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Doing All-Nighters with No Break?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jive1, Dec 15, 2017.


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  1. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    So my band is throwing around the idea of doing our bar gigs without breaks. We find that we get people pumping, and then next thing you know, we take a break and the energy level of the place drops and it might takes a songs or 2 to get the energy back up after the break. But, where we're most concerned is that during our last break before our last set, a good amount of people take it as a cue for them to leave.

    So what we're considering is doing our bar gigs with no breaks. But, we will have individual members in the band take a break for 10-15 minutes. We'll have a couple of songs with just the singer and keyboard player or guitarist to give the rhythm section a break. I'll sing a few songs to give the singer a break. We'll do some power trio stuff to give the keyboard player a break.

    Anybody tried anything like this? If so, how did it go over with the audience? Any issues for the band?
     
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Oh, man, I thought you were posting about my old girlfriend! :roflmao:
     
  3. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Seems like there was a thread like this just a week or two ago.

    You're a mod, so you will likely find it more easily than I.

    If memory serves, most of our members were against.
     
  4. RobTheRiot

    RobTheRiot

    Aug 31, 2016
    las Vegas, nv
    My band has done that a number of times; never planned in advance, but the crowd is so into it we don’t want to let the energy drop, like you said (or stop having fun, either!). Inevitably, at some point in a 3, 4 or 5 hour set someone has to use restroom or rehydrate, so usually our Singer/guitarist will do a song or 2 solo, then the rest of band will do a song or 2 from the songs that one of us sing. It has generally gone over great - crowd obviously has a blast, and venues have been Happy their crowd is happy.

    Only advice is this: once we realized we like doing this and are capable of playing straight thru, we started checking w/ the venues to get their opinions on it. Some are thrilled, some don’t care, but some feel that the breaks give the crowd a chance to go to the bar and get drinks (which if we’re honest, in 95% of venues (if not more), that is our job, not entertainment per se, but to sell drinks). The latter venues tend to be adamant that we stick to their schedule, 45 on 15 off or whatever. That’s fine too, they’re the bosses - I’m not going to argue not to take a break.
    But, i love it; when you can get a crowd up and keep them going for hours on end, it just feels great at end of the night!!

    So, TL;DR - I say go for it, just get the blessing of the bosses first!
     
  5. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I thought so, but when I did a search, I didn't find anything specific.
     
  6. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    That one was a little different.
    If I recall correctly that thread was looking for all super high energy songs with no bass so they could do the same thing with zero down tempo anything in a 3 hour gig.
    Which is pretty silly.

    As for the concept in general, it works for dance music. It doesn't work if it's a 'standing there and listening crowd' or in a restaurant gig.
    Listening crowds want a break to go smoke and buy more drinks. Restaurants want to encourage turns.
    In the right venue, it works just fine.
     
  7. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Sounds like a great reason for doing a 9 minute bass solo.
     
  8. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    California
    The country band I fill in for does 22 songs, 15 minute break, and then 22-25 songs. It’s a good way to not lose the crowd.
     
  9. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    We used to play 9-1 with one half hour break. It was met with mixed reactions.
     
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    1. Many venues want bands to take breaks so that the patrons can buy drinks and food.
    2. You are getting paid for the 3-4 hours music you provide. If you don't take a break, you will be playing more music for the same amount of money. Is that what you want to do?
    3. I like taking a break so the band can discuss how things are going.
     
    pjbassist, Joe Nerve, gebass6 and 5 others like this.
  11. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    To all TBrs, please put the TL; DR at the top of your post.
    Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
    RobertUI and Zane DeBord like this.
  12. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    USA
    i actually think the break is a good thing, i know i need it. But our band has done something similar by having our piano player do solo piano pieces during a portion of the break. In this case he played 3 or 4 ragtime tunes. People seemed to like it.

    We have also cut down from three sets to two longer sets, minimizing the amount of breaks. We used to have a set 3 break exodus so this moved the break up to an earlier time in the evening.
     
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  13. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    I get paid for the evening, not by number of songs, or length of sets.
     
    QweziRider and Element Zero like this.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Around here at least, we get hired either for a 3 or 4 hour night of music. Some specify the amount of breaks, some don't - the general rule is 15 minutes max per hour. But if OP does this, he will be doing more work for the same money.
     
  15. Your setting the bar too high! Pretty soon all bands will need to be marathoners. Don't do it!;-)
    Actually, the only concern I'd have is burning out voices (or the drummer). With four or five vocalists I could see how this could work.
     
  16. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    A band I was in during the mid '80s did something similar but not exactly this. We played two sets. Our first set was at least two hours long and our second set was short. If someone had to pee they'd let the BL know and someone would do a solo number or a novelty song while that member left the stage. It was a very effective strategy to hold the audience through the bulk of the evening and there was very occasional grumping by band members, but no one really ever complained because that band was making money hand over fist and playing the best clubs.

    We expected most of the crowd to leave after the first two hours, but the club owners were always happy that we'd held them for as long as possible.
     
    pwhalen and mrcbass like this.
  17. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    I think this is a great idea. We've been discussing it ourselves.
     
    pwhalen and Lbsterner like this.
  18. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    How about no break between the last two sets?

    Last thumpin' and bumpin' live band I heard played dance music through their great sounding PA during their breaks.

    No one danced.

    We all needed drinks, potty time and the singles needed time to mingle and get their jingle on.

    Did I say the PA sounded great? Thinking back, it actually sounded better than the band mix.

    I think the sound guy was half deaf because the mix overpowered the PA. It was at least twice as loud as it needed to be.

    Later in the night I saw the sound guy following asleep at one of the rear tables. 110db didn't bother him.:(
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  19. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    So, knowing your set was going to be two hours, seems like your band mates were either drinking during the gig, had weak bladders, wanted to take a toke or smoke break or had some honey waiting off stage.:smug:
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  20. Gringo Basso

    Gringo Basso

    Aug 26, 2016
    Without the break, when do you have time to talk up the girls? If you wait until 2pm, you're going home alone or going coyote. And that's why 90% or more guys and even gals play music, all BS aside.
     

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