What About Jim? - End of Summer Bash
We played for a block party in this past Saturday night. We still have a long wy to go, but this was definitely our best performance yet. The mix was sometimes good, and sometimes just OK (I'm doing it myself - not easy), and the music was fairly decent to quite good (if I do say so myself). I watched a tape of it and was overall very pleased. The crowd was very engaged - lots of dancing, foot tapping, head bobbing, singing along, cheering, kudos and free beer brought to the stage. Everyone seemed to have a great time and several people asked for cards, so hopefully we get some more gigs out of this one.
One of the neighbors liked us so much that they decided to share the experience with the local police. The police showed up and stayed around long enough to enjoy the last couple of songs. They actually seemed to enjoy it themselves. They didn't have to stop us, as we were just finishing up anyway (~10:30). They asked us to save them a beer and they would be back after their shift ended.
Anyway, we have sounded better each time out. We are getting much more confident and comfortable on stage and I think it shows. I invested in a wireless system and actually went out into the crowd. I snuck up and sat next to one woman who was sitting around the fire pit. We probably talked for about 30 seconds before she looked over and noticed that I was part of the band and actually playing guitar for the song she was tapping her foot to. She thought that was pretty cool. I walked around and let a few people strum my guitar while I fingered chords..... all and all a pretty good time.
It was funny, because everything started out kind of slow. It was like we were fighting to win everyone over. Finally, I just decided that I was going to have a great time regardless and proceeded to have the time of my life. As the night progressed, more and more people started to come up and dance and it was really a great feeling. I can't wait to play again.
Anyway, there's nothing on our book right now, although we are considering signing up for a battle of the bands contest. I'm not sure we're good enough to win, but I'm fairly confident that we could get through it without embarrasing ourselves. I'll continue to leave reviews after our performances.
PS. I don't think any of this would have been possible without Guitar Noise. I stumbled onto this site a little over a year ago (I think). I have learned so much about live sound (thanks to Wes and Lear and everyone else), effects, pedals and general performance advice. I have gained a lot of confidence and feel like I was somewhat prepared for what to expect during a live performance just by reading the gig reviews here. Bish's video clips were particularly helpful. And without the constant playing advice from all of the members, I'm sure I would not be playing live now.
Thanks for everyones help!
"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~
Finally, I just decided that I was going to have a great time regardless and proceeded to have the time of my life. As the night progressed, more and more people started to come up and dance and it was really a great feeling. I can't wait to play again.
Those words of wisdom are key, Jim. If the band is enjoying itself and not going through the motions, it's usually infectious.
Sounds like it was a wonderful time and wish I could have been there. You'll have to email me or PM me when something's up so we can put it in the newsletter for you.
Can't wait to hear about the next gig.
Excellent gig report. Can you put some video samples on YouTube or some such?
Always good to keep the local authorities happy.
I remember doing sound for a band during college, and they would sit around and try to figure out where in the set list the room went from "quiet beginning" to "tapping their feet" to "dancing and clapping". They'd argue about which songs would usually get the girls up dancing. Every night they'd tweak the set list, trying to find the perfect build-up. I also remember how they would change the set list on-the-fly in order to keep everyone on the dance floor. We didn't have a videotape of each (any!) gig, so there was a lot of trial and error. And of course, there were surprises every night.
So don't expect non-stop dancing from first song to last, and keep having fun. If you are enjoying yourselves on stage, your audience will enjoy your music even more.