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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jive1, Dec 15, 2017.
In the 80's everyone was drinking, smoking, toking and poking during the gig.
There is NEVER a good reason for anyone to take a 9 minute solo. Solos are for wankers!
Our band is a bunch of old guys with two diabetics. Bathroom breaks are a necessity. In the old days we just played the album version of Ina-Gadda-Davida (sp). Everyone but the drummer got a long break and we didn't care about the drummer's bladder.
You really don't want me to say so here....
I'd leave if the band didn't stop playing.
I knew a band who did something similar - they had multiple singers so the band would take a break and a singer would perform with a backing track - sometimes singer and keyboard or guitar with a backing track - those performers would take a break when the rest of the band came back.
Also - if you do take a break, do you have any control over what is played over the PA during the break? You could provide a CD of either your own band or songs that keep the energy where you want it.
every gig is different and what works in one venue/location might not work in another. reducing/eliminating breaks to accommodate the customer (audiences and/or owners) is probably a good thing.
i'm with the thinking which suggests you know your market/venue and what is best practice for return gigs. i don't see any advantage to create a 'protocol' without at least having a hunch regarding the outcome.
sometimes we alter our breaks from the 'traditional' and sometimes we don't. it's based on our knowledge (or best guess) of the expectations of all those we are trying to please with our work. of course, we do what the powers-that-be are paying us for...if they even care, and again: some do, some don't.
My band did a tour of a certain chain bar/club in southern college towns in the Summer of 2015. When our flaky opening acts failed to show up, we were forced to play 4 hours straight through. It was tough, it didn't make us any more money, and most of their managers were a**holes(besides Columbia, SC-y'all rock!)....I don't think it's a good idea if you can avoid it.
The barflies in my region (southwestern Virginia) seem to respond better to longer sets. We do two hour and a half sets with one 20-30 minute break. Makes the night seem to go by faster. With proper setlist management, you can start and end each set with the same energy!
When i was a soundman, I did several shows with George Clinton. Many times they played right thru till 3 am. Bar had no problem selling drinks.
How loud you play would be my concern if you do. Those db's are ear killers.
Worst I ever did was a 10 song original set with an industrial band... then 10 minute break into covering the entire Downward Spiral album by Nine Inch Nails.... followed by 10 more songs of theirs lol. It was a long night.
If I play a 3 hour gig, I never ever take a break. A 4 hour gig, I will usually take a very short break after 3 hours.
I've seen this in plenty of concerts. Often they do this as part of an extended solo or something. Like a drum or bass solo that can stand on its own for a brief break for everyone else.
You young kids and your crazy ideas of no breaks. HA!! To be young and foolish....
Seriously, if you can swing it (pun intended), go for it! Me? Can't swing it. The ol' man back won't put up with such a workload. Breaks = My Friend.
I think that's a great idea. We have the same problems and concerns over breaks in general, and I always try to schedule as few sets as possible, and make them longer sets (up to 90 minutes). But if you have the line up/instrumentation/playlist to keep the music rolling while individual musicians rotate out for their breaks, why not? Club owners and managers would love it, patrons and guests would stay with the established momentum.
We have six musicians, so it would take some serious planning to be sure everyone gets the same amount of adequate break time, but food for thought.
Also, if you are in a band with a featured or highlighted player, some audience members will lose patience if you try a "mini-set" with the absence of that featured musician. I can think of several bands in my neighborhood where if the uber-talented female lead singer took a 20 minute break and the guys tried to cover the lead vocals, that would have the same disconnect effect as a full band break. So, again, instrumentation and personnel really dictate whether it would be worth the effort to eliminate full band breaks.
Good observation, and I know for certain the clubs that attract the DJ patronage are selling product like there is no tomorrow.
I think it's more about keeping the buzz and the energy alive rather than give people time to think about leaving the venue. If the energy stays up, they'll keep ordering from the wait staff and hitting the bar even without band breaks, which is better than having them tempted to head home, stop by the liquor store, and watch some Netflix.
One other thing bands can do to lessen the "break flight" syndrome is pump in some awesome pre-recorded music during the break. We will pump in some great dance floor tunes that we aren't currently covering, nice and loud.
Coupla things I just thought about:
--If your income that night, or part of your income, is from a door cover charge then you might want to take breaks. That could create turnover in the bar and would create more income for the band.
--Weddings and private parties are different, IMO, than bar gigs. Typically you're paid more than a bar gig and as such breaks should be shorter. Weddings especially might require a loooong first set. Typically the older folks clear out and the younger kids take over for the remainder of the night. Not always but in general.
We did 2 90 minute sets last night with a 1/2 hour break in between. Went over well, but we still did lose a handful of folks at the break. However, we did keep most of the folks there all night. Didn't feel too fatigued from the longer set, either. But, I still would like to try the no-break idea. I think it would be a great way to add sonic variety to the show, while still letting someone in the band take an extended break. It would also be an opportunity for folks to show off their talents as well.
I don't buy into the people using break time to get drinks. It's impossible to sell folks alcohol if they leave the joint. IME, people will grab a drink break or no break, whether it's a concert, sporting event, or bar gig.
Right now I'm trying to discover and identify songs that we could do in a stripped down fashion. Goals are to find 6-8 songs with a male vocal with 3-4 of them being as a power trio and another 5-6 songs that are just vocals and keys or vocals and guitar. I figure that will give everyone somewhere around 25-30 minutes of break to pee, smoke, grab a drink, socialize briefly, etc.