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  #1  
Old 02-22-2017, 09:31 PM
Lee-Bro Lee-Bro is offline
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Default The straight 4-hour gig.

So there's a club here in town where the bands playing Friday & Saturday night play a straight 4-hour gig, no breaks. The sets they play are all dance songs, no slow stuff. I've also noticed a few other clubs doing this in the region lately.

Without this turning into a conversation about what sets "normally" are, I'd like to hear from those of you who are playing a straight 3+ hours w/o taking breaks.

Are you using tracks on a couple of songs, does someone else take over the kit now & then, are you wearing Depends, etc?
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2017, 09:36 PM
funkutron
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Wow, tell me what town that is and I'll avoid it like the plague! I gotta have breaks man, or I'd die!
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:40 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Sounds very strange.

They have special stage toilet, or something?

I guess the norm when I gigged was either 3x60 mins or 4x45 mins. If the people hadn't come out yet we'd wait a bit, though. There was a time when the club would be halfway filled up by around 9.00, but soon it changed to people not really showing up until midnight and completely wasted, too.
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
Sounds very strange.

They have special stage toilet, or something?

I guess the norm when I gigged was either 3x60 mins or 4x45 mins. If the people hadn't come out yet we'd wait a bit, though. There was a time when the club would be halfway filled up by around 9.00, but soon it changed to people not really showing up until midnight and completely wasted, too.
This. And it better pay National Tour wages......

There is a gig we used to do every year that we played two 30 song sets plus some crap at the end depending on who was still standing.....and I prepared for them like I did mountain bike races.....plenty of electrolytes as it became an endurance athletic event....

Odd format.....
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Never seen that, never done it, would never agree to that. How much are these bands getting paid?
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:23 PM
Groov-E Groov-E is offline
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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Never seen that, never done it, would never agree to that. How much are these bands getting paid?
Does the drummer get to stand up at some point or does he really stay seated for 4 hours straight ?

I would not mind the four hour gig, but I need to stretch them legs at some point !

I had a friend of mine who started developping hemorroids while studying for bar exams. The doctor told him the probable cause was prolongued sitting periods. Needless to say he got slightly better results that yours truly, but at what cost !

Let's respect our bodies folks.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:25 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

The bread would have to be silly for me to take more than 5 seconds considering that, let alone do it.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Have played for four straight hours before, once, because we were hired for a private function and were all having so much damn fun.

Doing that regularly would be brutal, though. I'd be up for it if the money was there, but you'd really want to ability to sub players out for bathroom breaks in the middle..
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

You know, as a musician, I feel that I'm not being squeezed quite hard enough. I think it's about time that they attempt to take our breaks away. I have to wonder what took them so long. <end sarcasm>

I bet the same people that do these gigs have to pay to play as well lol.
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Old 02-23-2017, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

I've not done four hours, but I did a three-and-a-half-hour Zeppelin set in December. I came off for That's the Way, Going to California, Since I've Been Loving You and Custard Pie, but since only two of those were consecutive the longest time I was off the stage was less than fifteen minutes.
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Old 02-23-2017, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Haven't done that, and would normally not accept such a gig unless the pay was great. I think the longest I've played without a short break was 90 minutes, and happily, that's an infrequent gig.

But I did see one place where the entertainment played straight, I guess for 4 hours. They traded off players, and it was essentially non-stop - changeovers took maybe 20 seconds.

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Old 02-23-2017, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Have had to do this several times in the Harrisburg, PA area. A certain club where some of the workers become undressed type of place if you catch my drift. We had to do 9 pm till 1 am straight. No breaks. It was rough but had a good time with it. I tried to stay as hydrated as possible but not so much I had to pee every 5 minutes. I recommend a fan, that helped me stay cooler without needing lots of water. We went straight into the next song as much as possible to prevent breaks in music. It is definitely tiring, I was drained after loading the car at the end of the night, but the pay is incredible. We won't be back though... at the end of the night they asked all entertainers to head back to the dressing rooms, and apparently that doesn't include the musicians. They should have be more specific... just kidding, but I considered trying it and playing dumb. Anyway, good luck! It doesn't hurt to have someone that can play drums for one or two songs to save for when you need a bathroom break. Usually when I play though, I don't even notice if I have to go or not. I just hope that warm liquid on my legs is sweat after!
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

I would need a whole lot of money for that.

My capacity is 90 minutes, plus or minus.

