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What makes your cover band fun?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jared Lash, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    As those of us who have played in cover bands know, sounding good is only one part of being a successful gigging band since the goal is really to make sure the crowd has a great time.

    So tell me about your band and why people love to come see you.
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    We're a party band. We have a great time playing and we get the audiance as involved as possible. It doesn't matter where we're playing or if we're having an off night or not, we're there to have fun and make every night a big old party.

    Lots of folks from other bands come out to see us, and we always try to get them up onstage. Last week there was some guy that said he could sing AC/DC. We had him come on up, and he exceeded all of my expectations.

    On break you can find us mingling with the crowd and doing shots with the patrons.

    We're all about having a good time.
  3. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    It's all about the audience. Some nights they are the entertainment for me.
    Being interactive is the key and talk to them all night.
  4. getting paid ;)
  5. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    that's weird.

    i thought i read somewhere that cover bands were made up of trained, cyborg monkeys in human-suits.

    sorry..... i couldn't resist!

  6. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    smart song choices, keeping the dance floor full, & crowd interaction make for a fun time.
  7. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    Everything Phalex said plus, the rattier the bar, the more ridiculous we try to make our show: we brought 2 dozen bar mitzvah tambourines to a cancer benefit (making a massive tambourchestra) and I'm bringing dry ice to our next gig at a bar who's stage is the darts area. It's gonna be a good time.

    That, Michael Jackson and JagerBombs will a good night make.
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    No! No! No! We wear Cyborg Monkey Suits!
  9. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    We've done plenty of goofy stuff. For a while our guitar player's buddy was always at gigs so we bought him a "STAFF" shirt and had some planned interactions with him (picking up our guitar player up off his back after a solo ala Spinal Tap etc).

    We've had Kazoo solos, played the one note song (it's an E), invited people up to sing, and my favorite, brought a gong that we gave to bartenders to ring. When they did, we automatically had to start playing the next song reggae style.

    Just fun stuff.
  10. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    wow, you guys really are about the good time!

    the front guy in my blues band is very animated on stage. during longer solos, he jumps into the crowd and dances, duck-walks, somersaults, you name it.

    the peoples, they love it. and when they have fun, we have fun.
    win / win
  11. Back in the day (late 80's, early 90's) we had a 'party' band that did a great job staying current and acknowledging gems of the past. We kept a really good mix of highly infectious, danceable tunes, rockers, a few slow dances and a few, "check this one out" tunes...

    We typically played frat parties (100's + people) and college clubs - we catered primarily to a college-age/just graduated, pop/dance demographic. We'd make sure our list evolved with what was on the 'college' and most popular 'pop' radio stations and MTV.

    We also made sure our sets 'evolved' as the 'party mood/mode' evolves. Our formula was pretty simple - early on people will not be all that lubricated so set 1 would get some 'sit and listen tunes', older/not-current songs and we'd use that set to get our selves and the crowd warmed up.

    Today I'm in a band that does what I can only describe as songs with a heavy 'groove' factor. The Neville Bros., Dr. John, Sly & TFS, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Edie Brickell, Aretha, Etta James, Bonnie Raite, etc... What makes this band so much fun is landing in that pocket! Once we slip into that groove, you can feel the entire bar acknowledge it. Heads all start bobbin' - people start dancin' - it's not because we're playing "popular" songs - but because the songs we're playing have such an undeniable 'groove factor'.

    So I guess today it's connecting with the groove - that shared cosmic musical vibe - that makes my current 'cover' and 'non-cover' bands so much fun to be a part of!
  12. lawsonman


    Dec 19, 2005
    NW IL
    The thing with our band is we are all good friends and it shows in our performance.We talk to people during breaks and never put ourselves "above" the crowd just because we happen to play music.Plus, sounding damn tight doesn't hurt.:)
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    One nice thing about doing covers is it's much easier to find hot go-go dancers who are willing and able to grind to the cover tunes, compared to their relative discomfort with unfamiliar original tunes.
  14. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I'm really lucky this time around and found a band with just really great people in it. The keyboard player has a great voice,and she is equally skilled on keys,and is the funniest persons I've ever met.The guitarist is extremely shy,but very talented.And plays through a 15 watt Orange amp.Whodathunkit? The drummer is just nuts.Nuff said.We all get along great,no egos,no drama,and we keep the bar patrons happy. What more could you ask for? :hyper:
  15. badstonebass


    Jun 7, 2006
    Everyone knows their parts. Everyone shows up on time. Everyone loads in and loads out. Everyone is experienced and professional.

    The band is popular and always has good crowds. We play EVERY weekend and always get paid.
  16. CPplaysBASS


    Mar 17, 2007
    I was always one to poo-poo the idea of being in a cover band ... but then I was curious to know what it felt like to have more people in the audience than were on the stage with me :) I'm surprised myself how much fun I'm having ... two main reasons:

    1) The songs are nothing I would ever choose to practice if left to my choices. I grew up as a hard rock fan all the way. When my cover band first mentioned doing songs like George Michael's Faith or Depeche Mode's Just Can't Get Enough, I was aghast!!

    Given the drummer also has similar musical interests than, however, our take on those and others like "Superfreak" ... we rock them ... it's just hilarious and the audience gets into it. No pretentiousness or worrying about being cool ... silly for the sake of silly ... and in letting our guards down, actually sounding pretty good.

    2) Along similar lines ... practicing is fun. Especially when adpating some of the 80's synth heavy songs to a "standard" rock band. Still not writing original music, but requires some creativity to make it work well.

    I now try and think what's the most popular yet "goofy" tune an audience would never expect, but instantly recognize within the first two measures.

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