Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

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Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby tim3finger » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:16 pm

I think most of you know 1four5, but may not be as familiar with me, anyway, Dean(1four5), myself, Tom and Alice have been playing together as band for about 7 months now. We have done a few small concerts/shows for Goodwill of Kansas, Christmas concert and Fall festival for a Church, and a regular, monthly gig at a rest home. The biggest crowd so far was about 200 people at the Goodwill Christmas party.
Well, now to the gist of my post, We will be playing on the Saturday night(finale) of a small town festival. Up on a flatbed trailer, out front, in for maybe 600 or 700 people.
Fact is, we are little nervous/aprehensive about this. Is a gig this size to soon, how material should we prepare(3 hours with breaks), what kind of mix(maybe street dancing and benches for just listening). How to beat back the nerves, avoid stupid/disastrous mistakes. We don't have a drummer, but for this gig, a good friend and great drummer(timekeeper kind of guy with a little flash)will be playing with us. He lives about a 100 miles away. How much practice with him? I don't want to sound like we are freaking out, I just want to get our bases covered.

Please guys, Give us your inputs/experiences, we sure need it!

Tim
"along the road, take time to smell the flowers"
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby lightninboy » Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:44 pm

>
> I think most of you know 1four5, but may not be as familiar
>with me, anyway, Dean(1four5), myself, Tom and Alice have
>been playing together as band for about 7 months now. We
>have done a few small concerts/shows for Goodwill of Kansas,
>Christmas concert and Fall festival for a Church, and a
>regular, monthly gig at a rest home. The biggest crowd so
>far was about 200 people at the Goodwill Christmas party.
> Well, now to the gist of my post, We will be playing on the
>Saturday night(finale) of a small town festival. Up on a
>flatbed trailer, out front, in for maybe 600 or 700 people.
> Fact is, we are little nervous/aprehensive about this. Is a
>gig this size to soon, how material should we prepare(3
>hours with breaks), what kind of mix(maybe street dancing
>and benches for just listening). How to beat back the
>nerves, avoid stupid/disastrous mistakes. We don't have a
>drummer, but for this gig, a good friend and great
>drummer(timekeeper kind of guy with a little flash)will be
>playing with us. He lives about a 100 miles away. How much
>practice with him? I don't want to sound like we are
>freaking out, I just want to get our bases covered.
>
> Please guys, Give us your inputs/experiences, we sure need
>it!
>
>Tim
>"along the road, take time to smell the flowers"


Tim,
don't worry, big crowds aren't any harder.
In fact they're easier in some ways.
I'd prefer to be playing to a huge crowd than a small one any old time, for inspiration.

Make sure you know your stuff, practice and rehearse well.
That helps with nerve's.
Also, turn that nervous energy into, "hey, I can't wait to get out there and play, this is what its all about!"
Enjoy yourself!

Don't worry about the drummer, they're not as stupid as all the jokes imply.
A good drummer can tell whats about to happen in a song, a second before it happens, without ever hearing it before.

3 Hours w/breaks is usually enough time, but check with the organiser's.
If you need to play longer and you don't have enough material, make the gaps between songs around a minute or so long, lengthen some solo's, (I'm sure 1four5 can rip it up), and tell some joke's, use one liner's.
One big tip, WATCH YOUR TEMPO!
Don't start songs off too fast.
This can easily happen, and you will not only wreck the song, but use up time in the process.


Hope this helps,
LB.
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby 601blues » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:08 pm

Well first of all for me playin to 5 or 5000 is no different, the question is who is responsiable for the sound that is makin so what eversize group is there can hear,I rehease and practice so each member can talk to each other if needed durin the preformance such as callin for another turn around,hold da groove etc. this does not change whether the gig is big or small,I used to get involved with that and it was to much trouble,anyway don't turn up and over power your monitors and amps because you feel that you have to be louder, this falls into the sound mans hands, to mic and to catch the sound and make it as loud as he needs for the venue.I find that is a big mistake a lot of bands make they try and produce the volume levels with there on stage amps and lose control!! Will there be a sound system there??
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby bluesmcgoo » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:08 pm

I've always preferred bigger crowds to smaller ones. The bigger the better.

There's so much more energy being exchanged with a bigger crowd. There's nothing worse than a small crowd that doesn't react to anything.

Just go out there and enjoy yourself. Trust me, you will like the bigger crowd before it's all said and done.

Good luck!
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby nizer » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:57 pm

Ditto what 601 says about the sound. At that scale you need proper PA and monitors, etc. Who is responsible for the sound board and mix? you should get a chance to do a sound check with the system before the show - ask about that.

The main thing is to realize that you've been selected to do just what you do - nothing different. It can be distracting on a stage with that many people in the audience. Mainly, you might not hear it like you're used to. Don't let that bother you. Just relax and just do what you do. Smile and act like everything's normal. It doesn't sound the same to the people who are out there and you have no control over that sound. That's why you need a good sound person - to get the mix and levels right. You're job is just to play.