Not only is the bathroom a significant need, but 4 hours would, I'm pretty sure, break my back into multiple pieces.
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Ridiculous. Slave labour.
In my country it is LAW you get a break long before 4 hours ....at any job.
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

I can do 2 hours without blinking an eye, but 4 is excessive.
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Old 02-23-2017, 03:25 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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Ridiculous. Slave labour.
In my country it is LAW you get a break long before 4 hours ....at any job.
In the US, freelance music gigs aren't normally covered under any kind of employment regulations.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:07 AM
dboomer dboomer is offline
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

I'm guessing that no one in the band is drinking beer while playing ;)
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2017, 04:11 AM
funkutron
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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You know, as a musician, I feel that I'm not being squeezed quite hard enough. I think it's about time that they attempt to take our breaks away. I have to wonder what took them so long. <end sarcasm>

I bet the same people that do these gigs have to pay to play as well lol.
Now the Republicans are affecting US! It's probably the doing of the Koch Brothers or some sh-t! When are we going to get out in the STREETS and DEMAND a better deal?! I just saw that movie Braveheart again...."Don't you want to lead your troops onto the field and barter a better deal with Longshanks, before you tuck tail and RUN???!!" Where are our BALLS anymore!??? If I had to piss, I'd walk off stage and piss right on the damn ground right in front of the damn club owner! NO man rules ME!, as long as I live! And I don't give a damn if I DIE either, Id rather DIE for FREEDOM, real FREEDOM, just like William Wallace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Every Man DIES, not every man really LIVES!!!!" F-ck our Corporate MASTERS!!! I'd take them all to the GUILLOTINE, and I'd be HAPPY to release the blade MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by funkutron; 02-23-2017 at 01:33 PM.
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  #19  
Old 02-23-2017, 04:34 AM
Lee-Bro Lee-Bro is offline
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

The club here in town is in a popular area and tends to appeal to younger crowds on weekend nights and they want to keep people dancing.

I've reached out to a couple of the bands who play there frequently to see how they arrange things to keep from dying and I'll keep you all posted.
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  #20  
Old 02-23-2017, 05:07 AM
brentcn brentcn is online now
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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Originally Posted by Lee-Bro View Post
The club here in town is in a popular area and tends to appeal to younger crowds on weekend nights and they want to keep people dancing.

I've reached out to a couple of the bands who play there frequently to see how they arrange things to keep from dying and I'll keep you all posted.
Same thing with a club nearby, except it's 3 hours, not 4. The club is new, and they pay better than any other club around. Young crowd, gotta keep em entertained.

After 2 hours straight, I told the singer I'd be back in 2 min. While I was walking and stretching, the singer did a couple tunes solo/acoustic. I took 10 min.

The real issue is that when breaks are long, people do tend to leave, if they're not your friends and/or your band is not famous/commercially successful. The biggest issue is making sure the DJ is ready to pump the tunes the moment the band is ready for a break. Silence does not sell drinks.
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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Same thing with a club nearby, except it's 3 hours, not 4. The club is new, and they pay better than any other club around. Young crowd, gotta keep em entertained.

After 2 hours straight, I told the singer I'd be back in 2 min. While I was walking and stretching, the singer did a couple tunes solo/acoustic. I took 10 min.

The real issue is that when breaks are long, people do tend to leave, if they're not your friends and/or your band is not famous/commercially successful. The biggest issue is making sure the DJ is ready to pump the tunes the moment the band is ready for a break. Silence does not sell drinks.
The BIGGEST issue is when are we going to stand up to these bean-counting B-stards!???!!! I'd rather DIE than kiss their damn BUTTS!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:27 PM
brentcn brentcn is online now
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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The BIGGEST issue is when are we going to stand up to these bean-counting B-stards!???!!! I'd rather DIE than kiss their damn BUTTS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yup. But, here's the thing: the strategy works. The place is still nearly full at 1:30, and the bar sales are up. We even got a raise (which has never happened to me ever).

But 4 hours is just musician abuse. Springsteen doesn't play that long! There's a couple things you can do, though. Inform the club that you'll be taking a couple breaks (but DO NOT announce it over the mics!). The moment you all end a song, hit "play" on the ipod, and walk off. When you walk back on stage, begin playing the moment the ipod music stops. The club just wants constant music so nobody gets bored and decides to leave, and this is pretty easy to do.
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

4 hour straight gig, balls to that. Someone is extracting the urine. Best course of action is chuck a pair of drumsticks at whoevers bright idea it was and watch them play for 4 hours.

