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Travis Tritt on the Opener's Stage Space

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I came across this article today and thought it was pertinent for a discussion in Band Management.


    I have to say that I agree with Mr. Tritt. Sometimes opening for nationals means you get screwed on things like stage space and you have to accommodate "the star." I've been in those situations, and I've never been a prima-donna about it, but it can definitely suck the big one. Luckily, most of them have been pretty understanding and accommodating, even going as far as to ask if their pedal boards are in my way. But I've sacrificed on things, like going without a rig and even monitors.

    But I think Tritt is probably directing too much ire at Gilbert (which even though I like Gilbert, it blows my mind that Tritt is the opener on that bill). The arrangement is probably much more Gilbert's handlers' doing than actually Gilbert.

    Tritt's statement about kicking as many asses as you are willing to kiss on the way down rings very true, IME.
  2. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    It's likely he will have a theater in Branson one day. Not making fun, but I think his days as a headliner are gone (and it sucks.) A guy I know was telling me he saw Ronnie McDowell playing and whipped out some photos. McDowell and his band were all playing on the ground, no stage, no drum riser (not even a rug for the drums) no nothing. They had 70's Peavey columns for the PA (including those white Peavey mics) and those plastic snap together monitors.
  3. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Wow, that's pretty crazy. It's funny how stars end up playing the minor leagues like that again.
  4. sparkyfender2


    Nov 25, 2013
    It is no longer 1994. I agree that it sort of sucks, but so goes the world of popular music, it seems.

    If you are no longer a hot property, that probably means someone younger is.
    Winfred likes this.
  5. vulturedog


    Feb 19, 2013
    I completely understand if you go from playing arenas to playing the local county fair how that could be a blow to your ego, but if you can continue to play and make a living at it and not have to get a "real job" you are doing awsome in my book! I would luv the opritunity to play my bass for a living instead of hitting a clock everyday!
    Nateflakes, Robus, kcole4001 and 3 others like this.
  6. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I've haven't heard the name Travis Tritt in a long time. I've never heard of Brantley Gilbert.

    Regardless of the situation or who's involved, I think it's incredibly lame for performers to go on Twitter and gripe and complain about fellow performers. It seems very passive/aggressive to me. Just have your management speak to their management. Now both guys look like douches.
    Nateflakes, BassCliff and StayLow like this.
  7. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Tritt is a twit. He has had too much facial work, wears too much makeup, and kind of freaks me out now. He doesn't have to take the gig, you know. He should've talked to the management, or Gilbert himself, instead of venting online.
  8. ...After all, we're all so impressed with ourselves that we can preach about how bush-league it is to gripe online...
  9. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I've opened for at least 2 dozen national country acts in my career. Most treated us really well. Only a couple treated us like a grade school rhythm band. Some people are jerks. I say just deal with it and put on your show. No need to make a big stink about it. I do have sympathy for the the older Nashville artists, the way they are treated, and I really do not enjoy all this sucky "modern" country.

    I saw Travis Tritt when he was just coming up and playing smaller clubs. He played a club that my band was playing at the time. The guy is genuine, very personable, and put on a great show. But I think he should not have aired his disappointment in such a public forum. Yes, talk to Gilbert's management, especially if you have more dates booked together.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  10. sparkyfender2


    Nov 25, 2013
    Thanks for sharing your experiences, BassCliff.

    My experience with opening for national country acts is much less than yours, as I have only had the pleasure of opening for a very few. The big name artists and the big name artists management and road personnel were not one and the same, as far as interaction with the opening act went.

    One star only emerged from his bus to take the stage and then reentered the bus as soon as his last note was sung. He did shake our frontman's hand as he passed by. His road people and band were very nice but also very professional. Helpful and thoughtful, but no nonsense. A good interaction!

    At another show, the artist came out of his bus during our sound check to banter, joke, cut up, pose for pics, flirt with our girlfriends, and just was an all around great guy. However, as soon as he went back to his quarters to ready for his show, his road manager took the reins, and it was a 180 degree reversal. He was a total ****, insulting, condescending, demeaning and just generally a pain. Hey, we knew we were a no name regional act, but why rub it in our faces? It was obvious he did not want us to open, for some reason, and did everything in his power to make our time around the set up a miserable experience. His antics finally provoked an argument with our guitarist, and he then called security to have our guitarist ejected. We tried to gently intervene with apologies and reason, but to no avail. Banished!

    With one crucial band member outside the gate looking in, we were forced to cancel our set. Much to the road manager's satisfaction.

