A month or two ago I had the idea that I would bring in an extra guitar and guitar amp to work, and rock out during my lunch break. Not every day -- just now and again.
I did some reconnisance. Initially I had thought that I might play guitar at the first (top-most) level of the parking garage under our building. But it turns out that a security person is posted there, to monitor the cars coming in and out. And I didn't want to bother them.
So I decided to do it on the bottom-most level: B3. I looked around, and, yes -- some of the concrete pillars have electrical outlets.
And I found a location that was among a "zoned-off" area, where people park their bikes: there were metal railings around this area, so I could set up there and be safe from cars.
But -- the international G20 meeting was coming up -- hosted downtown, near where I work -- so I didn't want to freak out the building security by doing things that were "unexpected". So, I waited until it passed.
In the mean time, I ferried in the various components of my kit: an electric guitar; a (very) small amplifier; an effects pedal or two, with their power adaptors; a guitar tuner; guitar cables; and an extension cord. Also a GFI (see the postscript).
And then I waited a few days after the G20, because each lunch break I had an errand to attend to, instead of playing guitar.
But finally! This last Thursday: I loaded up; a co-worker (Lego Architect) was inspired to snap a photo (see above); and I headed down.
I stopped by the security person that monitored the entrance to the parking garage, to let her know what I was doing. She didn't say "No".
Setting up only took a few minutes. To emphasize the natural reverb, I pointed the amp away from me -- so that I'd get proportionately more "reflected" sound than "direct" sound. And I cranked up the amp more than I usually do at home -- but then stood as far away as I could, given the length of my guitar cable.
And it sounded goooood... :)
I rocked out for about a half hour, then packed up. During the time that I was playing, a building maintenance guy stopped by and we chatted. And he didn't say "No". He was more intrigued than anything.
Once I packed up, I stopped by the security person at the entrance. The shifts must have changed, because it was a different person. And she didn't say "No". In fact, she complimented me on my playing: she said that she could hear it from where she was, and it sounded good. She welcomed me back any time -- and she said that more people should do "random, individualistic" things.
So, yes: I'll do this again. :)
P.S. For what it's worth: used a no-name Flying V with humbuckers, into a $30 Aldi "Overdrive" pedal (which sounds much better than a $30 pedal).
Used both the overdrive and some gain to further overdrive the solid-state "Falcon" brand amp which naturally overdrives from the get-go (no "Pre-" or "Gain" knob, just "Volume".
The Falcon amp is oddly loud for such a small amp, and oddly full-range given the small speaker (although the cabinet is closed-back).
P.P.S. For safety, I used a Ground Fault Interruptor (GFI) -- what Aussies seem to call a "Residual Current Device" -- between my extension cord and the power outlet.
A GFI differs from a circuit breaker (e.g. what's in most power strips): a circuit breaker cuts off the electricity only when the current is past a certain threshhold -- that is, after you've already been electrocuted for a while. In contrast, a GFI cuts the power when it senses that its losing power to ground (or "to 'earth' ", for the Australians) -- regardless of the amount. So, a GFI is much safer.
A lot of building codes now require GFIs in bathrooms -- for when people drop their hair driers into the sink.