1st Gig .....ouch

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jazz Hands, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Jazz Hands

    Jazz Hands Guest

    Dec 16, 2007
    Kinda wanting to vent & see if anyone had similar experiences or feedback.

    1st gig w/ new band last night. We're good, but still green & rough around the edges. The gig (originally) was for us to be the 1st of 4 bands on the night, 2 of which are phenomenal & definitely a step up from where we are now. Well, bad snow has the 2nd of 4 bands cancel & it's just us & the 2 giants..okay...except now the promoter says since there is only 3 they want to push the show back an hour...but the 2nd band still is going on at the same time & we have to take down all our gear (ugh) and go on 2nd. So now we followed a group that has several members that were in national acts & are musicians by profession. They play - - lights out. We play - - good.....but it had to make people wonder why we followed, then the 3rd band played - -balls out! So today I'm sitting here w/ a feeling in my gut like we just got blown off stage (which I woulda expected following those groups which was never our intent). Any similar experiences, words of wisdom????
  2. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Don't let it get you down... :cool:
    Most of my bands first gigs always seem to have something go wrong too.
    You've got it behind you now and they do tend to get allot better as you go along.

    Just do your best, act confident, try to have fun up there and enjoy yourself.
    If you guys appear to be having a really good time, its contagious and much easier
    for the audience to enjoy your show and overlook any imperfections.
  3. Dave R

    Dave R

    Sep 21, 2007
    Boise, ID USA
    You're always your own worst critic. You may have been better than you think. If you were playing with good bands--then the venue manager must've thought you were good enough to play with them. If you get asked back, then you were.
  4. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA

    After gigs with my regular band, I go home and write what I call gig notes. I try to make notes that are graphic, descriptive, and as detailed as necessary. What did we do well? (so we can repeat in future); what went wrong? (so we can fix it); specific comments about adjustments to the sound system and my rig, etc.

    After I've had a few days to become emotionally detached from the experience, I re-read my notes, and decide what to share with the band.

    A rational, detached, situation analysis that results in a short list of specific goals (a forced ranking, if you will), has served me well in college, business, and my other avocations, and the same systematic approach (using tools with which I'm comfortable) has also paid dividends in my exploits as a bassist.

    That being said, when it's time share my thoughts with the band, I try to be succinct, lighthearted, and positive, and keep the analysis and details in the background.

    That's my two cents worth on making lemonade from lemons.

    Good luck! :)
  5. steve66


    Sep 17, 2005
    North Carolina
    I wouldn't worry about the first gig. You learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes the schedule gets screwed up, and things don't go as originally planned. The most important part of the night was that you and your band were ready to play when they needed you to.
  6. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    My previous band's first gig went something like this as well. We were originally the first of 3 bands, one of which was a well known band in my city and the other was a touring act form out of town. Anyway, at the last minute they decide to add another opening (more like warm-up) band that was a fairly unrehearsed thrashy punk band that basically just made a lot of noise for about 20 minutes. So we adjust our time-slot accordingly. Then we played our 30 minute set only to find out that both of the headlining acts had cancelled.. and we were it.. the headliners, and we didn't even know it until we were finished!
  7. epsilonbass

    epsilonbass Guest

    Dec 5, 2004
    Oh man, now I know how other bands feel when they have a show with us...

    haha kidding...

    This is probably a bit unrelated, but reminded me from your situation, but I find that sometimes venues "trick" the less well known/ less experienced bands into being the "headliner band". It tends to happen on tuesdays or wednesdays where a band says they are headlining, but arn't listed in big letters on the flyer, and the well known band usually goes on at the primo 10pm spot, while the lesser known band 'closes' at midnight for the 5 people that stuck around.

    Moral is: On weeknights, lie, cheat, and steal your way to the 10pm spot, any eariler people arn't buzzed enough to enjoy the music, any later they left for work in the morning.
  8. Years ago I was in an established band. We were good. We knew we were good. We had "swagger" but weren't really "cocky."

    One night we were supposed to play with an established band from another city. We'd heard about them, heard how awesome they were and everything. We were really looking forward to playing with them. At showtime these kids show up to the back door of the bar- turns out the band with this awesome reputation couldn't make it- and sent these clean cut, polite kids from some podunk town. We were pissed because no one THAT friendly and young looking would be in a good band.