Unless I was getting a ridiculous amount of cash I wouldn't touch that with a barge pole.

Even with the best technique in the world 4 hours is going to really take it out on you physically even in perfect conditions i.e. no lights, nice fan. Plus there's the wear and tear on your equipment.

I have to do x3 1 hour sets occasionally and they're tough especially with travelling thrown on top.
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Old 02-23-2017, 03:34 PM
brentcn brentcn is online now
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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I have to do x3 1 hour sets occasionally and they're tough especially with travelling thrown on top.
This is pretty typical for a club, wedding, or corporate event. (If there's travel involved, then usually a meal is provided for the band, plus lodging if necessary.)

I've heard of bands that collectively take no breaks, but rotate members and switch instruments so that, over the course of a gig, every member can sit out a handful of tunes. It'd be cool to switch over to bass or guitar or keys for a couple numbers each night.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:05 PM
Chollyred Chollyred is offline
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

I'd need this setup for a 4 hour set...And when someone said "That drummer stinks!" it wouldn't be because of ability!

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Old 02-23-2017, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
This is pretty typical for a club, wedding, or corporate event. (If there's travel involved, then usually a meal is provided for the band, plus lodging if necessary.)

I've heard of bands that collectively take no breaks, but rotate members and switch instruments so that, over the course of a gig, every member can sit out a handful of tunes. It'd be cool to switch over to bass or guitar or keys for a couple numbers each night.
x2 1 hour sets is the norm for weddings clubs and functions (For us anyways). Most places have a noise license until midnight and I can't think of any late venues that have bands anymore. They've died the death.

x3 1 hour sets of high tempo stuff when it's hot is a recipe for disaster. Nothing quite like wringing the sweat out of your shirt at the end of the night :) Good old dehydration!

Would be cool to switch instruments which we do occasionally but we're only a 4 piece so it's all hands on deck. The more people in the band the less money you're earning.

The food side of it nice and it's what we score weddings on (Army marches on its stomach). My build your own burger (Venison/Cheese/Bacon) attempt in 2015 has yet to be topped pardon the pun. I don't stay at gig if I can help it. The 18 year old in me says lets get wasted but I'd rather get back to the missus and my bed.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:10 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

If it's under 4h, it's not a Springsteen concert.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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Yup. But, here's the thing: the strategy works. The place is still nearly full at 1:30, and the bar sales are up. We even got a raise (which has never happened to me ever).

But 4 hours is just musician abuse. Springsteen doesn't play that long! There's a couple things you can do, though. Inform the club that you'll be taking a couple breaks (but DO NOT announce it over the mics!). The moment you all end a song, hit "play" on the ipod, and walk off. When you walk back on stage, begin playing the moment the ipod music stops. The club just wants constant music so nobody gets bored and decides to leave, and this is pretty easy to do.
Well, that's different! But no bathroom breaks, I mean COME ON! I'd pee my pants! I've got type II diabetes, I just can't go that long without peeing!
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Crazy. That won't last even for a determined club owner unless this is some planned rotation thing where keys keep playing during player change outs. Most i ever played was just over 2 hours...BUT it was planned / payed well. it felt a noticeable energy lag around 90 minutes. 4 hours is just extreme marathon territory.
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:11 PM
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x2 1 hour sets is the norm for weddings clubs and functions (For us anyways). Most places have a noise license until midnight and I can't think of any late venues that have bands anymore. They've died the death.

x3 1 hour sets of high tempo stuff when it's hot is a recipe for disaster. Nothing quite like wringing the sweat out of your shirt at the end of the night :) Good old dehydration!

Would be cool to switch instruments which we do occasionally but we're only a 4 piece so it's all hands on deck. The more people in the band the less money you're earning.

The food side of it nice and it's what we score weddings on (Army marches on its stomach). My build your own burger (Venison/Cheese/Bacon) attempt in 2015 has yet to be topped pardon the pun. I don't stay at gig if I can help it. The 18 year old in me says lets get wasted but I'd rather get back to the missus and my bed.
Dehydration, yeah....the Summers here in Spokane are so hot, I've done outdoor gigs WITH breaks, and because I was drinking (free) beer instead of water, I wound up with heatstroke....I was "fading out" from low blood pressure, and everything was going white, like when someone dies in the movies! But pretty much nothing can kill me, I've learned!
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

I played a non-stop 5 hour gig once. The other bands drummer didn't show so I volunteered to cover. Why not? The music was set for transition songs where band members switch out on the fly.

