First gig with new band


Platinum Member
Report card for those who were following the story (detailed in this thread)... finally had my first gig last night with my new band. And it was a blast. But as with all first gigs, there is a story...

My first gig with this band was supposed to have been last Saturday, at a venue about an hour from where I live. However, the nasty blizzards that were socking the Northwest last week chose that day to dump two feet of snow in the area, making it a dicey proposition for the band to try and travel to the gig (and the two guitarists would have an extra hour on top of that because they live a bit further out). So we reluctantly decided to cancel the gig and put all our eggs in another basket - Friday, Dec. 17th, at a local coffeehouse-slash-live music venue that can fit in a few more people than the term "coffeehouse" might connote. Unfortunately, the only rehearsal I would have for this gig is the one that we did prior to the gig that didn't happen - which meant I had played with this band only twice before. And there were at least three songs that I had never played before, that the leader, Michael, wanted me to play on - one with the band and two with the opening act, another local singer/songwriter for whom Michael had been producing a six-song EP. Oh, did I mention that I had to go out of town for two days, and would arrive back in town just before the gig... and oh yes, Kate, the opening singer, had been off-and-on sick for two days, so our set list kept changing to potentially cover her time slot (in fact, I got the final song list after I got home). On top of all of this, a percussionist whom I'd never before met would be playing with us tonight.

So I got to the venue about two hours prior, we loaded in, set up, and did some soundchecks, which served the dual purpose of running through the songs I didn't know (I had listened to them once and made some quick chart notes on my playlist). Then it was showtime. The bass player for the band is a monster player, and he and I pretty much fed off each other all night. When he was grooving, he rocked into it and it pumped me up. And not a single dropped stick or equipment malfunction all night, which was nice.

It wasn't all perfect - - this band hadn't rehearsed as a unit (not even considering the "new guy") in weeks or months, and towards the end it got pretty loosey-goosey. but all in all, we had a respectable showing and there were certainly some very good, musical, deep moments.

Considering how we have some work to do to finish gelling, I won't be posting any video quite yet (I know how I would feel as the bandleader if we had what I considered a subpar show and I found a band member posting a video of it). However, I do have some photos... which at least show us having a good time. Thanks for your comments and encouragement.



Staff member
Huge kudos for your "can do" attitude. So often that I hear wining about this wasn't right, or that wasn't quite perfect. Band looks like they're getting into the show, & your kit looks great up there. Awaiting sound clips/video with interest!


Platinum Member
Thanks, KIS. Just got emailed the set list for our upcoming 3-hour set (!) at a local ski resort. My wife promises she will get some decent video, and the bandleader is pretty adamant that we will have several rehearsals to iron out the rough spots and get a few more songs under our belts (to include some fun covers).

One of the great things about this band is the exposure to all the different genres of music I get to play.... sort of a crash course in American music over the last 75 years, with a soupçon of Latin styles thrown in there (a couple of different cumbias, some Colombian electro-pop, and a scalding fast Mexicali ska number that is winding to play). So it continues to be challenging and interesting... exactly what I'd hoped for!


Platinum Member

Hey, you look happy, Al. Glad it all worked out! You ok with the crash up there and the low ride? You obviously are.. unusual.



Silver Member
That last pic kinda sums it up, eh? Big smile!

I'm with KIS on the kudos for the can do attitude - we're not performing rocket surgery here, play music, have fun!

Great to hear you're digging the band, looking forward to clips after a couple rehearsals.



Platinum Member
...You ok with the crash up there and the low ride? You obviously are.. unusual.
Well yes, but not just for my cymbal placement. The crash has to be up a scoche because I keep splashes tucked in fairly close to the hi-hat (in this case, just one). The bell of the ride is actually about level with the top of my rack tom, and my FT is level with my snare, making for a pretty solid square base to my setup/playing style. Likewise the other crash has to be up to deconflict with the china and the cowbells on the right. It works out for me, in any case.

@jer - Smiling is kind of a new thing for me while I play, my wife has been bugging me for years to smile more onstage. "You always look so serious!" But for several reasons, the smiles seemed to come naturally at this gig...!