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  #1  
Old 05-31-2016, 05:23 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

We played a gig recently where we played at a pool party/BBQ in the late afternoon. Maybe 200+ kids/adults. Nice club. There was a dance area, and the band was playing dance music. Nearly everyone, understandably, was either in the pool, playing games, or eating BBQ. Very little attention paid to the band, we were not the focus. We're a dance band (70's/80's/90's/top-40 dance songs) One or two people danced at the end. I can't say that we added much over the just playing an IPod over the PA. Although, some people DID say how great the band was. The singers tried to engage people; at other venues/times it could have gone over great. I asked myself why they'd want to pay a dance band to provide background music while ate BBQ. I think the people who hired us were happy; we played and performed well.

Another odd one was when a university hired us for a "concert." Good money, and it was in the evening. The thing was, the students didn't come out of their dorms. We played to an empty quad for about 3 hours. At one point, the organizer pulled maybe a dozen kids out for a while. The intention of the organizer was to provide an opportunity for the students to gather and havd a good time. I asked myself if we were the band, playing the wrong genre (dance music) and I don't know if any band would have made a difference, no one was there to begin with.

Now, for these oddball gigs, we've played many, many more where the dance floor is packed, people are having a great time along with the band, and so on.

What I'm wondering is, for these odd ones, why hire a band? Is there a mismatch between the intent of the organizers and what the people want? Or, does the band provide value if a few people enjoy it? And, can you guys tell me about some of your odd gigs like this, if you've ever played any?
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

Well don't say that to the people that hire bands, or they really
will just hire an ipod in the future instead ;)!!
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:41 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

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Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias View Post
Well don't say that to the people that hire bands, or they really
will just hire an ipod in the future instead ;)!!
Gee, ya think so? ;) Obviously not. We give each gig our best and are professional regardless of the circumstance. This is the day after, and I'm posting this question to others who may have similar experiences.
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

Dancing in broad daylight, in large numbers, just doesn't happen, except maybe at music festivals, and even then the dancing is mostly after dark. A certain amount of anonymity and darkness are prerequisites for most. A college crowd, being under the legal drinking age, will dance in private where they can drink, but not at university-sponsored functions, which are "dry".

A band in the daytime is a good thing, but it's usually going to be more of a sing-a-long and listening party than a dancing one. And that's a good thing -- it can mean that the crowd has more patience to listen to a band that trades solos, quotes lines from other songs, plays a blues or jazz standard, plays some silly songs, etc.

If you're a top 40 band, and the band prides itself on sounding very "accurate", well, you're not much better than a DJ. If your vocalists also dance or have choreography, then your band is more of "show" than musical experience. So, its success will depend on the right set of circumstances. Maybe stick to weddings and club gigs?
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

When I've played gigs like the ones you described, I've assumed that the event just didn't turn out like the organizer/host had planned. And Brent makes some good observations of why that might happen.

Here's what stumps me: There's a venue I play regularly where I can't imagine the place is making much (if any) money after they pay us. Typically, there's maybe one table of 4 or 5, one or two couples and a couple of people sitting at the bar. The people who do show up tend to stay there throughout the evening but given the size of the room, it's pretty desolate. And there have been a couple of times when the place emptied out before our last set and they've told us we can cut out early if we'd like. Yet, they always ask us back.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:06 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Dancing in broad daylight, in large numbers, just doesn't happen, except maybe at music festivals, and even then the dancing is mostly after dark. A certain amount of anonymity and darkness are prerequisites for most. A college crowd, being under the legal drinking age, will dance in private where they can drink, but not at university-sponsored functions, which are "dry".
Thanks! This makes a lot of sense. And that university-sponsored function was most certainly "dry."

Quote:
A band in the daytime is a good thing, but it's usually going to be more of a sing-a-long and listening party than a dancing one. And that's a good thing -- it can mean that the crowd has more patience to listen to a band that trades solos, quotes lines from other songs, plays a blues or jazz standard, plays some silly songs, etc.
Yes, that is more of what it was.

