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Live show -staring at devices??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jimmy4string, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. I went out to check out some live music Saturday and saw a really great sounding wedding band here. they nailed the sound of Chris Isaak's wicked game to a tee. Problem i had is guitarist and singer\rythm guitarist staring at their mac book or whatever for lyrics, notes, chords -IDK.
    Was really distracting to me that they didnt look at the audience and i really expected more from a high end wedding type of band. Anyway I checked out a few of their songs and paid the cover.
    IamGroot, Spidey2112 and Ekulati like this.
  2. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    It's pretty bad sometimes. If I have the music in front of me at rehearsal I'll look at it. Always. Never have it at a show. And if a hack like me can get through multiple sets without reference materials, there's no reason a pro band that's played the songs multiple times shouldn't be able to.

    Maybe the guitar players at the show you saw were both subs?
    IamGroot, Mike.C., Artman and 7 others like this.
  3. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    I'm not much of a stickler about music stands on stage, but an entire laptop is a bit much. A tablet is much more discreet. I'll sometimes use a small tablet, or even my phone, to read charts on a gig. Great for when a tune comes out of nowhere or someone wants to do a weird key, i can transpose right there on the device.

    I had a guy want to sit in on a jazz gig one time for a few tunes and proceeded to bring his entire macbook up on the stage. I found it a bit annoying. He also played way too loud and didn't know how to play a swing rhythm on his guitar, but that is another thread.
  4. I use an iPad mounted on my mic stand for setlist and as a mixer interface (depending on which band, it's either solely for my iem mix, or serving as a backup FOH mixer for my laptop running the Ui16). In any case, I mount it as low as I can so it's as discreet as I can make it and still see it... It drives me crazy seeing people reading lyrics off a device while 'performing'.

    It's almost as bad as using backing tracks.. :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao: (ducks)
    RobTheRiot, craigie, Mr_Moo and 2 others like this.
  5. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Our LS/RG has an ipad on his stand but it also runs our pa and monitors in addition to having lyrics if he needs them, but you won't catch him staring at it for more than five seconds or so.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  6. @redwingxix that must have been it a IPAD.
    I guess what I couldnt get is these guys were all real polished and had it together otherwise.
    Why not just go the extra little bit and memorize lyrics?!
    Oh well.
    Later, I went and checked out an old friend and his country bar band. He has been playing downtown about 15 years and really has it together. Seems like he would burn out but no.
    Welcome to AaronNavarro.com! - The Band
    redwingxix likes this.
  7. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I thought this was going to be about the audience
    ThePez, coilcbl_RT, Artman and 20 others like this.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I don't have a problem if there is a tablet on the bandstand, but it shouldn't be there to stare at. Looking down for a cup is one thing, but...
    Mr_Moo and Lex P. like this.
  9. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    I’m other words a rank amateur. You should have told him no to the MacBook.
    eJake likes this.
  10. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    They nailed a three chord song that doesn’t even have a bridge while staring at a lead sheet. Bravo. ;)
  11. bunkaroo

    bunkaroo Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Having lyrics available for reference isn't a bad thing IMO, but they shouldn't become a crutch (as they usually do in my personal experience with bands).

    Of course I'm a weirdo and I memorize the setlist so I don't have to worry about looking at it.
  12. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    I forgive this drummer for using an iPad.
  13. Dabndug

    Dabndug Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2017
    Somewhere in Oz
    Imagine you play in a band that has an enormous and varied repertoire. You play pop, funk, blues and American songbook/swing/jazz, sometimes all at one gig. If you could memorise the entire repertoire, including those with 64 chord changes per chorus, you'd be a savant.
    theretheyare, hintz, Artman and 5 others like this.
  14. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Harwich, MA, USA
    I think if you can manage without sheet music or an ipad, you should. I see some people so busy reading that they lose track of what's going on around them.
    gebass6 and instrumentalist like this.
  15. seilerbird


    Apr 12, 2012
    I saw Elvis live at the International in Vegas in 1971 and he completely forgot the lyrics a few times and had to start the song over. I would much rather see a performer reading the lyrics on stage rather than blowing the lyrics and starting over. John Lennon had no ability to memorize lyrics and had to read on stage too. It is not a question of being professional or being prepared, some of us have terrible memories.
    Artman, Pacman, PiecesOfQuiet and 2 others like this.
  16. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    Pretty lame in my opinion. Totally kills the mood.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  17. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    First time I saw Ozzy using a teleprompter (2002 Live at Budokan DVD), I said to myself that it was OK to use a teleprompter for myself as the lead vocalist with my band down at Bob's Grill on a Friday night.

    Key to doing this is keeping it discreet. I hate big binders of crap up high on a music stand on stage as much as anyone else.

    Here's what my setup looks like. I use it more as a memory aid for lyrics than using it for "reading" the lyrics but also for the setlist. A quick glance usually keeps me on track both within a song and within the setlist. My memory for lyrics suck. I also use a bluetooth footswitch to navigate so you won't see me swiping the screen of the iPad.

    Seanto, bumperbass, hintz and 8 others like this.
  18. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Once you start to depend on having words/chords/tabs, etc., it becomes hard to get away from it.
    I got trapped into doing that about 7 years ago. I couldn't fix the problem until I forgot my reference sheets one night.
    I made it through the gig just fine and vowed to never go down that road again. Lesson learned.
  19. bassstrangler


    Mar 2, 2015
    As a huge Chris Isaak fan saying this, there's a bit more to that song than what you offered up. Yet, staring at an iPad throughout is inexcusable.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  20. DoctorZee

    DoctorZee Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2018
    New York / New Jersey
    I agree that it's poor showmanship, but I am actually not sure why I/we feel that way. If we went to see a big band or an orchestra, we'd have no issue with the players burying their faces in music stands.
    theretheyare, hintz, Artman and 5 others like this.

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