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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
:mad2: We took a chance on a place in Soho last night. In short, it sucked. The club wasn't even set up to have bands. They had no backline, so we had to bring everything including mics and stands. Most clubs provide a backline in NYC because hosting bands is a logistical nightmare. Load-in was moved from 7:30 with a soundcheck, to 10 with no soundcheck, to 10:45 in the middle of an open bar so it was next to impossible to get the gear in.

The crowd was there to drink and dance to songs they already knew. This is not the kind of crowd that wants to hear a postpunk/artrock band. The DJ was pretty unimaginative, and played essentially every song you might hear on pop radio in the cab ride to the club. We set up to blank stares. We're given one drink ticket.

We wait. But there is no backstage, greenroom, or band area. To sit down in this club, you have to order bottle service. We sit and are asked to get up. This is how you treat the people you've asked to come play your venue? Eventually the club's promoter gets us a table and a bottle. Its 11:55.

12:00. We're told to get up from the table and go play.

The club is packed and dancing to the DJ (some Rhianna-AC/DC mash-up). Guy comes to the front of the stage and does a countdown with his fingers (10...9...8...) Really?!?! The music dies down. My guitarist introduces us and says "Don't worry. This will all be over very soon." This is not what he says to us, but the agitated crowd. As he says this, something fails, and we're left to make rumbling noise as he runs to the booth to talk to the sound guy.

12:03 Guitarist returns.

12:05 Perhaps this was not the best time to open with a mid-tempo song about rape in a ten time signature.

After that, things go from bad to worse. More equipment seems to malfunction. The "stage" didn't have enough power to support a band. The crowd were not amused, as we weren't playing club bangers they recognized.

Five songs down, two to go. What's that? Oh, only one more? Ok, fine.

We race to break down and get the gear "offstage" so they can set up more tables. People swarm the area before we finish doing this. Load-out was unpleasant to say the least.

We limp offstage to find that, whilst the crowd was ignoring us, they also drank our complimentary bottle.

The promoter thanks us, informs us he can't pay us, and asks if we're going to hang out. We say we're going to leave. He coaxes us to stay by offering us a new bottle.

Two tables are set up on the "stage." One for us and one for Nas and his crew.

Nas is not interested in talking with the art rock band. Nas wants to hear club bangers.

Nas's bottle comes. Ours does not.

Our single had just come out on vinyl and the other guitarist decides to give one to Nas. "Which one is he?" "The one in the Mets hat." He gives it to the guy next to him in the Yankees hat. Its okay, he's from Argentina.

I leave and head back to Brooklyn. Its 2a.m. and I've got to be up for work at 5:00.
 

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Shirtcocker
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Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain. He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's Going to get a big dish of beef chow mein
 

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On the bright side, at least there was no possible way you could get lost on your way from the dressing room to the stage.
 

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still shedding season
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The glamourous life of a rockstar... :)

Different world in NYC. We'd never have a band in this town on a Monday and other than a very few times playing basically a showcase deal, have never had backline provided. And a band like yours would have a tough time.

The rest of the stuff, yeah - lots - and two years ago I hung it up after a lot of years. Yeah, nights like this just are a lot of fun. :rolleyes: I remember hearing about some areas that are "pay to play" (rather than getting paid, wtf?) - at least it never got that way here.
 

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only a musician

knows that feeling
BTDT brother, really bad gigs are there to remind you how good a really good one is
if you are in NY why didn't you check the venue before booking/playing it?

wait til you are on a national tour and the money they're supposed to pay will feed you and get you to the next town. (ahh Dallas)

just for you

 

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A brave bar band doing all original material unless you're on home turf and/or have a decent following. I've seen bar bands get the cold shoulder for sneaking 2 or 3 originals into a 3 hour gig at places where the crowd is there to dance.
 

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where's the

and I had to sleep on somebodies floor that was a beer and bong water stained carpet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
atpjunkie said:
knows that feeling
BTDT brother, really bad gigs are there to remind you how good a really good one is
if you are in NY why didn't you check the venue before booking/playing it?

wait til you are on a national tour and the money they're supposed to pay will feed you and get you to the next town. (ahh Dallas)

just for you
We agreed to do this gig as a favor. I did call ahead to the venue since backline info was not on the website; the first sign something was wrong. "I looked on your website and didn't see any backline information. Could you tell me what you have for a backline?" "What we have for a what? I don't understand." That was the second sign.

