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What do you think, inconsiderate or not?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by strummer21, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. So this has been bothering me for a while. Our band was the opener for a nationally touring band (Not to be named). The venue wasn't very big, but a pro music venue with great inhouse sound. Now this band is fronted by a drummer, and they soundchecked at 4:00pm. There were two opening bands that had a traditional lineup, 4 piece with lead singer/front man starting at 9:00pm, 20 minutes between each band with the openers using the house backline. Anyway, they would not move the drumset (or let us move it) for the opening bands and left it right up front on the stage with a black sheet over it so we had to set up and perform on each side of this massive black lump front and center. I feel this was a complete bullsh!t move and they should know better (they have been touring for years). Their guitarist stacks and pedalboards and bassist 8x10 setup were pushed back out of the way when we performed. We had a decent draw ourselves @ $20 a ticket and the show was sold out. What do you guys think? We have opened for bigger internationally touring bands before, and while we had to work around their equipment, it wasn't literally in front of the stage blocking everything!
  2. ggoat!!!

    ggoat!!! Banned

    Apr 6, 2008
    One of my older bands opened for Quiet Riot when they were still slightly successful and they were more than gracious regarding stage room and set-up; the drummer used a small kit then (much smaller than our drummer's) and the bassist hounded me all night about my Rick tone (which back then was run through an ADA MB-1); they couldn't have been nicer guys except for the singer, Kevin Dubrow...but he was known for being a **** so no one cared.
  3. Just to clarify, it was more the Tour Manager's decision than the actual band members, and the drumset was actually flush to the front of the stage directly in the middle!
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Some bands are cool about this some are not. The ones who don't co-opt all the stage space without thinking of their openers (albeit less famous or known) usually go up a notch or two in my personal estimation.

    Those who won't move a damn thing go down a lil' bit. I've played with both, and I won't let it ruin my on-stage mindset since usually we're the 'opener'.

    I do get cheesed off when the band that's doing it isn't a big draw or anything more than a bunch of ego-trippers. :) Its not cool when we're all on the same tier of the pyramid.
  5. Carrots - if you want to do the opening shows - learn to accept and adapt to whatever gets thrown at you and still give them your best (nail it). Until you can call the shots - sometimes that's just how it is.

  6. Inconsiderate and unprofessional. There's no reason that kit couldn't have been on a riser that could have been set between bands by any decent stagehands. It was most likely done as a reminder and certainly detracted from the show the other bands were trying to put on.
  7. Cowboy Mouth did the same thing to us, (Third Stone South) a very looong timago in NOLA one time at State Palace Theatre. So between songs I poked around on this huge black sheet with my headstock til the guitarist said


    and I replied "no"

    After the show Fred said "You will never open up for Cowboy Mouth again"

    ma boy Bobby Black said "We just did open up for Cowboy Mouth. Your just another local band so why wud we want to do that twice?"

    and then called him a jerkoff as he walked away swigging ona bottle o' Jack. I stayed and watched.
  8. sparkyfender2


    Nov 25, 2013
    I was in a band that opened for a few national acts several years back.

    The tour managers of the name acts called the shots; a couple of them were very nice, a couple of them were complete *****.

    We were a "regional" band at best, so we did whatever we were told to do. We had no leverage, we held no cards, the people had paid to see the stars.

    Great learning experiences, even the negative ones.

    Good luck!
  9. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    D-bag move for sure. My band opened for Dio back in the 90's and he had his guys start setting his crap up during the middle our set. Not his bands gear mind you,but his own little 'riser' for lack of a better term. It was a series of short bench-tops that ran behind the monitors for him to stand on so he could be six feet tall on a stage already four feet above the crowd. It's pretty hard to play well and keep your cool when a handful of goons are pushing you and your gear all over the stage during your set to appease Napolean's ego..
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't have any experience with these situations, so this is just my personal reaction. Basically - sure, it would be nice for the headline act to be more gracious and considerate. But they are the headline act and the openers are there to support them, not vice versa. If their drummer goes downstage center and their management decides it's wasting too much time and labor to move it after the openers, then downstage center it goes and everyone is going to have to work around it. Keep a professional attitude and work with what you're given.
  11. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Not sure I would have been able to resist making a comment about 'the dead elephant.' Maybe hafta dedicate a song to the tragic and senseless waste in the name of entertainment...