Quote:
If you're a top 40 band, and the band prides itself on sounding very "accurate", well, you're not much better than a DJ. If your vocalists also dance or have choreography, then your band is more of "show" than musical experience. So, its success will depend on the right set of circumstances. Maybe stick to weddings and club gigs?
Not really a top-40 band, but we play a few top-40 songs. We're a dance band as mentioned. The vocalists do dance, go out into the crowd, and interact. As far as not being much better than a DJ, that's up to who hires us and specifically WANTS a live band. They know our set list and our genre when they hire us. The weddings we've gone have gone over great (not to mention pay well), and many of the club gigs have also gone over great as well. We played this same venue that I mentioned in this post on NYE that THAT went over great. On NYE, the venue had a DJ in one room and us in the other, and we had the crowd.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:15 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
A band in the daytime is a good thing, but it's usually going to be more of a sing-a-long and listening party than a dancing one. And that's a good thing -- it can mean that the crowd has more patience to listen to a band that trades solos, quotes lines from other songs, plays a blues or jazz standard, plays some silly songs, etc.
The more I think about this, the more this makes sense. Some People were complimenting us, many were clapping, etc. They just weren't dancing. (And we're a dance band.) You've given some really good reasons why they weren't dancing.

Thanks again for a really helpful post.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:25 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I think there's an atmosphere to having a real band, that an iPod or DJ just can't replace. Actually, hiring a DJ is often more expensive than a band... at least around here. There was an article about this in one of the recent International Musician issues, if you're union...

I can't imagine many people dancing in broad daylight at a pool party. I know up here in Boston it was 90 degrees out. I had all indoor gigs, and it was enormously hot.

It may be that the people just like live music, and wanted a band.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I recall doing many bar band gigs where I'd arrive at the bar, and people were sitting at the bar drinking.

We'd set up, play for 4 hours, packs up and go home. And the same people still siting at the same bar. And while they may have complimented the band, it was pretty clear they were there to drink, and the band was after thought.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

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Originally Posted by DrummerCA35 View Post
They know our set list and our genre when they hire us.
True, the venue knows of your past successes, and is familiar with your repertoire, but that in no way means they also know what's going to please a daytime, outdoor crowd versus an indoor, nighttime crowd.

In any case, it sounds like the crowd enjoyed you all just fine, but you can use these gigs in order to stretch out in the musical sense. Play songs where you allow every member to solo over the form (this can work well on certain pop tunes, and obviously on jazz and blues numbers). Organize and develop sections where soloists trade off with one another, and where vocalists trade off with a guitarist or horn player. Showcasing the virtuosity of your band, rather than merely playing the songs well, is what a DJ can't do, and a relaxed crowd that wants to listen will love it.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

One thing I've learned over the years is just because people aren't up dancing and reacting does not mean they aren't enjoying the music. This was probably the case with the outdoor event. Sounds like they wanted live background music. If the intent was to get guests to dance, then maybe the organizer should have had ya'll play later and maybe had a light rig. People are really hard to read sometimes.


Playing for college kids? Forget it. Unless you are well known (either national or at least regional) OR you are one of their peers/roommates/classmates, they simply won't care. While there are a few college kids out there that like music, the most that I see are way too involved with video games and social media to do much else (I work on a college campus).


I've played a lot of gigs like the ones you are talking about. You show up, play, and get paid. Their reaction is on them.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

People can listen to music, and enjoy it, without dancing. My brother in law is the sax player in a trio that do wedding functions. They are not paid to do the evening stuff, just play music during the meal. They get well paid and the guests enjoy having a "Real: band playing and creating an atmosphere while they are eating and chatting.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

A lot of times "live band" gets chucked into the planning of events like the ones you describe for any number of reasons. There might be a perception that live band automatically equals hip, cool, or interesting. They may have seen a similar event with a great live band that went really well once, and they booked your band without doing any of the other little pieces of event planning that might have made you more integral to the proceedings. And sometimes the organizers have no idea what the audience might really want to listen to.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I can't find any pleasure in gigs like that.

Some people thrive on them and it's good/easy money but I'm not one of them.

