It's only 4 minutes in a cover band....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by 3Liter, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. 3Liter


    Feb 26, 2015
    So there's two great thread raging about Dad Band and Setlists for cover bands. In there, folks are talking about the crappy setlists, etc. etc. that every cover band plays. Folks will say in those threads (and others) if I have to play "Sweet Caroline Alabama" one more time...

    Got me thinking. We can't possibly love every song we play or maybe we're sick to death of it. But once on stage (and you already know it) a song like that is, what, like 4 minutes long? I bet it takes me longer to type this post. Or walk downstairs to get coffee. Or a traffic light?

    So, is it really worth protesting so much over one or two songs? Assuming you already know it, and your gear is set up, etc. Now, if you have to listen to it 400 times to learn it and the whole setlist is music you hate, or the band is otherwise subpar, well maybe that's the wrong project. Yeah, rehearsing Wagon Wheel so the vocalist can learn his lines (again) isn't something I'd want to do either....

    I don't gig as much as I might like, but what's 4 minutes of my time? Really? Now, there are some songs that I don't like to play because they are a handbuster or otherwise I haven't prepared as much as I should have, but that's a different story.

    For you grizzled vets, please enlighten me.
    mech, cchorney, Ikkir and 16 others like this.
  2. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I'm not going to sing any song I highly dislike. I will play bass on anything. Keys, guitars, you name it.

    But I won't sing it because I can't own it, and if I don't own it, I can't sell it.
  3. For me it's not about the song so much as what the song choices indicate about the likely caliber of musicianship and overall commitment to doing the work between rehearsals. A setlist chock full of the same old standards tends to point toward a group of people who are interested in playing what they already know and not being challenged. That's the definition of fun for some people but not necessarily what I'm interested in. So I look at those sorts of lists and tend to pass on those bands, unless they're paying well, and then I don't care.
  4. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    Some songs make for a long four minutes and are the musical equivalent of somebody smacking their gum in your ear for four minutes. If the rest of the band wants to do it (because the audience wants to hear it), then I'll play it, but hate every minute of it while pretending to like it for the sake of the audience. I am 100% with @mellowinman though when it comes to the ones I have to sing.
  5. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Or they just like to get paid. I've been with the same band for 8 or 9 years now, and I'm sick, sick, sick of the repertoire (must be at least 150 songs in rotation). But that band nets me somewhere around 50 fairly good-paying, easy, no hassle gigs a year. I have other projects to satisfy my artistic side.
    cchorney, mrcbass, Duder and 15 others like this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    For me it's not about "one or two songs". But if the majority of the serlist is worn out oldies. ..... and make no mistake, Skynard is oldies...... count me out.

    And I think that's part of the issues. For many of us, out pride won't let us get our heads around the fact that "our music" is worn out oldies.

    The music that was popular when we were teenagers SHALL NEVER DIE!!!! IT IS THE BEST EVER MADE BEFORE OR SINCE!!!!

    Meh. I came of age in the 80s. Most of the music I grew up has long sonce fallen out of favor. Michael Jackson is played on the oldies stations around here..... cuz that's what it is..... the music of thirty plus years ago..... aka oldies. Poison is classic rock. Devo is bubblegum pop.

    Here's the Top 100 singles from1982. Every one of them may as well be The Carpenters or Wings or Gladys Knight and the Pipps to young adults today. Heck, some young adults see Weezer as classic rock.

    If you want to relive your youth on stage, fine. But mix in something that isn't oldies. And, again, 80s is oldies.
  7. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    Heck, most of the 90s music is oldies (more than 20 years old).
  8. 3Liter


    Feb 26, 2015

    Fair point, thanks.

