at least checked the sound of the kick after they did this, even though I'd spent a good 2 hours at home trying different placements of the mic through this PA system to see what sounds best, as well as checking the kick sound before the first band went on to dial in the EQ on it.
Then, as is normal for them, they plugged all of their big, expensive, finely adjusted equipment in, turned up the levels to what sounded right to them (each individually) on stage, and then started playing without any kind of check. As is usual for them, they were so loud that you could barely hear the drums. "Make the drums louder," one of the smart alecs would tell me, to which I'd remind him that I only mic the kick. "You should mic everything." No, not for $125....especially in a small pool hall that doesn't need the drums to be mic'd.
Twice I asked the bass player to turn down because he was burrying the band, and each time he turned around and prentended to turn a knob, making no noticable adjustments. I then got the band leader's wife nagging at me telling me that the guitars needed to be turned up, which I thought was laughable since all you could hear from the drum set was the occasional snare accent and cymbals. The kick was a muddy pulse that were stressing my 15's, and still couldn't really be heard.
She decided to go tell the guitar players, herself, to turn up.....which is another joy of running sound. Having other people tell the band what adjustments they need to make. The guitar player in this band actually told the bass player of another band in a show that I was doing sound for that he needed to turn up. The bass player did and.......I know this will surprise you.....half the room cleared out by the end of the song.
For the life of me I can't figure out why musicians on stage don't want to listen to the sound man. What is it they are hoping to accomplish? Do they think our goal is to make them so quiet that they can't be heard?