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Playing in suits

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by billiam5billion, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. My band played a costume party last weekend, and by pure chance both my guitarist's costume and my own were suits (He and his wife were Mulder and Scully from th X-files, and my wife and I were Bonnie and Clyde.)

    Now, I've never played in a suit before because I've never been in a band that called for it, but holy mackeral did we look good! This band plays a lot of country and stuff, so the suits fit, so we're thinking of making the switch to always gigging in suits.

    Maybe this should be a club-the "Black Tie Bassists" club.
  2. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    Sounds like a plan!
  3. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I play over 50% of my gigs in a suit.

    Most of the time (not always), I go home with more $$ than the ones when I wear shorts and a tee shirt.
  4. I want to gig in a suit sometime! I might do it for my gig next Wednesday: Stevie Wonder's greatest as performed by Cornerstone University vocal majors. Suit up?
  5. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Hell yeah. I gig in a suit as much as possible. It's seriously awesome.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I love wearing a suit to a gig, and I love having the whole band look sharp.

    My favorite suit-gig story: the burlesque "orchestra" (9-piece) I was in lined up a relatively high-profile gig at a classic theater in LA. Since Dita Von Teese was one of the acts on the bill, Hugh Hefner and all 8 or 9 of his girlfriends, and Marilyn Manson, and a host of other celebrities were in attendance. My stage "look" at the time was "50's beach bum", with a Hawaiian shirt and big tattered straw hat. We loaded in and did sound-check, and afterward I thought to myself "no way am I dressing like a bum on stage in front of all these celebrities". We weren't far from the garment district, so I went to an Italian suit shop and picked out a goldenrod-yellow summer wool zoot suit. They had it tailored and ready to wear by showtime.

    The band was entirely in the orchestra pit in front of the stage; when we got the video footage of the show, the only member of the band that could even be seen in the darkness was me! I was like a yellow beacon in the dark, and looking sharp as a mofo.

    I haven't been gigging in recent years, but when I get back in the saddle, I will definitely be wearing a suit onstage.
  7. chicago_mike


    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    I wanted to impress people a couple times so I wore suits to those gigs. They didnt get impressed and I stopped wearing suits. Now I dress...well...I mean I do iron my jeans...somtimes.
  8. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    played a reunion gig in 2008 with my old pop/punk band, Stretford. We were all in suits.....in August (I think).....in Texas. God....we all thought we were gonna have heatstroke! But we looked b@d@ss!
  9. BB King is a great example of bands in suits, looks fantastic! Unfortunately, my gigs don't always go well with suits, although we have two great gigs next weekend where we get to dress for Hallowe'en. I'll try to post pics after the weekend!

  10. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I found a badass red suit at H&M. Never fails me. Yes it gets hot, but sometimes you gotta be hot to look hot.
  11. I've given thought to dressing in a suit, I mean, I already usually wear a dress shirt, pants and suspenders, maybe a 2-piece and a tie would look nice. how comfortable would it be though?
  12. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Funny, an old rock band of mine used to ALWAYS wear black suits for every show...

    I thought we looked like tools, especially because they weren't cool-fitting, Killers/Hives style euro cut suits, they were un-taylored, mismatched black, ill-fitting suits from Target or somewhere cheap. I'm so glad my current band doesn't do this anymore (Funny too, because it's 4 of the guys in my old "suit" band are in my new band. We joke about how nice it is to wear jeans onstage).


    I think it's cool though if you play jazz or are playing a nice event. I'd much rather coordinate with similar dressy outfits like how OK GO does it, than try and match perfectly night after night. Plus it gets HOT in a suit. If you don't wash it after every show, it starts to stink horribly. Not ideal for touring bands IMO.

    Here's a pic of when we played a gig in August with a broken A/C...see the light spot on my shirt? That's a dry spot...I was soaked. Almost passed out mid set of that gig.


    Although it did make deciding what to wear to the gig really easy.

    To each his own. Best of luck!
  13. MikeyB


    Aug 16, 2006
    Sykesville, MD
    I sometimes wear a tailored sport coat over black T-shirt and dark jeans. Upscales me pretty well! The sport-coat-with-T-and-jeans look works well in lots of situations. We play classic/modern/funk covers.
  14. God I had to play a couple outdoor shows in a suit in the middle of summer in Houston a couple years ago. Never again.
  15. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    I do most of my gigs wearing a suit.
  16. tmax


    Dec 2, 2005
    Hallowell, Maine
    7 years of tons of GB gigs wearing a suit (or 4 different suits, gigging wears em' out quick.)
    The side benefit of all the women at the gigs being dressed up is nice too.
  17. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    In my experience, if you wear a tie, it can sometimes be a pain if it ends of draping over your bass and muting the strings. But I move around on stage quite a bit, so ties can become disheveled for me. :D
  18. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I play blues in a suit I slept in outside for a week straight.
  19. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples


    I also have a suit which happened to get stained, so I "finished the job" by splattering it all over with bleach and wood stain. It's pretty useless for anything but playing music now! Here's a video from a gig where I was wearing the jacket from it, though with a different pair of pants:
  20. Neon Scribe

    Neon Scribe Supporting Member

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