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Um... What kind of music should we play?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by nickn, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. nickn


    Oct 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm in high school, and I'm also in JROTC. Coming up in April or May is the annual JROTC "Military Ball." The battalion staff went with a cheap DJ for last year's ball, and the DJ sucked. Nobody was really pleased with her. So this year they want to try out live entertainment... and who better to play at a JROTC ball than a couple of JROTC kids who are in a band together? Yep, my band "Nine Inch Phallus" (it originated as a Nine Inch Nails cover band :ninja:) has volunteered to play at least one 45-minute set. There are going to be maybe 100 people there, and there will be a little bit of ceremony followed by our performance and then sets from either us or other school bands til the end of the night. We're told it will just be a regular dance and that we should play whatever kind of music it is that we play.

    Here's the question... None of us has ever played a gig before. And incidentally, none of us has ever bothered to go to one of the JROTC balls before, so we don't know what to expect. So what kind of music should we play? Songs currently in our repertoire include a bunch of NIN stuff, some classic rock, and a little bit of Bad Religion. None of that seems like particularly good "dance" music. What kind of music do YOU play when you're playing at a club or any other kind of dance scene? :confused:
  2. Howlin' Hanson

    Howlin' Hanson Lighter cabs, please.

    Sep 3, 2007
    Austin TX
    Honky Tonk Woman
    Born To Be Wild
    Jailhouse Rock
    Eight Days A Week
    Pretty Woman
    Burnin' Love

    I encourage you to bring your set list into the 21st Century, but these work.
  3. bigthemat


    Jan 25, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    anything in my jazz fakebooks.
  4. How about the Arctic Monkeys - I bet that you look good on the dance floor its relatively easy to play and its fairly dance-able. I would imagine Closer is a dance-able tune as well. If you have anyone that can convincingly rap you could try a Roots song or two.
  5. lawsonman


    Dec 19, 2005
    NW IL
    Play what you know.The worst thing that can happen is everyone will think you suck or they'll think you're great.Don't try to be something you're not.
  6. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    At the military ball?? Gotta do some Spinal Tap man! And be sure to tell the C.O. all about that band you caught at the Ramada in Kansas City "Two Jacks and a Jill".
  7. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Vanilla Fudge.

    Seriously, learn some more "grown up" and "danceable" material and you'll be fine. You don't have to reinvent the wheel and learn jazz standards, but calssics such Stand by Me, Jailhouse Rock and Summer Time Blues can be made to sound right by a rock band. ZZ Top is also a staple of "rocking out and havign a good time" music, so add some.

    I'd also suggest a change of name. Something that doesn't have to do with the male rod will go over well and make yourself look more pro. Goofy is good, btu a bunch of 17 years old with a somewhat childish reference to the penis in their name will make you start with 2 (or more) strikes with some of the crowd there.

    Now, I'm not really a reference for this since the first song I wrote for my new band is called "Rocking your panties off", followed closely by "She's Got a Bigger One than You": but we play for a frat crowd, so it's all good.
  8. If I get this correctly, your audience will mostly be JROTC people, meaning high school age? If so, classic rock standards probably won't cut it. Most of the kids really don't have a frame of reference for music of that era. I would focus on more modern, popular rock songs. But being 48, I'm not sure what songs specifically, but they don't include Mustang Sally:)
  9. Classic Rock Standards:

    Sweet Home Alabama
    Brown Eyed Girl
    Blister in the Sun (not a classic rock standard, but goes over HUGE)
    Anything by Sublime!
  10. nickn


    Oct 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I appreciate the suggestions. Seems like the general concensus is to have a lot of upbeat Rock music. Good -- It's my favorite kind. :smug:

    You have a point. I was originally opposed to the name on the same grounds, but it grew on me. Nine Inch Phallus. Tee hee. :p
    I'll talk to the other people in the band... we probably should change it.

    Yep, mostly JROTC cadets. You'd be surprised at how popular classic rock is with high schoolers, at least in my JROTC battalion. There are really two types of cadets in the battalion... the academic crowd who doesn't care about anything but school, and the rugged outdoors crowd that loves anything involving hiking, shooting, or classic rock. Fortunately I belong to the latter. :D

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