Lats year I played an early evening gig at a car dealership showroom. We played a couple sets, and were packed and driving home by 8PM with $200 each in our pockets, but I was left feeling empty.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I've got an out of town (2 hours away) gig coming up, & I'm pretty sure we'll be in for a lacklustre evening. It's for a teenage cancer charity. We agreed to the gig because of a personal connection with a band member. The venue / hall is a sound nightmare scenario, the stage is an issue too, but more than that, the audience absolutely aren't there to see the band. There's other stuff going on, & the audience demographic is likely to be everything from grandparents to young children - so not our type of gig it's untrue.

Of course, I always root for a positive, & definitely don't approach these things with a negative attitude, but sometimes you just know how it's likely to turn out :(
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

Going back a few years back in 1999 or so I played in a covers band that was booked to be play in the club house at Cheltenham Town Football Club’s stadium.

When we got there the gig wasn’t advertised and it was late afternoon if I remember correctly and we played to a room packed with about 10 old chaps, there sat with their pints of bitter/pork scratchings watching Sky Sports and a televised Darts match.

Still, had fun being 16 years old and felt like we were playing Wembley Stadium (ha!) as the club house overlooked the pitch and if I remember we were paid for it but that's one gig that springs to mind. I think we may have just annoyed everyone in the room for an hour and I'm not sure why we were booked- it made no sense.

Oh for youthful Naivety again! Sure there are other more recent ones I have deleted from my memory though!
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
I can't find any pleasure in gigs like that.

Some people thrive on them and it's good/easy money but I'm not one of them.

Lats year I played an early evening gig at a car dealership showroom. We played a couple sets, and were packed and driving home by 8PM with $200 each in our pockets, but I was left feeling empty.

I really think that it depends on the genre of music you are playing too.

If I'm doing a hammered dulcimer gig, I love being paid well to be background music. No one is paying attention, so if I mess up, it's really no big deal; I just keep going.


However if I was in a rock or pop band, I would definitely want to place to get up and enjoy it. I've played many rock shows where people just sat there. It IS really frustrating.
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

The Big Band I was in while up in D.C. had a quintet spin-off and we did a lot of parties, office parties, seasonal stuff etc... we were never the focus. We were background. I was also in another spin-off Trad Jazz (Dixieland) that did lunch gigs, fern bars etc... we were never the focus.

Did I want to be the focus? I think initially in my youth I did, but later on I realized that these casual's were more about the atmosphere, the background etc... moving air, putting vibrations in the room, is something unique to live music. DJ's can simulate that and sometimes with shear force (wattage) can overcompensate but it's never the same as a live band.
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I sometimes have the feeling of the OP, but the sound of money hitting my bank account distracts me from caring. The collective appreciation of live music has fallen so low…might as well make a few bucks here while we still can.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

Back when our band travelled in a Conestoga wagon, we played an afternoon at a pool party for mostly teens, and they danced the entire time we were playing and the place was crazy. One of the adults came up and offered us four times the money for two sets at a corporate affair that same night. They fed us, gave us booze, but no real other contact. No one could care that we were there, if dancing was any indicator, but for the money we were as happy as hogs in mud.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:01 PM
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Here's a fun one:

I have some friends that play in a bluegrass band. Here are the professions of the people in the band:

A lawyer who has just been appointed to a judge
Two college professors
A financial planner/wealth manager
A full-time person at a very successful local business

I said all that to say this: They played at a place that was very, very uppity. This little development way up in the hills actually has its own airport for private jets if that gives you any idea. When they played, they instructed to stay in the green room, get on stage, play music, go back to the green room, eat the food provided, and then leave. They were also told to not to talk with any of the guests, like do not shake hands, say hello, etc. Absolutely NO interaction was allowed.

It's not like these band members were unprofessional and can't handle themselves. They said they had never felt more like "the help" in their lives.Needless to say, they were paid well, but how weird?
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:24 PM
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When they played, they instructed to stay in the green room, get on stage, play music, go back to the green room, eat the food provided, and then leave. They were also told to not to talk with any of the guests, like do not shake hands, say hello, etc. Absolutely NO interaction was allowed.
That's pretty typical for wealthy and/or corporate gigs in the Northeast. I play alot of the society gigs in Manahattan, Boston, and many of the richer cities around here, and we often have to use a separate entrance, eat separate food, et cetera.

