How to start a gig......ideas......opinions?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Kruser, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. Kruser


    Aug 13, 2001
    What do you guys do to open a band performance?

    do you just go on stage and start to play your first song?

    What about letting the drummer solo with a nice groove, then let the singer introduce your band, blow a bass solo to the crowd and let the guitaris jump freaky styley before you start the actual song? :hyper:

    I am thinking about inovative "intros". Anyone experienced one?

    The RHCP for example did a cool one in Dortmund,Germany:
    John layed down a funky rythmic, then Flea showed up with a groovy bass line. Right after Chad perfected the groove. After some time Anthony showed up and they began with "By the Way".
    The intro got the crowd in a nice mood.

    Would be happy the read any replies.....
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    1. Call time (853-1212).

    2. Set your watch to the exact second.

    3. Be on stage, ready to play, one minute before show time.

    4. Wait for the second hand to hit show time.

    5. Start your first song.
  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    We generally play something with a gentle groove, the vocalists will say hello and then we'll get going.

    The intro could either be related to the first song or may be something unconnected. For example, at a recent gig we took a trick from the start of Erykah Badu's Baduizm Live CD and began with the 32 bar riff section from Miles Davis "So What" (albeit with bass down an octave and a bit more of a 'hip-hop' feel than the 1959 recording).

    That works well for our 'urban jazz / soul' music. What style is your band doing?

  4. Kruser


    Aug 13, 2001
    My band style is something like medium rock with a little bit funk.

    Actually our first gig was started by the moderator of our examination-party after finishing grammer school. He was a school made, and we had some friends on stage perfoming a dance to "get it on" by T-rex. And so he introduced us and "our" dancers. Pretty cool.

    I am planning on some bass solo intro, but i dont know if i have the balls to do it :rolleyes:
  5. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    We opened up by one of our guitarists playing a simple riff with a steady drum beat before stopping to introduce ourselfs/first song then went from there. The intro gave time for a crowd to form (well 3 mates to round up a crowd).

    An elaborate intro isnt necessessary and infact may drive a small crowd away if it's a break from the norman (especially if gigging in smaller clubs/pubs etc).
  6. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Just start playing. In most club gigs on weekends, the club usually doesn't fill up until the end of your first set or your second set. I wouldn't go for an elaborate opening unless the club is packed when you begin playing.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I was only half-joking, folks. A major turn-on for me at a show is an on-time start. Each second that passes after showtime with no show sours me more and more on the performer. If ten or fifteen minutes pass, I may never recover, unless the performance is just mind-blowing.

    We start our shows to the second, just like the big acts in Vegas. Nobody's sitting out there grumbling, "Oh they think they're big spit, stealing the money I paid for them to play." It's the highest of disrespect and unprofessionalism.
  8. Kruser


    Aug 13, 2001
    Munjibunga, interesting aspect. Never thought of that disrespect thing, but there is surley truth in it. Thanks for that.
  9. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Very true. I also find that certain types of gigs carry different audience demographics. The average bar gig I find starts off with people sitting around and by the second set, after they have a few drinks in them, they head out to the floor. But I've noticed that benefit gigs usually have more focus on the band. Here is where a great intro would probaly work. (espcially if you are going on later in the evening, after some other performances)
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'm all for starting on time - whether that's hitting the opening note of the first song, building up a groove to get the set going or flying in from the ceiling while "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" gets played over the PA (no, I haven't actually tried that one ;) ).

    I also like to move through the gig without unnecessary gaps - I find it frustrating when there's a long break between songs while the band have a conference on what to do next. I do everything I can, including printing out set lists in big clear type and jumping in with the intros to try to keep us in the pattern of "end song, accept audience's applause, start next song while they're still up for it".

  11. I also find that "uncomfortable silence" in between songs to be a real irritation. In past bands I’ve actually grouped songs together where we would practice going from one song to the next without stopping. Lately I’ve been lucky in that the last couple of bands I’ve played in have had front people who are real good at talking to the crowd, thereby eliminating that problem all together.
  12. As far as the original question:

    The last gig I played we did an instrumental at the beginning of the show that we arranged to lead straight into the first song (with vocals). The first song was one of our more familiar tunes so we got a pretty good reaction when we made the transition. I’ve found having some sort of a "warm up" type song that leads into your first "familiar" song to be a good opening technique.
  13. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    Well we are a punk/metal band and we open up with a classic "rock and roll all nite" bt kiss
    or twist3ed sister "were not got goin to take it"
    or even queen..(drunk people love that stuff)

    it gets the crowd into it. everyone knows the words..

    and the singer is out side when we are playing this then we start are first song....he runs in from the back..gras a microphone jumps into the crowd screaming....its awsome


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