Putting a ballad in a "battle of the bands" set?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Justin V, Mar 15, 2006.

Ballad? yes or no...

Poll closed Mar 30, 2006.
  1. YES! Make 'em weap.

    6 vote(s)
  2. HELL NO!!!

    5 vote(s)
  1. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    My band, Laden Swallow, is one of eight bands that will be playing at a Battle of the Bands.

    The winners (one picked by audience, the other by judges) get paid to play at the big "Sustainable Living Arts and Music Festival". I've never actually been to this thing, but apparently it's a pretty big deal and they usually get a couple thousand people. That would be BY FAR the biggest show I've ever played. Even though the usually crowd it attracts (the hippy-ish sort) isn't anywhere close to our "demographic". Either way, we could use the money to help pay for CD duplication.

    For the battle, we're either going to have a 15 or 20 minute set, the organizers are still deciding. This gives us enough time to play our "single" and a couple of our other stronger songs. The thing I'm a little worried about is whether or not all the songs sound a little too much alike. I wonder if I should bring it up with the band to throw our "power ballad" into the set in a shortened form to help diversify our sound.

    Any advice from people more experienced in setting up short sets would be MUCH appreciated. I'm REALLY excited and nervous about this gig. Our last three shows have all been great and I'm hoping that we impress the hell out of some people there.

    You can hear the songs we KNOW we're gonna play at our myspace: http://myspace.com/ladenswallow

    The ballad, Suburban Nights, can be heard in the demo form I made when I wrote it here.

  2. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    With a set that short, I would try and blow them away with your most energetic stuff. I like the ballad, but it might lower the energy too much. Just my view.
  3. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I'd suggest that you play a couple of your medium-energy-level songs, then slow it down with the ballad before playing your "single" as a finale. Also, it would be neat if you seamlessly moved from the ballad to the "single" and closed out with that.

    If you know the demographic you'll be playing to, a couple of *insert popular style* covers wouldn't hurt.
  4. thekyle


    Dec 25, 2005
    Breckenridge, CO
    Unless you are playing a ballad that everyone can sing while drunk, I wouldn't play it at Battle of the Bands. Sober people tend to get bored listening to live slow songs. This will be a lot more of a popularity contest. Try to get as many people there as you possibly can and have as much energy on stage as possible. Stage antics would be good too. Something to stand out from everyone else.
  5. Assume half the crowd is dudes, half ladies. Estimate that 80% of dudes HATE ballads, especially live, so you are losing 40% of your audience right off. So leave the ballads at home, lol.

    Good luck!!