    I was thinking more along the lines of you're already on stage and SHA, or BEG comes up again. Not so much in joining a band, but I do see your point. As an aside...I once played with a guy that was supposedly "all that", his rep preceeded him. He was good at what he was good at, stuff he'd played 900 times with a lot of compensating effects. Didn't know anything else and didn't want to learn.
    LBS-bass likes this.
  9. jshinal


    May 28, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    We've been lucky that our brewpub gigs have a mixed age group. The older ones hear us do a Rascals song (no not that one) that they haven't heard in decades, and the young ones don't mind a retro pull because it's got a unique vibe and is clearly rockin.'

    Not all audiences are that forgiving. The band likes Bruno Mars, but that's not our niche, and we can't sing it believably. Certain riffs are just going to hook anyone, and if it's not been beaten to death it will probably work OK.
  10. EricMordus


    Aug 29, 2013
    I have to say that I'm in quite a unique band situation. The age range is 16-54, no lie, our lead guitarist is a young phenom in much the same way a 17 year old Zakk Wylde was when he got the Ozzy gig (and I'm 100% convinced this kid is on the same trajectory).

    That being said, our set list, as we are 95% a covers band, spans from 80's metal/hard rock (which our guitarist LOVES) to the 00's, and the cool part is we all get a say in what we play. Sure, not all 4 of us are going to 100% LOVE every song on the list, but they're all in our taste range and in the end are great songs that not EVERY other band out there will play (sure, once some of our local friends hear our set they may cop a few tunes... lol).

    I've played in other bands where I hated 75% of the music, but it was a gig, so, whatever right? Nah, i couldn't put my heart into a band like that for long so eventually the other guys, who are more or less friends of mine decided we should part ways. Sucks, but thats band life aint it?

    In the end, if you can find 3-4 other guys who you can throw down with and you all get along and are of the same head, count your blessings and play on. Or, find those other 4-5 guys, because we ain't in this to get famous anymore (yep, I'm the 54 year old), we're here to keep 'em drinking and paying tabs, and have FUN while doing it!

    But hey, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong...
  11. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    I too care more about musicianship and being tight as a band more than the set list. But that being said, there are songs that I simply don't wish to play ever again because they are so overdone. and there is SO much out there to choose from. Why do what everyone seems to do ? so boring. but in the end, a lot is dictated by a) what the singer can sing and wants to sing, b) do you have the skillset and lineup to pull off a particular song?

    but yes, having to play some songs does make me cringe
    Cheez likes this.
  12. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Poison is classic rock?????

    I no longer like classic rock.
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    Dude, Pearl Jam is classic rock.
    Altitude, Duder, hrodbert696 and 5 others like this.
  14. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I have socks older than that. *Sigh*
    mech, pcake, Downunderwonder and 6 others like this.
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    BuzzCanyon and comatosedragon like this.
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Uh. Yes. That's what I'm trying to explain. "Classic rock" doesn't just mean "good rock". It simply means "old" rock.

    Pearl Jam hit the scene in 1990. That was nearly thirty years ago.

    Let's back up to when we were younger..... say 1985. Twenty eight years prior to that was 1957. Everly Brothers "Wake Up Little Susie" was a Top 20 hit in 1957. You telling me that "Wake Up Little Susie", or "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke, or Del-Viking "Come Go With Me" wasn't already oldies by 1985? Of course they were. No self-respecting 80s band would have been caught DEAD playing those songs.

    Yeah, the train keep 'uh rollin' even after we are no longer in our prime.

    And Pearl Jam is classic rock. People old enough to serve in the military overseas weren't born until ten years after Pearl Jam hit the scene. Get your head around THAT. :D
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  17. Rich Emme

    Rich Emme Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2014
    ...and now, they're classics. Classic socks rock!
  18. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    If a patron requests a song, and the band knows it, you play it. Keep the patrons happy,and it keeps the venue owner happy .
    Stumbo, Duder, pjbassist and 5 others like this.
  19. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    not in my opinion. i agree with your point. :thumbsup:
    this is TB. more pampered hobbyists here than "grizzled vets." what you are hearing/reading is not 'protest'. it's whining. and who doesn't like to whine a little now and then?
  20. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    One man's cover is an other man's hit.
    MrLenny1 likes this.