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Gig scene in S.E. Michigan?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Mike M., Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    For the past 15 years I've been working nights and with a schedual like that it's safe to say I'm pretty much out of what's happening around town. Starting next week I'm going to be working days again. As I put it, at 60 years old I'm finally rejoining the land of the living! Better late than never.

    I'm already wondering what the scene is like in my neck of the woods, which is Oakland county. Sure would be great to finally hear some local talent and maybe go to some open jam's.....so I can hear how much practicing I need to do!

    I've been couped up for far to long and once I get use to my new schedual I really want to get out and hear what's happening. So, what's hot and what's not around my area?
  2. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Can't help you out with the scene but I just want to say congrats on being back in circulation and I give you a lot of props for wanting to get back out there and gig at at an age when a lot of muso's I've known have hung it up for good.

    60 is the new 30, right?
  3. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    If you're on facebook, join the Detroit Bass Players group:


    Not sure about Metro Detroit jams, but you could ask there. Like you, I recently got back into it--I am about an hour north of you on I-75; I hopped on Craigslist, auditioned for a cover band, and we've been doing gigs in the Flint/Genesee County area. We've taken some jobs in the Waterford/White Lake area, which is closer to you.

    Those are just a couple of ideas. Welcome back!

  4. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Thanks, guys. Right now it's first things first. As I said, gotta get use to the sunlight again!! Other than wanting to hear what's out there I'm not sure exactley what I'd like to do. Maybe get back into writing? Maybe try in time to find that fun little gig with no illusions other than finally having a bit of fun? Not sure yet. But I do know I've got a LOT of practicing to do! I do play once every three weeks at church (which is good) but it's nothing like playing 4 full sets!

    We'll see what develops.
  5. aborgman

    aborgman Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    It ain't great. Seems like about half as many venues hiring bands as 4-5 years ago.

    Seems to be better further north.
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    That describes a lot of markets these days. Its not just a SE Michigan thing, unfortunately.

  7. aborgman

    aborgman Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    No doubt.

    I think the massive auto industry issues (and even though hiring has picked back up, average salaries are way down) combined with the bar smoking ban hitting all within a very short time period really put the screws to the bar band business in SE Michigan.
  8. elbeau


    Feb 5, 2009
    Detroit MI
    Carl Henry hosts an open mic wed nites at McShanes on Mich ave and Trumbull. He welcomes all types and tallents. Usualy kicks off around 9.
  9. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    It's really a shame things have gone so downhill for all who want to get out there and play. I use to gig full time from 1972 thru 1982 and I'm talking at least 5 and sometimes 6 days a week. It was a full time job! Man, I remember back in the late 60's when we had the Amboy Dukes, SRC, the MC5, the Stooges, Bob Seger who all had records out and were all playing locally!! The music/playing scene was so alive back then. Another cool thing back then was during summer vacation, the high schools use to have local bands playing in the school gyms 3 nights a week!

    It was a great time to have been around and an even better time for those who wanted to play music. You more than had the opportunity to do so back then.
  10. brotondo

    brotondo Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2012
    Kimball MI
    I'm up in St.Clair Co.(50 mi North of Detroit) and it stinks,
    I feel since the smoking ban, bar/club attendance went down the toilet
  11. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    I moved up to the Tip o' the Mitt about 6yrs ago and noticed the same thing immediately. Almost every bar has live music several times a week,not just Fri/Sat... Tuesdays are usually Pool League nights,Wednesdays are for Dart Leagues,we'll skip Kareoke Thursday..
  12. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Even in those days clubs & venues were all business and still functioned on slim to non-existent margins. Blame liability laws and labor contracts for why schools limit after hours & non-school days activities.

    Other than that, there are clubs that do hire bands that draw. It's business and these days, it's just a bit tougher. You gotta have a product that attracts people...then the venue is interested.
  13. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    Bottom line right there..
  14. taylorro


    May 30, 2013
    There is many bars around the Lapeer/ Davison/ Flint area looking for cover bands. within a mile of my home (Lapeer) there is 11 bars that have live bands
  15. No longer in Michigan but reading this thread with a bit of sadness. There used to be a ton of gigs all over that area. Early 90's, I played with 2 different bands and we had stuff going every weekend, all over the SE - Flint, Jackson, Detroit, Dearborn, Milford, Brighton, Chelsea, Alma, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Monroe, New Baltimore, Albion - not to mention lots of open mics in Ypsi-Arbor alone. Tap Room, Cross Street Station, Spaghetti Bender, Blind Pig, Bird Of Paradise and others I can't even recall the names of. That used to be a great scene, hard to imagine it drying up. :scowl:

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