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Keeping the bar owner happy?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Steve Clark, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Hi all,

    I have a gig with a bluesy bar band. Even has a B3 player. I am looking forward to listening to that beautiful instrument all night long.

    Anyways the joke at the rehearsals is that we are a beer selling band.

    What does everyone do to keep the place hopping, drinking, and buying more beer. Any goofy, silly fun ideas.

    One suggestion is that everyone in the band propose a toast several times a night. I'll be drinking the beer bottle or shot glass filled with water.

  2. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    We'll do toasts and stuff like that, depending on the crowd. Also, don't forget to remind the crowd to tip the bartenders and waitresses (it makes them happy, anyways ;) )

    Generally, just being a fun band keeps people going. And if you keep em having fun, they are gonna keep drinking, thus making for a happy bar owner.
  3. buffordbass


    Nov 11, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amps, Lakland Basses
    One of the easiest things is audience participation. We have a standing rule that the second song in the second set is "Mustang Sally"... not a song any of us would choose, but the gals love coming up with the band to participate, and the band likes the view ....
    Also in the "rock" crowd, the folks get into the older songs that they can sing along and dance to...
  4. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    This thread touches upon the very crux of what it takes to be a good bar band.

    The crowd has to find the band entertaining and want to stick around (and in the process make lots of trips to the bar!).

    Of course, it's a huge boost if the band plays at least some cover songs that the general public (or at least the people who frequent the bar) really likes. Your group's original death metal tune that screams along at 210 bpm for 7 minutes is just not going to appeal to many people over 30 - know the crowd and play what they like.

    Secondly, it helps to play popular cover songs well - making sure to duplicate parts from the recording that capture the song's unique qualities. If you can't figure out, note-for-note, the basic riff to Pretty Woman, then choose a different song.

    However, a band can have these 2 things down and still not be considered entertaining. You must connect with the audience.

    Having persons from the audience participate can be huge. In our cover band, we often encourage women to hop on stage and join our female vocalist as she belts out I Will Survive. It's usually a big hit.

    Yes, too much of that can be cheesy, but a little of it is often a crowd pleaser.

    Interacting with the audience between songs can also help.

    Additionally, having a frontman/woman who is appealing is a big deal. I call it having an "Elvis." And this person doesn't necessarily have to be a superb musician - just a great entertainer.

    I've seen some bands that were only decent musically, yet were very entertaining.

    By contrast, I've seen musically tight groups that lacked appeal.

    That's my take on it.
  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I agree with the above two posts. That is what I was getting at by being a "fun" band, what CJK84 said. And he is right, playing popular cover tunes is the way to get a crowd to get on the dance floor and stay there.

    buffordbass--It's amazing how that damn song gets people into it, isn't it?? We usually play that one too, and it always seems to work.
  6. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Keep the downtime between songs to a minimum. Give the crowd long enough to catch their breath between songs, but not long enough to run out the door.
  7. I've found that when it comes to sellin' beer, nothing beats
    the tired old 3 chord chugga chugga tunes, ala ZZ Top or George Thorogood. Think: One Whiskey, One Shot, One Beer or I Drink Alone, or Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers. The drinking clientle can't relate to more than three chords in a song. Cheezy party / dance tunes work too. Mustang Sally (as mentioned and played way too many times), What I like About You by the Romantics, or even Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry. Also, like an earlier poster stated, it is better if the crowd is familiar with the tune. And keep the dead air to the absolute minimum.
    Of course if you are playing a jazz club, forget everything I wrote. ;)
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Easy, spit some of that free PBR they give the band on the people up front and they'll return the favor. Eventually they'll have to refil.

    Of course, make sure you're in a dirty punk band before doing this.