    A bad experience! But experience, non the less.........
  11. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Somehow I doubt Gilbert had any say, or likely even knowledge, or the situation. I don't think it is disrespect as much as priorities. The last time I saw an opening act with a decent set up was when I took my son to see Pit Bull, and the two openers were managed by the same people. They had an interest in making them look good. Other than that, they just want to be able to make it a longer show as cheaply and as easily as possible.
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    First, I'm betting this is just more blowback from the lambasting Gilbert's been taking since he showed up to a memorial day ceremony to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns in his usual ragged jeans and wife beater stage getup. It was going around circles populated by fans of older country and typical responses were scathing opinions regards his (Gilbert's) colossal lack of respect for this nations fallen soldiers. There were plenty of older country stars and sidemen piling on so I'm not at all surprised to see some unrelated negative opinions of Gilbert popping up from the same quarter.

    As for Travis Tritt, we got to open for him when he was about 3 months away from the release of Country Club so he was up and coming but was not as widely know as he would soon become. Anywho, he had a killer band and they were all a bunch of regular guys and treated us like we were old friends right off the bat. We were pretty well known in the area so it was a very humbling experience to be followed by such a stellar group of players. They remained me of all the best of southern rock I had grown up on in the songs written by Tritt and played some seriously good covers from their (obvious) influences like Can't You See, Fire on The Mountain, Uneasy Rider, etc. They closed the show with a monster version of Whipping Post followed by another monster version of One Way Out for their encore.
    BassCliff likes this.
  13. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    This sounds like Sammy Kershaw. The band was cool. But Kershaw didn't want to have anything to do with us. No handshake, no pictures, nothing. The poor guy who brought him lunch got it thrown back in his face. Kershaw, a vegetarian, ordered a salad. When it arrived it had cheese on it. He blew up and threw the salad all over the poor delivery guy. Yikes!

    Dan Seals and John Berry were very nice, as were their bandmates. We talked gear and gigs and other things we had in common. I think they truly wanted the whole show to go well, not just their set.

    Ya know, this kind of bugs me about a lot of the "modern" country artists. They dress like punks, thugs, and riff-raff. Whatever happened to "dress to impress"? Maybe they're trying to make some kind of impression, but I don't care for it.

    That's a nice experience. Mine was similar. Thanks for sharing.

    (I guess you can tell it's been a while since I've played a concert opener for a big-name act.) ;)

    Thank you for your indulgence,


    P.S. Don't worry. I won't Twitter any of this. ;)
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
    Lee Moses and BluesBear like this.
  14. chuckNC


    Aug 21, 2012
    Just thought I'd post this as an example of inter-generational respect in country music. One thing about respect, even if it's just put-on, it looks good on everybody.

    Lee Moses and Stealth Fighter like this.
  15. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    While we're on the subject of opening for country acts and douchiness...I opened for Joe Nichols last summer. I don't know if it was a matter of Nichols being a douche or his handlers being douches, but there was a dour vibe over a pretentious rider, Nichols claiming he wouldn't meet any more than 30 people (including event staff), and the road manager flipping out on some poor old woman.

    Either way, at the end of the night, my band did get to meet Nichols out by his bus. I wasn't there, as I had already left with my girlfriend, but my bandmates said he was relatively personable. During Nichols' set, he dropped the lyrics to one of his songs. I guess my guitarist made mention of it while meeting him, saying that it bummed him out since he always liked that song. Nichols stammered a bit and blamed it on a monitor problem. Either way, it was amusing that my guitarist brought him down to reality a little bit. Nichols was disappointingly pitchy throughout his set. I went and checked out other live clips of him, and he's pitchy in them as well. It's a shame, because his baritone sounds good on record.

    I also got to open for Jason Michael Carroll a few times this year, and both he and his band are kick ass dudes.
    BassCliff likes this.
  16. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    Travis Tritt shouldn't be opening for anybody, period. He got the Eagles to reunite for cryin' out loud.
    BluesBear likes this.
  17. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    No disrespect intended to anyone, but good work is where you find it my friend. There is also the sad fact that country has embraced so many aspects of pop, including the sad reality of it's stars having a much shorter shelf life before they are replaced by the next big hat.

    There was a time in country when tradition was respected by players and revered by fans. These days it's like a cookie cutter assembly line where the next batch of fresh new faces are coming off the assembly line faster than even a throwaway conditioned public can consume them. it's great for the execs at Tree and other publishing and production/promotion giants, but it really sucks for the young fresh faces being made old in a hurry by 300 day per year touring schedules and the sure knowledge that their replacement is less than 6 months behind them.

    The hard reality of today's pop/country industry is the new faces are smart to grab all they can while they can because all they will get is a good taste and then be put out to pasture until they age enough to become "legends" and can work opening for whichever fresh face has recently been punched out by the Nashvegas hit machine.

    On a related note, how many of you are participating in the boycott of Pizza Hut until they drop Blake Shelton as their mouthpiece?
  18. travis tritt hasn't had a song worth mentioning in 14 years.
  19. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    I wasn't aware there was such a thing. Not that I plan on eating there any time soon, but what's up?
  20. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Apparently Blake has been an often vocal proponent of pop/country and has made statements along the lines of "it ain't your granddaddy's country" and other less than flattering comments regards traditional country music. For this he is roundly despised by many keepers of the traditional country flame.

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