Is There A Doctor In the House?

Most of the blogs I read concerning bands and gigs prep and behavior are aimed at gigs with multiple bands performing, and are aimed at making transitions between acts “hassle and stress free.”  Important stuff for sure!  But most of the gigs we play are just us, no one opening and no one following.  So, I decided to try and compose an article aimed at single act performances.  And with that in mind, here we go! 

I recently read this in an article:  … there is no such thing as ‘just another gig’!  That is probably the MOST important thing ANY band can remember!  EVERY gig is important.  It doesn’t matter if you’re playing to five people or five hundred.  They’ve come out to have a good time, and if you’re really lucky, they’ve come out to see YOU!  Do your homework!  Ask the venue owner if there is something special they wish to promote: An anniversary, a birthday, a product, even an upcoming band!  That venue owner’s future is also YOUR future!  Do it right, do you’re homework!
BE PREPARED!  This is not just for Boyscouts!  Before going into a club, make sure you know the “lay of the land!”  If possible, visit the venue to scope out several important things: Stage area, available power, electrical interference possibilities (neon lights, venue’s cooler proximity, etc.), speaker and/or lighting placement area, cord and cable run (is anyone going to be stepping on them), wedge placement (any danger of an “over-beverage-consuming-patron tripping over them).  There are many obvious considerations to be examined, so it’s best to make a list of potential problems, and try to eliminate them.  This is especially important if visiting the venue prior to a gig is not possible.

If visiting the venue prior to the gig is not possible, make sure to be ready for any situation that may arise!  Always carry “ground lifts.”  These are an S&L person’s best friend!!  Make sure you have extra mic, instrument and speaker cables! Cables are notorious for failing when you least expect it, even if they’re new!  And be ready for distance from the power sources!  Have several extension chords of various lengths. 

Carrying doubles of everything is really something most musicians can’t afford!  So, to that end there’s a musician’s most valuable asset – Duct Tape!  When you aren’t able to get a mic or speaker stand to stay in a raised position - Duct Tape!  When a mic clip breaks, (and that does happen), - Duct Tape!  Long cable runs from stage to sound-board with no way to hide them – Duct Tape!  Duct Tape is really a HUGE problem solver, so always carry some!

Well, I’ve addressed only a few items for now.  I’ll talk about more in the next post.  The best thing to do is simply remember “Murphy’s Law!”  Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong!  

Now, go out and have a great show!