I played at the Harvard Club, which didn't allow women to use the same entrance as men, until very recently. They had very strict rules about using the service elevator, service staircase, and not making eye contact or conversation unless approached first.

It feels weird until the crowd gets drunk enough to get a little rowdy. Also, the huge paychecks that these gigs provide usually helps you get over feeling like a second class citizen
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:06 PM
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They said they had never felt more like "the help" in their lives...
That is a great descriptor. Aren't entertainers really "the help" in most cases? When a venue (huge to small) hires an act, they expect performance and profit. I hire a ditch digger I expect the same.
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Last edited by GeoB; 06-02-2016 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:10 PM
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It sounds like the OP's gig was one in which the band was appreciated, just not in the typical way you would be at a dance club.

The worst is when you get booked into a totally inappropriate situation. I once played in an original hard rock band, and we got booked to play an event at an amusement park. Turns out, the event was a political fundraising dinner, and we were wrong for the event in every way. What they wanted was quiet music during dinner, playing easy-listening songs that the middle-aged and older crowd knew.

It was disastrous, but a good lesson.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:35 PM
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I think one issue is that we grew up reading about the most famous of the rock groups or acts and their silly dressing room wants, like no blue M&M's to beer that is exactly 43 degrees, and we don't realize that we are the help. Hired to perform a service. Our fun has to be in the playing or performing and not strictly interacting with the audience.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:42 PM
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I once played in an original hard rock band, and we got booked to play an event at an amusement park. Turns out, the event was a political fundraising dinner, and we were wrong for the event in every way. What they wanted was quiet music during dinner, playing easy-listening songs that the middle-aged and older crowd knew.

It was disastrous, but a good lesson.
That's on them though... The event should know what they are hiring. This is like hiring a plumber, and when they get there, you ask them to rake leaves in the backyard.

Your band was hired, and fulfilled your end of the contract. The fact that it was the wrong event had nothing to do with you.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:02 PM
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That's on them though... The event should know what they are hiring. This is like hiring a plumber, and when they get there, you ask them to rake leaves in the backyard.

Your band was hired, and fulfilled your end of the contract. The fact that it was the wrong event had nothing to do with you.
That's certainly true. It was still a horribly uncomfortable situation for everyone. I learned to ask more questions about event gigs, especially.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I know my bandleader thinks it's our fault when the crowd just feels like listening and not participating. Like if people leave, he thinks we drove them out with the last song we played. That's not it at all. In fact I feel that's a little self centered. Sometimes people are in the mood where cheering the band on just isn't included. It's not all about the band. We're here for them, not the opposite. Sometimes we're ambiance, not the focus of anyone. I don't particularly prefer those gigs, but I do recognize when we are not the center of attention. I mean does the guy carving the roast beef expect accolades after cutting a slab of meat and placing it on your plate? In a way, we're in the same boat. We're there to make the guest's time an enjoyable one. It's wrong to expect anything from the guests. When it's going great, hey that's great, but if it's not, it does no good to blame anyone.
It's nothing anyone should take personally, sometimes people just aren't into hanging on the bands every word. Even if they don't participate, we still usually hear compliments on how good we sound. My point is, it's not about what the band wants, it's what the guests/audience are in the mood for. Sometimes being ignored is part of the job, and when that happens, I know it's not us, it's just the situation.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I have a theory that there has been a shift from group appreciation of music to a situation where most people listen to music in isolation. Like on headphones or in their car.
In the vinyl days, I would invite my friends over and put on a record. We would sit there and listen, check out the cover etc.
Now people listen to music while walking down the street etc. and doing other things. Most people's intersection with live music these days is purely incidental. Except for "enthusiasts" that go out to see specific bands.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I've been in a few of these situations over the years, which is why I'm really enjoying playing in a 50's band these days. The crowd are generally older, polite people who take dance classes. They start dancing the instant we start playing, they applaud each song, they thank us at the end of the night, they pay well, no-one gets drunk and starts fights, and we're finished by midnight.

