I learned a lesson yesterday.
By The Horse
Pleasant Hill, California
December 11, 2017 9:17am CST
My friend Michael and I played two music gigs yesterday, one at an old folks home, and one at a large private party for a business. Three of our band mates (from the Diablo Rhythm Wranglers) couldn't make it to the old folks home, so Michael and I handled it by ourselves. It was the best gig we'd ever done there. Later, at the provate corporate party, we both played as a part of Durt Cheap, a Country band headed up by a friend who takes things way too seriously. He treats our gigs like "performances" (he comes from an acting background) and has a hard time "lightening up." Witty banter between band mates is discouraged, as is communication with the audience by anyone but him. The second gig went fine, but it didn't have the "mojo" of the first gig. In the first gig, Michael and I were relaxed, engaged the older folks, and even had some of them up dancing or coming up and "singing" with us. What I learned was that if you are relaxed, and engage the audience as if they're participants, things are way more fun, both for the audience and those playing. I even managed to make the leader of the second band mad at me, because I sometimes "pretend start" out-of-context songs like "Hey Joe" or "Sunshine of your Love" between songs to get the audience laughing. That wasn't OK with him. Can you think of certain bands that make you feel like a part of something fun. And others that are "too stiff"? Maybe the same thing applies in day-to-day life. We can't be "silly" all the time. But we can't be overly-serious either.
19 people like this
• Paradise, California
I like it when there is interaction with the audience, especially with certain kinds of music. It's a type of chemistry. I think what you did with the "false starts" is funny. I would have enjoyed it - it sounds like the guy just is kind of a control freak. I hope you don't have to work with him too much. Maybe he's also jealous because that doesn't come naturally to him.
5 people like this
• United States
For the life of me, even though they were my favorite band in the 70s and I saw them twice, I cannot see anyone paying the ridiculous prices the Eagles are charging for a concert. They said that Rolling Stone once accused them of "loitering" onstage, and it was true both times I saw them. And Don Henley? Man, I think he has the absolute best voice in rock and roll, but you talk about someone who needs a chill pill!?!? Fans (and I'm talking about people who idolize the guy) said that he kicked a guy out of a Detroit show because the guy mentioned Don Felder's name and Henley heard it. He hired extra security to go through the crowd and see if anyone had a cell phone. And my favorite story about his recent solo tour: he said he didn't know if he'd have time to do the scheduled encore because they were close to the time limit and he only had ten minutes left, then he launched into this long story about one of the songs on his album. A fan yelled, "Ten minutes, Don?" (translated: "How about shutting up and singing if you've gotta be out of here in 10 minutes?"), and Henley snapped back, "Hey, this is MY f-ing show." I remember when I saw him on the Perfect Beast tour in 1985 it was very stiff, as if anyone was afraid to go off script. And people say Henley has a great sense of humor. He sure as hell doesn't show it onstage.
• Anniston, Alabama
Yes, I helped with promotion for a band like that, always to serious, once the lead could not come so the band played anyways and that night it was fun! I think the guys that are to serious needs to actually go to a real concert and see how its done. Music is supposed to be fun and not like you will get kicked out for talking. Sometimes when I go into an office and I see the same lady each month but on this day she seems sad or tired I often will come off with some joke, if the place is full I will always say " We have to stop meeting like this each month, people are gonna talk."
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
Yes. I dig a guy, Stuart Davis. I've probably seen him about 20 times. He plays coffee shops and intimate venues. Jokes aplenty every show, takes requests from little kids, even if he has already played the song. Basically, he puts on quite a show.
• Pleasant Hill, California
Yeah, I'm really in his band because he gets gigs, which means $60 or so every other weekend, and it gives me experience working on my guitar and mandolin and being in front of an audience. I prefer playing with more experienced and less rigid musicians.
I take it you won't be doing another gig with this band leader? I'm thinking if the composition of the audience was the reason. "corporate" means executive bosses who would like to keep it formal. Like the food servers and busboys, the band was just hired help.