I appreciate bands with your attitude because they are not competition for my band and what we are doing.
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I completely agree with RamStone. Having played 3 nights a week for the past 12 years — always for good money — I can tell you the formula does in fact work. I would rather ignore the odd request politely and continue with a good set than play every song on demand. Is that insulting? Yes and I meant it to be! To both the bands and the audience. When I was in that last cover band sometimes there were 50 to 75 people in this little tiny place but there times when we were in a sports bar playing for a dozen people and either way we got paid three to four hundred bucks.
How do the places like the latter even stay in business? Did we take the money at the of the night? Of course we did. End of story. I have played in a few places that were very decent to the bands and were set up for live music, i.
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I think the real problem lies within the attitude and structure of how live music is presented. If you go to a medium sized or arena sized venue that exists exclusively for music, the audience is their for the band s and not the drinking. Most people go to a bar mainly to drink. The music is secondary for the most part. What I believe should happen is for musicians and bands to get together and form coalitions within their cities and towns and find buildings such as warehouses that have open space for rent.
Next,set the spaces up like a concert venue. Of course they would have to find owners who were willing to deal with people aka the audience coming into the building. The musicians could get a good sized stage set up and pool lighting and sound resources. The musicians would have to do all the promoting but in some ways that could be an advantage because they would know it was being done.
Basically, do it the way actual concerts are done as opposed to just being a bar band. My creative impulses and money needs are served in other ways, thank goodness. I agree that musicians should approach the job in a professional manner as far as dress and set up and sound checks and be courteous and available to the patrons and bar staff.
They should play appropriate music for the venue at an appropriate volume, and keep playing up to the agreed upon stopping time if people are dancing.
All that is elemntary bar band stuff. Since I would never hang out in your dirty smokey bar with the urine smelling bathrooms, why should my friends? When I do a gig the money only flows one way. Coffee and water are fine. The open letter writer makes some good points staing the obvious, but if this is the tone he takes with his employees, band members, bartenders, whoever, I suspect his days running a bar, or any business , will be short. He deserves the same respect he gives.
Big Ed. Great peice of writing! It is the club and the bands responsibility to get the crowd there and stay and drink till closing! Bands should dress there best all the time, looking like u just climbed out of bed is a huge no no. Look like you are somebody and act like it too, be cool, respectful, treat everyone the way you would like to be treated! The Dawg.
House parties, private BYOB events in warehouses, backyards or barns and amazing musicians that are intelligent enough to understand the social dynamic and its implications ensure that those whom lack the ability, or intellect, to comprehend the relevance, and reverence, of live music will be consigned to the dusty pages of an ancient past.
The real trade secret is the fact that bands no longer need bars and nightclubs to promote their wares and a simple Facebook, YouTube, or Reverbnation page is really all that is needed to propel even the most mediocre talents into the Stratosphere. My simple advice for the club owner is to sell his establishment and buy an ice cream truck.
Your business acumen and understanding will be better suited for something like that and I hear the music is to die for. Welcome to the 21st Century musicians and entertainment professionals. Embrace, nurture and understand it. Maybe the Stratosphere has lowered with global warming. Steve W. This conversation has really spawned a variety of opinions and perspectives. Please check it out if you like. The article is good. Taking request could be tough for bands that only play their own material. Even if they know the song but have only played it once or twice I recommend not doing it.
It will probably be a train wreck and take away from the momentum. Jim Robbins. I agree that Clubs are just as responsible for Promotion as the Act; however; this is obviously a local Bar owner. Different conversation altogether. If you want to make music your business; then either make the most amazing; infectious; irresistible music ever — or make a Product that people want; that people want to keep coming back for. Your fan base is a brutally honest assessment of your success as an Artist. I would.
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Expecting the band to fill your club because you kind of pay them is like expecting a plumber to fill your club because you kind of pay him. I totally agree with the bar owner. As a lifelong musician and person who has hired hundreds of bands over the years I can tell you that nine out of ten musicians have no clue that Show Business is two words and that successful bands get it.
I think the band should be 1. GOOD 2. Great at marketing to their own fanbase.
Not marketing the bar. They are helping themselves more than the bar to collect the emails of their fans and keep their fans in the loop with newsletters and twitters and such. They USE the bar to collect more fans. Think of it that way. You get their email, you invite them to your next show.
We are a mutual aid society. It only bothers me when the bar underpays or is disrespectful. If I do my thing right, they make more money than they would have and they owe me a slice. Often enough they want to cheat the band. Players need to beware of exploiters. The Pour House in San Francisco, for example.
I learned my lesson there. One drink each. Aside from these hassles, I love making music. The bar owners are my customers.