Oh yeah, and enjoy yourself.
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby jeffl » Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:12 am

Congrats on the gig to your band. You guys've been clippin' right along. Get the biggest PA you can get your hands on,and then don't push it to the max. You'll wanna leave yourself some headroom,and nothin's worse than havin' the instrument volume outrun the PA mains. Have a blast!
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby 1four5 » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:22 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Mar-28-06 AT 09:27 PM (EST)]Thanks for all the replys, believe me i'm hangin on every word! We played at a festival last fall, and the guy putting this together was there and remembered us, so I guess we're doing something right. I've always been the most timid about all this, and really can't believe how far we've gotten already. Man, at least I don't have to sing...all I gotta do is play my ass off. I'm scared to death, but excited at the same time...I'm sure you'all know what I mean! This all happens in June. Yes 601, we were told there will already be a PA set up...we're currently looking into more details of just what that means, and what we gotta come up with.
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby 601blues » Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:14 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Mar-28-06 AT 10:21 PM (EST)]Bear with me,OK, Ive play all over da world,I don't mean to sound like I know everything just tryin ti give you some info,anyway do a good sound check,just be concerned with what you hear on the stage only,make sure you are comfortable with that thats it !! the sound man works for you!! what ever he does is not your concern,just get it right in your world understand?? This is a rotton biz,sometimes you gotta put yo foot down,Ive benn in a situation where I' ve told da sound eng if dey cain't get it right I ain't playin,simple as dat,don't be shy,its yo name!!yo fame!!
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby lorilu » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:08 am

How cool! You guys deserve it - you can do it or they wouldn't have asked you. Look how much you practice and how close you all are. And you are really accomplishing your dream. Thanks, Lighnin Boy, what you say is the absolute truth.

I would, if possible to be able to go early and do a sound check. I would also want to bring extra stuff just in case. As a drummer, it is extra sticks, a rug, a couple of little towels, you know for when you are sweating. I've sent a stick flying and was able to grab another set within seconds, I went without a rug and my kit kept sliding away from me, but I always bring towels. You probably know all this, extra cables, power strips... water bottles. i don't know. Sound check. Whatever.

Often, you can repeat parts of the first set and even more if the audience is drinking. Even if they are not drinking you can play stuff over that are not obvious standards. I love long rockin jams. If the feeling is there. Shoot, you can take up a lot of time and have a lot of fun and really get the people going with a good jam.

If you are not good at jokes and small talk - just don't do it. Sincerity goes a lot further than a bunch of dumb fake jokes. But if you are good at jokes and joking around by all means go for it. I got a personal pet peeve. I really dislike band inside humour. I don't like when a band makes a bunch of jokes that only they laugh at cause they are too cool for school. However, I really enjoy good natured joking around and teasing that isn't hurtful to anyone. As a person who has spent a lot of my life going out and listening to music that is my personal view of things. If you have music that is danceable - even better. The way I would do it would be to balance the slow and fast - 2 fast, a slow, a fast, a faster, 2 slow (jams in all of these) a good medium and a break. Can't wait to hear about how this goes! I am really excited for you. Hey, record it!!!
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby lorilu » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:11 am

Sounds like your drummer has plenty of experience so one or two practices should be fine. Maybe more for you guys than him but just to feel what it's like to play with a drummer. How awesome for you!!!
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby tim3finger » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:36 am

Thanks a million for the tips. If I am getting the hint, TEMPO is a big deal and a Good Sound Guy is next.

Tempo we can handle, at this point we don't know if the sound guy is coming with the P.A. system the festival organizers are renting, or we will use our own guy. I almost think that the first one would be better , cause he will be most familiar with the equipment. Then, on the other hand, our own guy has worked with us before and knows how to set us right.

Still lots of variables, from what I can see. Any more input??

Tim

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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby 1four5 » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:17 am

Thanks again! We definately will be there early and get a good sound check, Tom (lead guitar and vocals)is very picky, and good. He also comes to play....I think his average times between songs is about 15 seconds...not a lot of small talk. He's good at reading the mood and will extend something that's working. Tim and I are lucky to have such a good friend put up with us like he does. He's put a lot of time and effort into us...we owe him more than we could ever pay. I've always suffered from the "I suck" syndrome... but he's always there to lift us up and keep us going.
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby lorilu » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:26 am

You can't lose. It is going to turn out great and is probably just the beginning. I'm worried that you might get those big heads though and quit talking to us. I can't wait to hear how it went. When is it again - this Saturday?
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby 1four5 » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:45 pm

It's not until June, June 3rd to be exact. Waddaya mean stop talkin to ya? :D ...man this is my escape into bluesville, it's like the real world to me. Sometime I have to pinch myself in the other world, but I know all to well the blues are real.
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RE: Biggest gig yet - Any tips?

Postby 1four5 » Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:31 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-01-06 AT 06:39 PM (EST)]Well, dammit. The street dance crashed and burned before it even got off the ground. Tom (our leader) went to meet with the event co-ordinator and get things going. It became a situation of working with a meathead without a clue. Originally they were going to have some shredder band on friday for the youth, and then us on Saturday for the adult/family crowd. Well, they rescheduled something else for Saturday (ice cream social or some crap like that) and moved us to Friday with the shredders. Right away this would mean us and the drummer would have to take time off from work. When Tom asked what our time slot was (before or after the metal heads) he was told "same time"...get this...facing eachother with 4 city blocks seperating us, between the city buildings...sharing the same rent-a-PA ...without a sound man...??? We offered different time slots, but were told we needed to offer something for everyone the whole evening. We offered to play at a small park several blocks from down town (with our own small PA) but were told all events were to be downtown, as the theme was revitilizing the downtown area. We offered several other positioning options, but were basically told they had it all worked out, and we could both be playing at the same time as far as the organizer was concerned. Tom said he they had zero knowledge about the situation, and were unacomidating and unwavering, and the whole thing seemed unorganized and just wrong. Tom told him to find another band.

That's ok, we are enjoying our partys, festivals and rest home jams...maybe someday...other things are in the works.
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