The down side is that every song sounds the same - either like Rock Around The Clock or Johnny B Goode, but the great crowd reaction makes it worthwhile.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:16 PM
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I wouldn't complain too much. Sounds like a a good gig for your band. You did what you were hired to do. Today's youth suffer from attention deficit.
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Old 06-03-2016, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I do think it's kind of a bummer though to expect no audience interaction anymore. Things have changed. I remember the flap over Aerosmith's set at the Iheart Radio festival. They were rocking out, Steven Tyler was strutting his stuff and the band was sounding great, yet the kids looked bored and were all quietly recording the show with their phones. Is this the new expectation?
I think every band, even lite jazz dance bands would love to have a gig with some audience response. For me it's part of being a musician! Even if the gigs paid very well it would still leave me disappointed if we were ignored the whole night.

"This is a vip dinner for exclusive guests. They do not even acknowledge the outside world and the existence of 'riff raff'. The world are their servants. wE exist only to hand them caviar. You fellows are to enter though the tunnel in the floor from the utility cellar, out a hatch in the stage floor and just appear onstage with no fanfare. Pick up your instrument as quietly as possible, and play low level backround music. Do not look at anything, make eye contact with anyone, or even move excessively. Stand like a statue! If someone looks at you and says anything ignore them! Just stand and strum. Look straight ahead and focus on nothing! Try not to even blink! Play exactly this length then stop. Quietly with little movement open the hatch and re-enter the tunnel to the cellar. If a fire breaks out stay there and keep playing! If a man is choking let him die! If you are dying try to quietly move to the back and do it to of sight! If anyone of the guest even taps a finger absent mindedly to a rhythm you play you will be a disgrace to the lite jazz background community of music slaves we employ!"
"Um , yeah, I think we'll pass.."
"For a thousand dollars each, fellows?"
"We'll do it!!!!"
Just kidding! But still.. lol..
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:27 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

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I do think it's kind of a bummer though to expect no audience interaction anymore. Things have changed. I remember the flap over Aerosmith's set at the Iheart Radio festival. They were rocking out, Steven Tyler was strutting his stuff and the band was sounding great, yet the kids looked bored and were all quietly recording the show with their phones. Is this the new expectation?
No offense to Aerosmith, but I have to wonder how relevant they are to 20 somethings that are going to music festivals... I'm in my 30s, so I remember Get A Grip and Nine Lives, especially the music videos, but I didn't realize that they had released albums since then... and I'm from Boston, where they were worshipped.

Are 21 year old kids even going to know who they are, other than the three songs that are on constant rotation on classic rock/oldies radio? Is that type of music something that 21 year old kids even enjoy? This type of music peaked 10-20 years before these kids were born, and Aerosmith had a few hits in the 90s, but that's when these kids were born. I don't know how old you are, but if you saw the Andrews Sisters (or some band your parents liked) live when you were 21, would you have been jumping up and down, and cheering?


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Originally Posted by RockNGrohl View Post
I think every band, even lite jazz dance bands would love to have a gig with some audience response. For me it's part of being a musician! Even if the gigs paid very well it would still leave me disappointed if we were ignored the whole night.
I play with a ton of bands, in different genres (mostly jazz genres), and most crowds will respond to the music that we're playing. If we are playing at a bar or night club, people are always dancing or cheering. Young and old. But if I'm playing a charity dinner, I don't expect the same reaction. Also, if I'm playing Creative Music, or something more avant garde, I wouldn't expect the crowd to be dancing.

It can be a little disheartening sometimes to be hired as background music, but that's the job... think of it as a paid rehearsal. Or just have fun playing your instrument and cashing that huge check after.
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:35 PM
incrementalg incrementalg is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

Whether the crowd enjoys the band or not...who knows why. But I think hiring a band for some people might be a way to impress the guests. (especially when the gig is a house party or BBQ)

When I was 12 or so my band was hired to play a yard sale. The yard sale community and house wives in our area was competitive and hiring a band was definitely a way to one up the competition.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:52 PM
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RockNGrohl RockNGrohl is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

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No offense to Aerosmith, but I have to wonder how relevant they are to 20 somethings that are going to music festivals... I'm in my 30s, so I remember Get A Grip and Nine Lives, especially the music videos, but I didn't realize that they had released albums since then... and I'm from Boston, where they were worshipped.