I drank nearly nothing. It was a chilly outdoor October gig. I stood up a lot between songs. I could have kept going another 5 hours if I had to.

Would NOT do on the regular. 90 minutes is about where I like to be at the most.



Probably about 2500 people in and around the tent. That level of excitement calls for bringin da funk non stop!
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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Originally Posted by funkutron View Post
Now the Republicans are affecting US! It's probably the doing of the Koch Brothers or some sh-t! When are we going to get out in the STREETS and DEMAND a better deal?! I just saw that movie Braveheart again...."Don't you want to lead your troops onto the field and barter a better deal with Longshanks, before you tuck tail and RUN???!!" Where are our BALLS anymore!??? If I had to piss, I'd walk off stage and piss right on the damn ground right in front of the damn club owner! NO man rules ME!, as long as I live! And I don't give a damn if I DIE either, Id rather DIE for FREEDOM, real FREEDOM, just like William Wallace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Every Man DIES, not every man really LIVES!!!!" F-ck our Corporate MASTERS!!! I'd take them all to the GUILLOTINE, and I'd be HAPPY to release the blade MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the republicans? so they are now responsible for bathroom breaks and type2 diabetes? holy cow man, you don't need a gig you need therapy.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

"don't you know there ain't no devil, it's only god when he's drunk."- tom waits

I'm the Devil when I'm drunk! That's what my posts look like when I've been drinking! LOL! I was wondering when someone was going to comment on that! Just trying to stir things up! I'm a troublemaker, I am!
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

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"don't you know there ain't no devil, it's only god when he's drunk."- tom waits

I'm the Devil when I'm drunk! That's what my posts look like when I've been drinking! LOL! I was wondering when someone was going to comment on that! Just trying to stir things up! I'm a troublemaker, I am!
yea man, I don't post well when drunk either, so I quit posting! after all it was getting in the way of the drinking. all kidding aside, take care of yourself I ain't gonna preach, but type 2 and drinkin' well you know. be well.
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Every time that I start to think that unions are a dinosaur and no longer needed, you see stuff like this.

This is NOT ok.

We've all pulled some long sets before, but to try and make it the norm is awful. I don't know what these bands are getting paid, but they should not be agreeing to that.

For some functions, I've played a 2 hour set, but those usually pay exceptionally well, and it's just a 2 hour show.

Also, once when I was very young I played a six hour set, because no one in the band knew if we were supposed to stop or not. Eventually the owner came over and asked why we didn't take any breaks lol


There's no reason to expect a band to work that long without any breaks, and the bands that agree to that are hurting themselves and other groups, as they are essentially making 4 hour sets the new norm in that town (or at least that club).
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Reminds me a bit of when we used to play the "Wonton circuit" in Seattle back in the 80's.....some of the Chinese club owners were really strict about breaks..."I no pay you to take BREAK, band boy!"...others were more cordial, and they'd buy the band a big Chinese meal afterwards, or take you into their office for a snort of coke! LOL!
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

4 hours isn't really that long to play if you've got the songlist for it.

I do not believe for a moment they wouldn't let you take 5 for a bio break, but even so, just do so before you start.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:19 PM
Chollyred Chollyred is offline
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

No way. No how....We went through a 3 hour rehearsal this past Saturday. I think I stood up and stretched once. (nobody's fault but my own). The past couple of days, I've been sore as all get out. While I might could do the full 4 hours, the pain afterward wouldn't be worth it.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

In order to do this, you absolutely MUST have a nice throne that doesn't make you balance weird, hurt your back, or your butt. It wasn't till I got my pork-pie memory foam that I was really able to do the long haul sessions.
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  #40  
Old 02-28-2017, 08:03 PM
BruceW BruceW is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 233
Default Re: The straight 4-hour gig.

Pretty sure that I'd have a very difficult time playing 4 hours without at least a couple 5 minute breaks, bathroom issues aside.

We occasionally have sets run close to 90 minutes, and once I get much past the 70 minute mark I'm not really playing to my ability, and am restricting anything extra, just to get through it. Assuming that we're playing the usual material, at the usual (often too fast, lol) pace.

We don't take long breaks in general, rarely more than 15 minutes. I'm pretty sure that if I had 5-6 minutes every so often to stand up, stretch, and give the ol'right arm a breather, I could probably make it work. Not that I'd want to often, but as others have suggested, if the money was right I'd give it a try.
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