Closing shows on weekdays.

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HopeIsKey
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Closing shows on weekdays.

Postby HopeIsKey » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:33 am

Is it too much to ask other bands I play with to start when they're supposed to start?

I think most bands can agree that closing a show on a weekday sucks. But it really sucks when the other bands you play with don't start when they're supposed to start. I'm not talking about taking too long to setup gear, I'm talking about not starting when they're ready to go but just are not yet satisfied with the number of people that are in the venue. They do this and then the closing band ends up waiting around all night just to play a shortened set because there isn't enough time left. They also crap on the people who waited to hear the last band. The first few times this happened I brushed it off. Then it kept happening over and over again.

I never ask to close a show. Maybe I should ask to open (the center spot is always the lottery winner).

It might be partly the sound man's fault because the whip isn't crackin'. If I'm slacking or being unprofessional I hope the sound man tells me so. John from the Annex is a perfect example of this. He may not be telling you what you want to hear but he is telling you what is best for the show.

What are your thoughts on this? Should I just suck it up or say something to the bands/soundguy?

(it still beats being forced to close an out of town show when you're playing with two local acts… that is just doucebaggery… and it's happened to us two times)

Kyle Motor
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Re: Closing shows on weekdays.

Postby Kyle Motor » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:38 am

HopeIsKey wrote:What are your thoughts on this? Should I just suck it up or say something to the bands/soundguy?

I'd say something. I've been on both ends of that situation many times, and after being stuck closing I stopped being too hesitant to start on-time, sometimes even before the soundguy thinks it should start. It should be common courtesy. Most of us work in the morning on weekdays, nobody wants to be stuck out way too late playing for nobody.

eriedasch
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Re: Closing shows on weekdays.

Postby eriedasch » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:07 pm

HopeIsKey wrote:What are your thoughts on this? Should I just suck it up or say something to the bands/soundguy?

I've found the best way to avoid this is to make a schedule when you are booking the show - or planning the logistics with the club and other bands. Do this in advance, not on the nite of the show.

Something like:

7:30p - load in
9:00 - 9:45p first band,
10:15 - 11:00p second band,
11:30 - 12:30a last band

Get agreement from everyone involved beforehand and also make it known if said band does not start on time they are just cutting into their own timeslot and the schedule will not be adjusted due to whatever reason.

Some clubs are very good at keeping to a schedule, but someone generally has to take stage manager duties if the sound tech or bar manager is not taking the lead. First make sure the sound tech will be ready to go at scheduled start time. Next, find someone in the first band 15 min before their start time and remind them their set time starts whether they are onstage playing or not. Be ready 10 min or so before band onstage playing should be done to give them the "1 more song" or "10 more minutes". Find someone in the second band and let them know they are on stage as soon as the band up there playing finishes and gets their gear off. Remind them their set starts at Xpm SHARP! Repeat for however many bands are on the bill.

Finally, unless bands are sharing a lot of gear give enough time btw. bands. 15 min is NOT enough time for one band to get off the stage and another to get up there, set up, and playing if swaping out full drumkit, amps, etc.

drinkinblackcoffee
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Postby drinkinblackcoffee » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:42 pm

ALL played this Riot Fest thing on Sunday in Chicago. Their first show in 6 years, and probably one of the last. They got 20 minutes thanks to the cocksuckers in the Mighty Mighty Bosstones playing 45 minutes over a very thought out schedule. Another reason to fucking hate ska.

I know that's off topic a bit.

Bands in general tend to think they're way more important than they are. I've rarely seen a local or national act that I wished played longer or started later. In bands, I've always been very conscious to keeping sets short and starting within reason. I've found its usually the same asshole bands (or guy in 10 different bands) that pull the whole delaying the start thing- I would say it would help us all if you named names. Fuck'em if their feelings get hurt.

diaper daniels
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Re: Closing shows on weekdays.

Postby diaper daniels » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:18 pm

HopeIsKey wrote:(it still beats being forced to close an out of town show when you're playing with two local acts… that is just doucebaggery… and it's happened to us two times)


This exact scenario is happening to a band I'm in this weekend for a show we are playing out of town. 4 bands: 2 locals, 2 out of towners. Here's the order:
- out of towner
- local
- local
- out of towner (Us!)

The show is set up to fail. I tried pleading with both local bands but nobody budged. Weak.

HopeIsKey
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Postby HopeIsKey » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:00 pm

That is horrible. From now on I'm going to lay it on the line for out-of-town shows... if we don't play somewhere in the middle then there is no reason to play the show besides having an expensive, out-of-town practice.
Gas is too much to play for a dwindled crowd that basically consists of the other bands (if they had the courtesy to stick around).

The worst part for us was we were asked to play the show, then found out 24hrs before the show there is no house sound and that we needed to hire a sound man because they couldn't find one. We then hired a sound guy right away, brought him with us, played the show and had to split our cut with the sound man (the other bands took off before we realized they didn't include the sound man in the cut). We actually ended up giving him all of the cash because we felt so bad. I heard later that one of the band members actually asked another band member "the sound man doesn't get a cut, does he?". VERY weak.

I'm very hesitant to drop names on this board though. Everybody knows someone and we don't really know too many people even though we've all been playing in bands around here since about 2003. I want to be on everyone's good side and treat everyone with respect but some just don't deserve it. Hmmm... let me think about this one.

chainsawcurtis
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Postby chainsawcurtis » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:06 pm

I have a question (that's coming from an old guy that really likes to play early gigs)....