We had discussed canceling the gig. But we have a new bass player and a record release on Wednesday. Wanted him to have at least one show under his belt before then. Unfortunately, I don't think last night's gig boosted his confidence.

I've been screwed over so many times on national tours. I've learned the trick is to always have a rider listing what you expect and what the club is willing to provide, as well as how you are to be paid. It also helps to have a good booking agent, and a tour manager who can straighten things out when things differ from what's in the contract. In lieu of a tour manager, your most obnoxious, loudmouthed friend will work. I was playing in a band from Memphis, and we actually had to wait all night at a club in Toronto while the promoter sold drugs so that he could pay us what we'd agreed.

Locally, we usually just deal with it all ourselves. But when things go wrong, there's not a person there to act as a buffer between us and the promoter or club. When we have to deal with it ourselves, we get pi$$y. When we get pi$$y, we're not going to play well.

Oh well, we'll just put the club and promoter from last night in the "never again" pile.
 

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chasea said:
... always have a rider listing what you expect and what the club is willing to provide, as well as how you are to be paid. It also helps to have a good booking agent, and a tour manager who can straighten things out when things differ from what's in the contract. In lieu of a tour manager, your most obnoxious, loudmouthed friend will work. I was playing in a band from Memphis, and we actually had to wait all night at a club in Toronto while the promoter sold drugs so that he could pay us what we'd agreed.
...

Oh well, we'll just put the club and promoter from last night in the "never again" pile.
yep to both points... if you hadn't posted those I was about to gently urge you in that direction.

link to your site?
 

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kykr13 said:
We'd never have a band in this town on a Monday and other than a very few times playing basically a showcase deal, have never had backline provided.

^^^^^ this ^^^^^^


Hell, most smaller clubs back in my gigging days didn't even provide the frontline.


Kids these days are spoiled rotten I tell ya. :D


/edit: OP's followup explains a lot.
//still think they're spoiled. :D
 

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Opus was just napping
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If there wasn't a fence to break the bottles into debris before they hit you in the head...you are complaining for nothing.
 

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weltyed said:
you oughta write a song about the woes of being in a rock band.
Start out on some highway somewhere east of Omaha.
At that point listen for the engines for a lesson on music.
Since it is the 21st century write about your meeting Adam Lambert.

Kvetch about spending so much time on a bus while forgetting the workaday stiff that has to work for a living and not biatch about an hour and a half a night on stage.

Add catchy chorus. (should have something to do with playing the same song over and over again that you are tired of, while forgetting that the people paying 87.50 a tix + processing fees PAY TO HEAR YOU PLAY THE DAMN HITS)

Get paranoid about your male pattern baldness as you walk into Ruth's Chris on a warm night the kind that non HTFU riders won't suit up and race in because the ozone is orange.
Pretend their staring at someone else as you remind yourself to bring it up to your psychiatrist at your next session.

Hear voices in your head (tell your shrink about those too).
Sometimes you can't.
Remind yourself that you are all man and that baldness is due to extra testerone.

Catchy chorus...(we don't understand how being a star is tough).

Work really hard on stage but don't mention that everyone is paying like 87.50 for even the cheap seats now adays because you wanted a stadium tour so no one can really see you so you look like...shall we say a million miles away?
You sweat like a pig because you are using special effects and lighting to distract the audience from your limited musicality but you have big fluffy white bathrobes after the show like the kind you get at the fountainbleau.

Later that night as you contemplate your loss of hearing.
Remember that while you would like a cigarette the rest of the band explicitly went non-smoking for the bus (and got into yoga.)
Remember what Adam Lambert said.

Catchy Chorus...

repeat fade.
 

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Think of it this way: if they had provided a backline the experience probably would have been even worse.
 

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hit it
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Awesome.

Next time pack an emergency 6 pack in with your gear. If the club owner / mgr whines about it, tell him that you are the band, not his customers nor his staff. BTDT
 
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