Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rules for a decent show

posted by Majestic Ape at 2:17 PM

There are a few things that all music venues should do to ensure that shows are good. There are also a few basic things that bands can do as well. I can assure you these are not original ideas, but I would like to Xerox them, and distribute them to music venues and bands across the world

When a band arrives at a club, college, church, community center, a human should greet them. Hopefully that human will provide them some basic information

They should say:

1) This is where you put your gear. It is a secure place.
2) This is the line-up of bands for tonight, and this is the approximate time you are playing.
3) This is your deal for food and drinks.
4) Here is your water.
5) You will get a quick line check/sound check at this time.
6) This is how much you are getting paid, as previously agreed upon, and this is the person who will pay you, at this time.

After that is all done, at some point BEFORE the show starts, the venue should have some kind of sound check or line check by a mildly intelligent person who knows sound. The PA should work. There should be enough cables, speakers, monitors, working microphones and microphone stands.

The soundperson should ask:

What does your band sound like? What do you need in the house mix? What do you want in your monitor mix? How many vocal microphones do you need? How many direct boxes?

Best case scenario, the soundperson knows how to implement the band’s requests, as long as they are reasonable.

There are a few more very simple, very important things that clubs should know:

Never book more than 3 bands for one evening. No matter what, having more than 3 bands on a bill will create an incredible amount of problems for set-times and equipment storage. It will never make the evening better to have more than 3 bands in any one night. The bands will argue about set order, and inevitably it never matters.

My personal selfish desire--- There should be one semi-clean, semi-private place for a person to change clothes. I wear a stage costume. It would be so nice if I didn’t have to stand in a long line of drunken people to change clothes in a freezing cold bathroom stall covered with urine, feces, or vomit. Call me greedy. Playing a show in pee-socks is never funny.

Now, I have been touring for 7 years and playing in bands for 15 years. I know musicians. They can be cool. They can be dicks. They can be healthy. They can be addicts. They can believe that their place in the world is far more important than those around them. They can also be totally level-headed people. It is certainly also the responsibility of the band to:

1) Be pleasant to every club employee
2) Have a few members stay sober enough to communicate and follow directions
3) Not be assholes

I swear that’s all you need for everyone to have a great evening.

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