Are 21 year old kids even going to know who they are, other than the three songs that are on constant rotation on classic rock/oldies radio? Is that type of music something that 21 year old kids even enjoy? This type of music peaked 10-20 years before these kids were born, and Aerosmith had a few hits in the 90s, but that's when these kids were born. I don't know how old you are, but if you saw the Andrews Sisters (or some band your parents liked) live when you were 21, would you have been jumping up and down, and cheering?
I know! I think the iHeart radio people were trying to be too diverse. Yes Aerosmith are in the R&R HOF but still. The festival had a lowercase "i" in it's name! lol.. It's just weird and jarring to me to see bands that have been relevant finally being irrelevant.
I guess Im too old school. It's sad to think of all the "legacy" bands we know of as being huge forever bands being "blah" to the next generation. Sting, U2, REM, the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Metallica.. thee will be kids who won't care.. But the music released in the '00's that all the music critics think is forgettable and lifeless and processed will be the new Beatles.. gah! I just bummed myself out. A Generation of millennial's with no music taste.. j/k.. I sure hope not!
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

Last summer we played an outdoor gig that was for the opening of a new community farm and event facility. The attendees were across the spectrum, from older folks, to boomers to a bunch of college kids. I saw and heard quite a bit of involvement from the college kids as well so I am not ready to say classic rock is not appreciated by the current crop of college kids. Would they have preferred something else? Perhaps.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:41 AM
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Purple Cobwebs Purple Cobwebs is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

Interesting thread. It always amazes me when there is a fantastic live rock band playing and no one dances. If I like the music then I'm up there dancing. It doesn't matter if I've had a drink or not, whether it's light or dark, or whether I'm the only one up there, once the music gets me I have to dance!
I'm no great shakes at dancing, I love a good headbang, and just go with the flow, but I've had more than one band thank me for it, and even ask if they could hire me to liven things up at future gigs LOL!!!!
Sometimes it just takes one person to get a few others interested and then the dance floor starts to fill.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:33 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

Its all about being professional, even if you are not a pro. I put everything I have into every gig, cos I love the music and I love playing. If its a full on Funk dance gig then perfect. If its a quiet wedding meal background thing then I put everything into making it the best one people have ever been to. I have learned to get more different sounds from my drums and cymbals during a quiet gig than at any full on concert. We played improv stuff for a theater group one night while they were also improvising to a script they had never seen before, we were feeding off them and vice versa. It was wonderful.

Its a gig, put your heart and soul into it. Even if its only you that enjoys it, its a job well done, and you never know who might be in the audience or wedding crowd.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:59 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

For me it's not the ones like unusual parties or events. You expect something different so you just do it. The money is still the same.

The oddest gigs I've done are weddings where people are just miserable or have never seen a band before. The biscuit winner was a wedding where we played the first dance and everyone went home so we were left playing to the venue staff plus there was a massive buffet at half time which we had all to ourselves.

You do question why you've been hired but if you have a wallet full of cash at the end of the night who cares. Be professional until you've left the venue.
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Odd Gigs - Why Hire a Band?

I'm sure that whoever booked your band at both of those gigs didn't expect it to go the way it did, I'm sure they wouldn't have paid you guys to play had they known nobody would give a shit whether you were there or not!

With the BBQ Pool Party gig it seems like whoever set it up might have gone overboard with the entertainment options for the party, it's hard for a band to beat a swimming pool (especially children) and BBQ!

With the University gig I'd imagine that the issue was the style of music you guys were playing, nothing against the songs y'all play but it's just not the type of music that's going to attract college students.

I'm guessing you got some BBQ from the first gig and got paid for both gigs so overall they definitely could have been worse! My guitar driven rock n roll party band played a "hipster" bar in downtown Austin a year or two ago and needless to say we didn't fit in at all, after 2-3 songs 80% of the crowd was outside smoking cigarettes!
The indie rock band that played after us played to a packed house!
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