We had a really excellent gig at the Canyon Inn in Salt Lake City this last weekend. In Stereo hadn’t played any shows for about a month and half so we were all rested, charged up and ready to rock! Let’s face it, live musicians are meant to play in front of live audiences and we were really stoked to be playing again. Because we had taken some time off we got together on Thursday and ran through a few songs to knock the rust off before the weekend. The extra practice really paid off because we played great all weekend long.
Playing a charity gig can be a fantastic way to do some good in your community and give you an excellent opportunity to do some band marketing. Every live musician is looking for as much exposure as possible to be able to market their band and music to as many people as they can reach. If your band gets the chance to play a charity benefit you should take a good look at the potential of reaching a large audience that you normally wouldn’t get to come to your regular shows.
The “rock band plays acoustic gig” format really came to popularity when MTV introduced the “Unplugged” concert series. The series began in the ’89/’90 season with a concert by Squeeze with Elliot Easton (of The Cars) and Syd Straw. From there the series took off, soon every live musician was working up an acoustic set of their music that they could play in smaller, more intimate concert settings.
When you’re preparing to play a gig, it’s extremely important to prepare for the unexpected. Murphy’s law seems to always rear it’s ugly head at a gig. Here are a few basic essentials every live musician can do to prepare for equipment problems and breakdowns at a gig.
Make sure you bring some basic tools. At the very minimum you should have a Leatherman Multi-Tool and a flashlight. It’s a really good idea to have a soldering iron as well. You can fill out your toolkit with the following:
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a band is getting people to come out and see you when you play. It’s not as big of a problem when you’re in a cover band that’s playing in clubs where there’s a regular crowd every weekend that enjoys music by live musician‘s. If you’re playing original music, it can be difficult to fill up a room consistently. Whatever type of band you’re in, there are a few methods you can use to get people out to your shows.
The first thing you need to do of course is network all of the bands friends and family. They’ll be your biggest source of quality audience because they should already like you, at least personally. In a lot of clubs you can set up a guest list to get family members in for free. It’s always nice when you can tell your family that you’ll get them in to see you for free and it’s a way to encourage them to show up knowing that they’ll be expected at the door. Continue reading “How To Get People To Come To Your Shows”