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A question of etiquette

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SuperDuck, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    If your band is playing early, do you wait until the last band is done playing to leave?

    Tonight we opened a four band show, and by the time the last band hit the stage, we were tired and cranky and wanted to go home. No one really showed up the the show, so all of the bands were playing to a near empty house. We waited until the last band got through their first song and bailed- I feel kind of bad about that.

    Although when my band has headlined, I didn't care if the opening acts left early.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I think it's important to give the closing band a fair shot to play, even if it's just the other bands watching. I've played gigs like that, where I had to sit through several horrible opening bands, cheered at the appropriate moments, and supported them even if they sucked. When it came time to hit the stage, all of them bailed, and left us playing to the bartender. Not cool.

    I think the proper thing to do is at least stay long enough for the closing band to have a little fun. Do as you would have others do for you.
  3. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I think its best to stay, especially when there is no crowd.

    At the very least, tell them you're sorry to miss them and leave before they play. Leaving half way through makes it seem like you didnt like the music enough to stay.

    Thats just from my perspective.

  4. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Well I haven't actually been in this position, but based on the experiences of some of my friends and my own beliefs I would say that it is very important to stay at least long enough to get paid. ;) In all seriousness, my friend used to play gigs for a cut of the door and the owner didn't count it and split it until the end of the night - I never thought of it, but maybe keeping some extra bodies around is part of the reason it was run this way (with unproven bands - more established bands would get paid a set amount...) :meh:
  5. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Well put.
    I think if you can talk with them before they play it will put a nice buffer in there. Also if the house is dead you may want to stay....
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Very true, very true. In this specific case, however, there was some more "gig etiquette" involved. It's common courtesy to mention the mention the names of the bands before you, i.e., "Give up for Evan's Out, Inside, and Guff", and the crowd cheers, and so forth. Or, at the very least, "Let's hear it for the opening bands."

    In our case, however, the lead singer specifically mentioned the other two bands by name and not ours. At that point we didn't feel the need to stay. I didn't think too much of it, he probably just forgot our name, but my guitarist was pissed.

    In all other cases, though, I think it is important to stick around.
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    If I'm playing a show, I show up before the first band, and leave after the last one. Period.
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I agree that its good to show up before the first band, but its often not practical. All day festivals and things like that come to mind. Work is another big issue.

  9. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Whenever possible.
  10. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Yeah, I dont know why I posted that.


    ^or that^

  12. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    You should try to stay or at least have a very good reason why not.

    After you play, pack your stuff away, but you really should stay if you can. If not, at least go and talk to the headliners, thank them, explain why you have to go, and wish them good luck.

    I'm not sure if this is an "unwritten rule" or not, but now that I think of it I've never seen an opening band leave right after playing, nor have I done it myself.
  13. I see it all the time.

    Just out of curiosity, around your parts, is playing last considered to be good, or is it the middle spot that everyone wants?
  14. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    I always stick around until the last band finishes their first set. If the house is dead, then I stick around for there whole show. I am not as good at showing up for our opening bands. I rarely see their whole set. But I do at least see a few songs of theirs.
  15. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Generally, the headlining band goes on last. However, I have seen many a "creative move" in order to try and get the middle spot.

    FWIW, it's much the same here as in Detroit... except the audience here is generally less dedicated.

    It really does depend on the venue. Some places are full of bums that only want to see their friend's friend's band and then leave, but some are full of people that will all stay until the last note.
  16. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Its always a fight for the coveted last spot where Im from.

  17. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    around here, it goes both ways...

    If you're a big/somewhat big national/regional name, then headlining is the best slot since the people mainly paid to see you.

    If the show is all local/lesser known regional, then somewhere in the middle is the best slot.
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It really doesn't matter one way or the other.

    Hang around if you want to show solidarity or if you actually like seeing the bands on after you. Otherwise, leave whenever you feel like it.

    Sometimes I'll have two gigs in one night and have to bail after one to get to the other.

    I guess I play different sorts of gigs than the rest of you, I don't do many multi-band bills except for festivals.
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If the band sucks, I'm splittin'.
  20. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    On the other hand, I don't think hanging around encourages the band to find it's own following. If these are original bands, which I imagine they are, one of the band's main jobs MUST be finding people that like the music. There should be advertising, word of mouth, etc. A real effort to get people to shows. Hanging around out of courtesy could give the band a false sense of status. It may make them believe they're getting more people than they are.

    If I play first, then two more bands play before the final band, and the entire crowd has dissipated, then that should serve as a wakeup call to that final band. Bands are hard work, they take a lot of effort and business sense to make successful, and things don't just generally fall into people's lap. If I'm that last band and there are no people there, instead of whining at other bands and asking them to stay out of courtesy, I'm gonna make damn sure I find people who WANT to hear the music to be there, whatever it takes.

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