Back when I wore a tux and bow tie when performing, such things were pretty standard. One thing I made sure I did was run through the common tunings on my drums and make sure everything was solid and nothing had gone wonky when they were moved on stage. Then check to be sure that the "feel" to each tuning combination was still as expected - amazing how close you can get a set of timpani you are familiar with simply by the "feel" of the pedals, before ever checking the tone. Natural heads will react differently under given circumstances - it gave me a chance for a final check before the concert master came out and wanted me to pay attention (bloody fiddles...) Did the same thing when I had a snare, or other drum, to play in a concert - always made sure I knew precisely how it would feel and respond that evening in that hall under that lighting arrangement - and make changes as needed.
I suspect much of what was going on was musicians checking wee snippets on their instruments knowing that if things would go wonky - that was where it would be noticed.
No longer a "percussionist" - even sold the tux (not that it would fit me anymore) - much happier as a drummer.