    Probably Joe's right - just take it in stride and act like it happens all the time. And yet, I know I will never be opening for any national acts...
  12. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Even if they are the headliner, they are still there to perform a show for the guests. It is a shame to create obstacles for the opening acts, because in the end you are shortchanging the fans that showed up there. An opening act doesn't have to suck, and a headliner who tries to create that situation is devaluing the entire play bill.
  13. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I'll never play Sullivan again.
  14. I fully understand they are the headliner and we have to roll with the punches, etc. and we ultimately did that and were well received and it was all good. I didn't have a chip on my shoulder and didn't want/need respect from them or to hangout and be buddies with them. I would just personally never do anything that rude to other people. It was obnoxious, and likely the band members never even knew we had a beef. When we asked the venue staff when we got there, they were very quick to say that they were instructed that the drum kit could not be moved, and it was obvious that they were planning to move it out of the way themselves and were told not to and knew the opening bands would be irked. It was a great night and both us and the headliner put on a great show, this just bothers me still.
  15. southshoreconor


    Oct 30, 2007
    The Road
    Endorsing Artist: Fender Musical Instruments, SIT strings
    Until you're big enough to fill a room that has a large enough stage to accommodate you and your support acts, you shouldn't be "calling shots". You should behave like a team player because really, what separates your band from the locals? A van? A Tour manager? A tiny bit of money? Spare me.

    I would imagine the band deals with this in every city. What they should do is invest in a drum riser on wheels. Having the kit covered with a black sheet is a cool look when the backline is in the background and in the shadows during the openers. Then during the changeover, there's some sort of a "reveal" and it excites the crowd a bit. That's totally lost when theres this big black lump that everyone sees but no one mentions front and center the whole evening.
  16. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    You'll find that mid level headliners like to throw their weight around a bit. Anytime I've opened for acts that truly are a big deal they couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    That's happened to me a few times. The headliner sets up and does their soundcheck, and nothing moves after that. It makes sense but it is annoying.

    I've seen lots of shows that are like that as well, even with bigger acts. I think it's just the way it is unless the venue has a rotating stage.
  18. My group had the opportunity to open for Bruce Hornsby when he first broke into the big time. We arrive at the venue after they had sound checked and there was a huge grand piano taking up most of the smallish 4' high stage. Our manager talked with his and they refused to even push the piano back 2' so we could stand in front of it. They said we could setup on the floor in front of the stage. We declined. I don't blame them for not wanting to move the piano, but it would have been nice to know before we drove 3 hours to the venue.
  19. Yes, we've played with much bigger acts and their stuff was set and we would have to have our drum kit off to the side and be cramped into our little space, but they were traditional set up bands with a frontman so the front of the stage was more or less unobstructed, and that's fine. In this case the drumset was where the lead singers mic stand would be taking up maybe 10 feet across the front-middle of the stage.

    And for those few commenters who say, well they are the headliners and they should get to do whatever they want, it sounds like you are condoning acting like a jerk as long as you are a big enough act.
  20. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I don't find myself in the "grin and bear it" club too often, but this time, what else can you do? Negotiation is all about carrots and sticks, and in this case, you had neither. It's either put your band on stage in front of a larger audience than you can draw yourselves, working around the headliners' drums, or refuse to go on. Your choice.

    Was it inconsiderate? Depends on the logistics of moving the drumset (and the carefully placed mics attendant thereto). I once saw the Boredoms w/s/g Deerhunter. The Boredoms, on this particular tour, had something like 9 drumsets onstage. Deerhunter actually had to play on a separate, smaller stage, behind the main stage (and all its drumsets). So count yourself lucky. ;)