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Gig report - lessons learned

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by EddiePlaysBass, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Let me start of by saying this was a very valuable night for us as a band. I have taken from it many a lesson which will prove valuable in the future ...

    We were scheduled to be the "surprise afterparty" to a 3 band bill this night. This means that we were mentioned nowhere on the flyers or advertisements. The reason was mainly because the other bands played original music and the organiser did not want to pay royalties to SABAM.

    Lesson one: check out which other bands are playing and whether you fit in even remotely.

    The first band was our guitarist's other band. They call their music "country trash". I would say it is more alternative guitar rock. Second band was a band we played with before but they underwent a serious change of direction, as they focused on really heavy punk music. Third band was a screamo metalcore band.

    Lesson two: insist on a backstage area.

    This metalcore band had people moshing and pogoing and generally getting really effed up. In itself okay, but it almost looked as if the moshers were deliberately trying to dive into the instruments of the previous and my own band. They were positioned on stage right side of the hall, for lack of space. Not a good idea.

    Lesson three: learn to read your audience ...

    After the metalcore guys stopped playing, the crowd was riled up. They had brought a good deal of their own fans and they were still in a moshing mood. About 30 minutes passed while they broke down and we set up but in hindsight (always 20/20) we should have waited longer. We began our set and people were still ... energized and not in the mood for rockabilly covers.

    Lesson four: ... and respond in kind.

    Somewhere during the sixth or seventh song in the set, all of a sudden I saw a beer bottle flying towards our singer. He continued singing and we continued playing. In hindsight (again, 20/20) we should have stopped the song right there and then and called out the a-hole who did this. Instead we said: "Okay, this will be our last song for the evening. You can thank the guy who threw that bottle." Perhaps too little too late?

    Funnily enough, by this time people were actually digging our set. We continued playing, dropped a few of the planned songs and repeated a few we had played before. Normally I would be against it, but I was totally not having fun and frankly I did not care one bit.

    Lesson five: Make agreements with the band and stick to them.

    Keeping in mind the actual meaning of "dapper dan" and the tip from a forum member whose name eludes me for the moment, I dressed up for this gig: nice pair of pants, black shirt white tie and even a nice jacket. I forgot to tell the others I would be doing this, so fashion wise we were a mixed bunch. The bassist of the metalcore band told me that he really respected me dressing up like that and said I had balls for "being in a place like this, dressed like that" :confused: Pictures will follow :)

    Our guitarist once again started riffing "Highway To Hell" and people got excited and were into it. Only downside? Neither myself nor the singer know that song. Other than the chorus I don't know the words. It's AC/DC so I guess it is in A? Either way, I did not like him doing this. He then started doing some Iron Maiden riff followed by the intro riff to Ace Of Spades. Again, riled the crowd but then they realised that the band would not actually play these songs and we collectively looked like schmucks.

    I fully intend to talk to him about this and tell him that either he suggests a few of those songs, we learn them and if the mood is right we throw them out there OR he sticks to the set list and stops making us look bad. Next gig we have is a decent paid gig and I will tell him if he does it then, he can forget his cut. If he can stick to the set list with his other band then he owes it to us to do the same here.

    Lesson six: learn from your mistakes.

    In the future, if we are invited to share the bill with any band, I will screen them up front and if we do not fit in one way or another I will politely decline.

    I will never book a gig at this particular venue again. Not because of the beer bottle throwing incident, that was due to certain fans of another band. But the acoustics sucked, it was the dirtiest floor we ever had to play, they tried to stiff us with drinking coupons and ... hey, I carry a grudge now. Sue me.

    One thing I forgot to mention is we were playing for the door. I won't disclose how much we made from this night but let us just say that it was not worth our time and trouble, given the circumstances. I am not in it for the money, I am in it for the fun. And tonight I did not have fun. So from now on, either we play a venue we have played before and know well enough to at least kind of know what to expect, or we play for a decent amount of money. Or both, of course :)

    To end on a positive note: I played an upright walking bass solo during "Stray Cat Strut" tonight (more or less similar to the original) and somewhat to my surprise it worked out really well. I just listened back to the recording (too boomy to be of any use) and it fits in nicely. Could use a bit more work but I guess it will progress :) If anyone wants to hear it I will post it later tomorrow. Right now all I want is to get some sleep.
  2. Ouch, dude.

    Also, that is some seriously irritating behavior by your guitarist. Damn stupid, too.
  3. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    If he did that after the beer bottle incident, he was probably trying to mess with the crowd. Bad idea if that's the case, there are more of them than you.
  4. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Banned

    Jun 30, 2010
    Kids. Whattaya gonna do?
  5. meycom

    meycom Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Southern Wis.
    You what really gets me is when the guitarist gets back on stage at break and starts playing along with the music playing over the PA while we are off stage.
  6. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    The worst thing is, I have every reason to believe it was the singer of one of the other bands who threw the bottle. The guy is in his 50s ...
  7. I've only seen that work ONCE. My old band came back on stage from set break amd the DJ is playing a song that we normally play. We quickly picked up the beat and the DJ had the presence on mind to fade out when the band got going and we finished the song, quickly transitioning into another song. The crowd loved it.... of course that is one of those tricks that only works out when you either plan it well, or the stars allign. :bassist:

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