So finally after all the hard work; mastering your instrument, writing songs, getting your sound together, get a band together, record a demo, have your pictures taken for the promo, figuring out a band name and lots of other stuff you never thought of in the first place, you managed to get a gig. The first step on the road to fame.
Screaming girls, mayhem, sex, drugs & rock n’roll, it’s all gonna happen. Well, as appealing as all of those things may sound to you. It is more likely that reality won’t be anything like that.
There is still a lot more of hard work to be done. For instance, in preparation, provide the venue with a technical rider. A technical rider contains in short; the equipment you use, how many band members there are and the layout of your stage setup. That’s enough to give the in house sound engineer an idea who he’s dealing with.
You probably heard the stories about all those excessive hospitality riders. That’s a totally different story, don’t even think about it.
If you don’t have a technical rider, have a look at popuniestageplan.nl Here you can create your own, it’s very easy to use.
So after many rehearsal sessions and many sleepless nights, the day of the gig is finally there. Make sure you’re on time, it’s not cool to be fashionably late. Be modest, you’re not a rock star (yet). And even if you are, people don’t like ass holes. So be kind.
If you’re the first or only band and lucky enough to do a sound check, here’s a lesson on sound check etiquette.
Set up your equipment but play as little as possible. The in house crew will appreciate it. There’s nothing worse than a bunch of guys jerking off on their instrument. When you have everything hooked up and you’re ready to play, just quickly check if everything is working properly. If you’re a guitar player like me, do a quick run through all the effects pedals and presets you’re using. Just a single strum for each different sound will be enough. If everything works, set your guitar aside and wait till everybody is finished and the sound engineer is ready to do the sound check. He will check all the instruments individually first . Don’t play or pick up your instrument until it’s your turn. When all the instruments are checked you can do a full sound check. When everybody’s happy, meaning the engineer as well as the band you’re good to go.
If you had an early get in time and sound check, there will probably be some time left before show time. One of the things you’ll be doing a lot when you’re playing in a band is waiting. And when you think you’re done waiting, there will be some more waiting.
After sound check there is usually time to eat. If you’re lucky food will be provided by the venue. If not, you can go out for pizza, Chinese or something else of your liking. Eating is one of the favorable things you can do while waiting. Another one you’ll soon find out, is drinking. But be careful with the alcohol, it may calm your nerves and it may kill time, but it can also kill your gig.
Entering the stage drunk is not something I’d recommend. Especially when it’s your first gig. It probably won’t have a positive effect on your performance. Although it might be highly entertaining.
I know, a lot of the shows with The LOO I played drunk. But yes, I’m that good, so I could get away with it…
But seriously, the first few gigs the waiting won’t be that bad, everything is still exciting. Don’t worry, enjoy the moment.
And finally after all the wait, there is only one thing left, play the best show you possibly can. Always give the best. Regardless how big or small the crowd is or how they respond. People come to see you, and are looking forward to have a good time. And if they’re there by chance or to see another band. That’s the only way to win them over. You can forget about all of the things I just mentioned, but not this one. Live by this rule, and before you know, you’ll have a solid fan base. Guaranteed!