I'm currently playing in a band that as a group lacks confidence. The band is comprised of 5 good friends and 3 of us have played together before in another band that did quite well locally. We were in our late 20's back then and took that band as far as we could. Played some pretty big stages in front of big audiences, and had our music briefly on the local radio, etc. Ironically we weren't that good. We had a good vibe and original songs that caught on and got people dancing. Musically though, we were pretty sloppy and raw. Flash forward a decade and we've added two other guys who had zero experience playing in bands or even with other musicians. When I think back to how we sounded at our first few practices, we have come a LONG way. We are to the point now where things are really coming together quickly and we are sounding quite good. In my opinion we are WAY better than the old band ever was. In the past year or so we have been the opening band several times for other acts. Usually other friend's bands. In each case we have literally stolen the show just playing one short set of high energy party dance music despite some mid song screw ups etc. It has been great and really inspiring for me but for the other guys it doesn't seem to motivate them. For them it seems like "Whew! Glad that's over." For some reason this group of guys is very resistant/afraid of playing live and it is causing us to stagnate musically and we are missing out on some great opportunities. We have about 30 songs that we can play decently enough but we are stuck trying to perfect a set of 10-12 songs and it is going no where. Every week we get together and work on the "set". Some songs we can nail in our sleep week after week so we "put them to bed" for awhile. Then one practice we pull them out again, lose focus and screw them up. This shatters any confidence we have gained and it's like we are constantly starting over. Also, inevitably something comes up each month, we miss a week here or there and we get further behind. One of the new guys in particular, has a somewhat self defeating attitude. Ironically he is one of our strongest players right now and seems to be practicing the most on his own. His negative comments spread to the other guys and there seems to be this attitude that "We suck" or we aren't a "real band" or we are some kind of joke. I am the lead singer and play rhythm guitar and I don't have any problems getting on stage and letting it rip most times. I'm not a great musician or singer but give it my all when I perform. I try my best to instil confidence in the others but I feel like they look at me like I'm a freak. Comments like "It's easy for you cuz you've done this so much before" etc. Admittedly I do have a bit of a history of not giving a sh!t and I'm totally comfortable making a fool of myself for a laugh. I don't do stupid or embarrassing things on stage but I guess it is possible that they are afraid that I might. We were just offered an opportunity to open for a very successful act at one of the better venues in our area. A performer who is coming in from out of town and happens to know a friend of a friend. Basically a friend of ours throwing us a big bone. We talked about playing this gig at our practice last night and it was almost comical to watch the anxiety it caused and the excuses that were formulated as to why we can't play it. Total groupthink. We've had other good opportunities to play as well and each time someone comes up with an excuse or finds something else to do that night and can't make it, etc. I've tried explaining that no matter how well rehearsed we become it doesn't guarantee anything. It's more about letting go and having fun on stage and playing with good energy. Our music is upbeat fun party dance music. Playing everything perfect isn't critical to the drunken crowds we are going play for anyway. You'd think the two other guys from the old band would remember some of our past experiences but they aren't helping. I've begun to record our practices and play them back and it sounds great. Everyone agrees on that but still there is lack of confidence. I think there is a serious problem with comparing ourselves to other bands and musicians and it is paralyzing us as a group. Everyone "says" they want to gig but we aren't moving forward at all. It's getting VERY frustrating. We've invested way too much time and energy to be stuck the way we are. We've semi-agreed that we are going to play an open mic night next week. I'm doubtful it's going to happen. Even if we do it's usually a pretty quiet place and I'm sure our rockin' party music is going to be very out of place which may cause even more issues. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.