Is there a reason why you have to have three bands on a bill on a week night? Why not have just two bands and do longer sets with plenty of time in between for changeover?

Maybe start at 9 and finish at midnight. Flip a coin when you set up the gig to see who goes first.

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Postby harrissimo » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:15 pm

chainsawcurtis wrote:
Is there a reason why you have to have three bands on a bill on a week night? . . .



I was just thinking the same thing. I'm an old timer too. Back in my day we were usually the only band on the bill. I know things are a different now but it seems to me that you could actually make a few bucks playing music. From what I've seen most rock & punk bands actually lose money playing gigs.

NMK Nate
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Postby NMK Nate » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:34 pm

That depends on the type of show for most folks. I know several bands in the area that can only pull off an hour and a half of music if needs be, and that last half hour is usually not the 'tightest'

I've also found that a lot of people watching shows don't want more than an hour at a time, so breaking a night up into three sets, with three bands seems pretty natural.

On a side note, When you tell a band they have an hour, and they play for one-twenty, that pisses me off as well.

That and the one guy who told the crowd over a mic that there was a party at his place immediately after they were done unloading, so all of his people left...

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Postby el guante » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:09 pm

this probably isn't the cool thing to say, but i often find myself wishing club/bar shows were more like theatre productions. start at 8pm (people actually show up at 8pm) end reasonably early (on weeknights anyway). the entire audience is there the entire time and sees all the acts.

but there's the cycle of fans knowing that bands never start on time, so they don't show up until late, which forces bands to not want to play until even later. it's getting kind of ridiculous, to the point where the only good slot in a lineup is the 11:30-12:15 slot: no one's there before then, and everyone leaves afterward.

unless you're really famous of course.

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Postby d2drums » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:53 pm

chainsawcurtis wrote:Is there a reason why you have to have three bands on a bill on a week night? Why not have just two bands and do longer sets with plenty of time in between for changeover?


Draw, my friends. Look at things from a club owners perspective. Unless you're the most popular-ist band in town / area, and you have a guaranteed draw, there is no way a club can bring you in a expect to cover all their costs. You guys all know this. I'm 40 years old, I've been at this shit forever.... It's no mystery. Unless you can guarantee the club a capacity crowd on a Wednesday night, expect to have three or four other bands playing with you.. and, if you're the shit, expect to be loading out at 2:30 A.M. with $25 bucks in your pocket wondering why.

Play the game or get out! This routine is time tested, and happens in every club, in every city in America. In this day and age of MP3's, downloading and overall disinterest in live music, how can any of this be news? Stop grumbling and be grateful you have venues to play music in! YA BIG CRY BABY!

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Postby diaper daniels » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:09 am

d2drums wrote: Stop grumbling and be grateful you have venues to play music in! YA BIG CRY BABY!


OK.

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Postby Vinnie P » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:47 am

d2drums wrote:
chainsawcurtis wrote:Is there a reason why you have to have three bands on a bill on a week night? Why not have just two bands and do longer sets with plenty of time in between for changeover?


Draw, my friends. Look at things from a club owners perspective. Unless you're the most popular-ist band in town / area, and you have a guaranteed draw, there is no way a club can bring you in a expect to cover all their costs. You guys all know this. I'm 40 years old, I've been at this shit forever.... It's no mystery. Unless you can guarantee the club a capacity crowd on a Wednesday night, expect to have three or four other bands playing with you.. and, if you're the shit, expect to be loading out at 2:30 A.M. with $25 bucks in your pocket wondering why.

Play the game or get out! This routine is time tested, and happens in every club, in every city in America. In this day and age of MP3's, downloading and overall disinterest in live music, how can any of this be news? Stop grumbling and be grateful you have venues to play music in! YA BIG CRY BABY!


Uh...no, it doesn't happen in every club, in every city in America. Now I admit I haven't played a gig in Madison yet, so I don't know the ins and outs of what goes on here, but I've played easily a thousand club dates all over the country. Except for a few benefits, none of them where multi - band shows. For me a typical club date is three one hour sets. Every musician I know can easily play at least 3 hours in his sleep.

I've been on gigs where we brought a PA, and gigs where the club had one. I've never heard of any of the leaders I've worked for having to pay the club's sound guy, and in my tiny experience as a leader, I've never had to. Also, I haven't done a gig for $25 since I was in high school.

The other thing is that there are lots of clubs with their own draw that will be packed no matter who plays there.

HopeIsKey
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Postby HopeIsKey » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:50 am

Please tell me you're in cover bands. I can't imagine forcing an audience who has never heard your songs to sit through 3 hours of original music by 1 band. That's why original bands only play short sets and with other bands. I can't even sit through 3 hours of a band I like.

The fact is original bands don't make squat... anywhere! If you get away with $200 you've done good. Cover bands make a ridiculous amount of cash. My Full Compass salesman plays in a cover band and makes $600 a gig, $3000 split 5 ways. I'd be sick with that figure if I played music to make money but I don't. I just want to play my set in the amount of time that was promised to me and have fun doing it.

(this is not bashing cover bands, I have friends in cover bands, they have their place in the world)

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Postby Stomach » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:20 am

Vinnie P wrote:Every musician I know can easily play at least 3 hours in his sleep.


That sounds like a good show.


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