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Audience Requests

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rickbass, Feb 4, 2001.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Club gigs, where people mainly want to drink/drug, dance, fall in love, make up the bulk of my paid time. We do straight set lists, almost always. Tonight, er, last night, this girl catches one of the band on break and asks if we would do a song for her when we go back on. We did her request first, sort of to "get it out of the way." And the dance floor went CRAZY!!! Which is almost unheard of, just back from break. It was the old Romantic's song, "What I Like About You." So, I'm thinkin'...hmmmm

    We're there to please the audience and to help the club owners sell drinks, so what I would like to ask is, do you take requests, and if so, do you try to fake those that you don't know? Or have you had bad experiences, such as disappointing people when you say you can't/won't do their particular request? (I'm worried somebody's going to request something like Garth Brooks/Soulfly or even worse!) :confused:
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I always say "if you've got a request, write it down on the back of a 20 dollar bill. If we don't know it, we'll give you your change back." :D
  3. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    How many times have you had some drunk come up and make a request for a song that you have never heard? When you tell them that you don't know the song, they say "oh, thats all right, will you do it anyway?"

    My favorite response is "We don't know that one but we'll do this one. It's exactly the same, just different."

    My next pet peeve is the yo-yo that requests a song that we do know and then doesn't even show the courtesy of listening when you play it.

    Go figure! :) :)

  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...from my experience(like, every cover band I've been in, from R&B to Altenative Rock), "What I Like About You" will always get them on the dance floor.

    How 'bout the people who still request/scream out "Skynyrd" or "Free Bird"? One of my latter groups, thanks to yours truly, came up with this-
    ...we play "Sweet Home Alabama" pretty verbatim for the intro & 1st verse. For the chorus, we then break into the typical '70s Disco feel; ya know, bass doin' that octave pattern over the /D-C-G-G/ & drums doin' the hi-hat figure. Definite schmaltz to the nth degree. The poor sap that requested the tune gets laughed at...looking back, I guess they must have had a sense of humor 'cause they coulda kicked our asses.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    There's a band in San Francisco called "The Amazing Embarrassonic". Not only do they ONLY play audience-requested tunes, they make the person who requested the song sing it!

    Well, It's not quite that simple. They have a book with about 1.000 songs in it (or so I read) and audience members look through the book and choose a song to sing. Of course, the more drunk the audience member/vocalist is, the more fun it is for everybody. The band markets itself as a "living karaoke machine" and it's quite successful.

    Not really on topic, but I thought you'd be interested in the concept.

    Will C.:cool:
  7. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I'm still trying to get my band to play my requests! ;)
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    One of the things that really gets the agency band I work with more gigs is the ability to play whatever we get thrown at us...the vast majority without charts. I'm playing with people who listen to a diverse amount of music and have great ears. In most cases it is the first time we've played the song as a group and in a lot of cases the first time some of us (including me) have played the song, period. Not hard if you "know" the song.

    Piece of cake. And nothing blows people away more than playing something they asked for. Audience participation is a plus.

    In addition, sometimes those requested songs sound better than stuff we've done before.

  9. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    First of all, Slater, that ain't a cool situation. Bassists often times, along with drummers, don't get to pick out alot of the songs a band does. I used to be in groups like that. But now, one of my new bands plays stuff like Yes, so I get plenty of say. It'll get better friend.

    Anway, I had a girl come up to me onstage between songs and handed me a sheet of paper with like 20 songs written on it. Everything from KISS to Candlebox. I told her our singer didn't know them (I did of course) and she asked "please and kissed me all over the neck and lips." I like requests!
  10. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    JWC, my comment was just a little joke - That's why I ended with a wink ;), but thanks for the kind reply.
    (Actually, my band situation is pretty good and I do get my fair share of input.)
  11. I have grown to hate requests.... The band I'm in now does all originals with the exception of 4 covers. Each member gets to pick one tune. And we announce "No requests".
    Playing in a serious Texas Swing band one night and some drunk (not in the band) kept yelling "Play some f-in' Ozzy!"
    I looked at the drummer and said "follow me", and we went into Iron Man. The guitar fell right in and I sang it. The problem was when we were done- the jerk wanted more! They wound up throwing him out, and the rest of the crowd had NO interest in any more Oz either.
  12. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    i think every show can use a little ozzy, hes da man
  13. As a diversion from my normal latino band, I have a three piece called The Worst Band In The World! We have been together for four years, have done heaps of gigs, and have yet to have our first rehearsal! Actually, hell will freeze over before we lower ourselves to such mundane things as rehearsals! Any way , the guitar player, who is also the main vocalist, has a policy of NEVER turning down a request, which is kinda interesting. We can do probably 50% of requests without any trouble, the other 50% we spend about 3 seconds finding the first 2 or 3 chords and launch into it with reckless abandon. If we dont know the words, we make them up on the fly. If we've never heard of the song before, we'll just make something up and stick the song title in somewhere. In 10% of cases, this will result in a trainwreck, the rest of the time either the audience will be rolling on the floor in hysterics, or we'll be rolling on the floor in hysterics, which gets the audience rolling on the floor in hysterics. BTW, our trainwrewcks also result in band members and audience rolling on the floor in hysterics! We also deliberately use pawnshop specials for all our gear in this band, the entire gear including PA would be about $300. It helps that the guitarist is a very talented maniac, who plays amazing slide guitar on a piece of crap made from a packing case and the neck of a broken classisal guitar, with a $2 pickup.
  14. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    One of my main bands now plays Black Sabbath, Posion, Nugent, and Rolling Stones. We take care of requests beforehand in picking that list/
  15. We put a stack of our playlists on our break table, and encourage people to pick it up and make requests.

    Yeah, we get the standard requests for stairway or whatever, but for the most part, people love it and generally choose stuff from it. Granted, its like 135 songs.

    The funniest thing that ever happened to us with a request was that this pretty young woman picked up our playlist, read it over, kind of smirked (yes, I was watching her) an dactually walked right up on stage and stood beside me. She leaned over and asked me if we could do "Rhinestone Cowboy" for her. I shrugged and said we didn't know it.

    Anyway, we finished the tune we were playing, and I kind of laughed and told the guitarist what she had asked for. His face kind of dropped for a second and he said to me "actually....I can play it and sing it....can you?"

    I did.

    The whole club, around 300 ppl or so, actually sang it with us, in their drunken voices. We got a standing ovation after that one, lots of screaming and whistling.

    I love doing requests. It forces me to learn a bazillion covers, it forces me to play in styles I might otherwise not play in, and it makes pretty young ladies smile and blush.

    How can that be a bad thing?

  16. If you happen to be drunk and THINK she's a pretty young lady... :D :p

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