    I think we made them go on first (back then it was a good thing to start your set after 11- people stayed out late). They were freakin' unbelievably AWESOME. From 10 seconds into the first song they ruled the stage. The singer was the most electrifying frontman I'd ever seen. They were all great musicians, they had great stage presence, they had really catchy and good songs.

    I said that we knew we were good- but I don't think we were good in the way they were.
  9. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts

    It sounds like the band that went on first had some pull with the promoter or club owner. Given the weather they may have agreed to show if they could go on first or have the original time slot so they could leave early. As it sounds like they were an established local or regional band that draws well, they would have some pull in the matter. As long as you played good and didn't clear the place by the second song, you did everything that was expected of you. As a new band you are at the bottom of the totem pole. You may find out that management was appreciative of you showing in bad weather. Give them a week or so, call them and solicit feedback on how they thought your set went. I doubt that you lost any fans by being second, you may even find you gained a few.

    My 2¢

  10. Absolutely! Have someone record your gigs - all the bands there - just on a minidisc...or one of the new flash recorders you can pick up for $200. Then at the next rehearsal, have a listening and critique session. It's the only way to improve. Since you are your own worst critic, your the only ones who can work on your sound. Your fans will always say your great; those who never hear you will always say you suck. Gotta find a way to listen to yourself.

  11. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    being sandwiched between the two more known/better bands probably gave you a good boost as long as you didnt clear the place out haha. my band had a few experiences like that.

    over the summer we played a show for a band fronted by this kid who was in a popular movie. it was a local show at a church hall, they just happened to be touring with some friends of ours from new york so we got them to make our show their tour stop. we played, then our friends played (both of us are on the upbeat/rock side) and this famous kids band played. they were boring to put it lightly and they (being the band that sold the most tickets) also cleared the house.

    later this fall we were asked to play on a bill with two popular local acts (both with bigger followings than our own). we pulled the 11 pm slot on a friday with the popular acts before and after us. there was a private party that had rented out the club until 9pm (when our show was supposed to start), and as things tend to end late, the party didnt get out until 9:35. as it appeared the show would run late, the headlining band asked us to swap sets with them, complaining that they had to work early and their fans would be mad if they came an hour early for their set. needless to say we denied their request as it was entirely unfair to us, and they decided they didn't want to play the show anymore and left. the opening act ended up being a punk band who played a 10 song/20 minute set, and basically put the entire night back on track. all in all, it was a great night, a ton of people came for us and the other band, and at 12, when the headliner was supposed to be on, there werent any people who hadn't been there since 10. so much for their fans.
  12. Jazz Hands

    Jazz Hands Guest

    Dec 16, 2007

    The headliner called & we're opening for their next show in a week now.
  13. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    More power to you, man, sounds like your band's a good one!
  14. My first gig sucked too. We also went on after a great band. Worst thing was, I couldn't hear myself 90% of the time...luckily I knew the songs well and could just play from memory.

    Congrats on getting another show...you must have made them look good :p
  15. that says it all. congrats!
  16. gig-getter

    gig-getter Guest

    Oct 5, 2007
    Author of Gig-Getter & Rouse the Crowd
    to improve as a band.

    Don't beat yourselves up. Everyone is pretty crappy when they start off. Even those guys who "blew you offstage".

    Use your feelings to drive you to the goal of being so good no-one could blow you off at the type of music you play.
  17. metal bass man

    metal bass man Guest

    Dec 11, 2007
    who cares how or what you played, as long as you liked it and felt it was good enough its your music play it how you want. its about the music not how you play on the night
    eg. the recording of iron man that nice bend at the start with the doubbled over guitars is a mistake tommi forgot to tune his guitar the second time round wich gave the song the awsome depish tones from the guitar
  18. dreadheadbass

    dreadheadbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2007
    you'd be suprised as to how well your band actually went down my band played the "jack daniels battle of the bands" a few weeks ago we were the greenist band there all the other bands had been together at least 2 years and were very tight
    we just played balls out and gave it 100% leaping off amps stage banter etc at the end of the night we though we were around 6th place but it turns out we finished 2nd by 1 point

    the point is dont beat yourself up chances are you wasn't blown off stage after all just practice and keep at it next gig you do YOU'LL be blowing people off stage
  19. steveinohio


    May 27, 2007
    Sometimes we push bands who are playing their first gig back to get a better crowd. Young bands just out of High School can draw a lot of kids who only came to see their friends.