Cover Band Flops

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by BigBadOrange, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. FusionRock

    FusionRock Member

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    Why I'm at the point where I don't care if I play out anymore. EVERYBODY is on their cell phone. (You see this at concerts even during the headlining act.) And many places have about 20 TV screens going.

    I played one place where there were 20 TVs DIRECTLY behind us on stage.....all physically connected to each other and all on. My back was touching the screens on a few. Why do bars even bother having live music?

    It's also depressing to hear about Bitch as I've always wanted to play it live. Not now.
     
    RobBottom69 and ricstudioc like this.
  2. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Damn, another one my band just learned and will be playing for the first time this weekend.
     
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  3. Matt L

    Matt L Supporting Member

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    This thread has not helped my increasing desire to say **** it and stop gigging entirely. The things that I care about fall on deaf ears, and I don’t know why I bother since I’m losing the enthusiasm to share it if nobody gives a **** anyways.
     
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  4. Stike

    Stike Member

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    1990 and I was in a band doing a lot of classic/soon to be classic rock covers. We were playing a really big multi fraternity/sorrority party and everything had been going over really well. 1990 and Living Color was huge at the time. We had already played Cult Of Personality and they loved it so we busted out Middle Man which we had just learned-the dance floor cleared like roaches when the kitchen light gets turned on in the middle of the night.
     
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  5. vtgearhead

    vtgearhead Silver Supporting Member

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    We had a surrealistic gig about two years ago in a major college town nearby. Entire dance floor packed with people for our first set... All of them on their f*ing phones with their backs to the stage. We might as well not have been there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    FusionRock likes this.
  6. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    This is the herd mentality at work.
    Somebody gets up to dance and they ALL follow..sheeple...sits down...ALL follow..sheesh:rolleyes:
     
  7. Psychotronic

    Psychotronic Member

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    Interesting. We've been playing "F@#$ You" by Cee Lo for several years and it ALWAYS goes over great.
     
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  8. chrisjw5

    chrisjw5 Member

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    We worked up a version of Another Brick In The Wall (II) that started with a pedal D and some drum and guitar hits because we thought it sounded a lot like the opening of Eye of the Tiger, then segued into Brick.

    Turns out they liked the Eye of the Tiger part better. We tried to segue into Tiger for the second verse but the singer didn't know the words.

    This is a photo of us surveying the damage later.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    In the first regular gigging band I was ever in (all the other members were older), they got it in their heads to do “Layla”. Now, even in my inexperienced youth, I knew we didn’t have the vocal power or instrumental capability to pull it off...

    We did it live just once - thankfully, everyone in the band agreed it was brutal (and so did the crowd) :p

    A few months later, the other guitarist (who had initially pushed for “Layla”) was pushing hard for us to do “Hotel California”.... me and the drummer were, like, “Dude, don’t you ever learn?”
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  10. fetchmybeer

    fetchmybeer Member

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    Lol. That, sir, is bad setlist organization. Not that there is probably ever a good time to insert that one in the setlist unless you're actually Pat Benatar or a Benatar tribute, but after 3 dance tunes is for sure not the time to do it. (Note: I love that song)
     
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  11. Oriondk

    Oriondk Member

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    Yeah, I’ve been checking out some of these that I’ve never heard of. No wonder they flopped.
     
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  12. ricstudioc

    ricstudioc Member

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    I'm kinda-sorta here on all this - although I've worked both sides of it. Couple of different angles, from two different projects:

    The Dangerous Shoes - this was unmistakably MY band, a 3 piece based outta the "barroom blues/rock" school, but with a twist. We played nearly NOTHING the average person would know - B-sides and more obscure artists. Hell, we did some Zappa stuff as a 3 piece (not like "Peaches En Regalia", I'm not that good. But "Stinkfoot", "Cosmic Debris", "Cocaine Decisions" - y'know, the playable Zappa). And we got good response to it - people came to know that if they wanted something different, we were gonna give it to them. But we didn't gig tons, and not a money maker. But we walked away from each gig knowing that we'd done it our way, no apologies.

    Big Zephyr - most decidedly NOT my band, a purely "music whore" business project that I joined up with. Popular covers for your dining and dancing pleasure - and an average of about $2500 a night for OUR pleasure. They're still going strong, after about 4 years I just got bored and gracefully got out. Probably the biggest anarchy I fomented in that band was... well, twofold - A) the idea that out of a 13 song set, ONE song could be for us. Couldn't be deliberately bad or anything, but let's indulge ourselves a little. And B) when I joined, the operating principle was "EXACTLY like the record", note-for-note, even in solos. Gradually I planted the thought that rock music allowed for a little flexibility - if I wanted to play the exact same notes the exact same way night after night I'd play first violin in a classical orchestra. This led to (among others) an 8 minute version of "Reeling In The Years" where the other guitar player and I would go full-tilt cutting contest at the end solos. And audiences loved it - totally got that they were seeing a one-off, never to be exactly the same again.

    So, the Shoes - nothing to do with money, the audience either got it or not (mostly did), and we had "artistic integrity" wadeverdahell that means. Zephyr - everything to do with money, we were well-paid hookers and the audience was the point. Very tight, extremely well-rehearsed - didn't leave because it sucked, just got tired of the same thing for long stretches.

    I consider myself "retired" at this point - the only project that might get me out the door now would have to be more Shoes than Zephyr. Don't need the money, so I can be an effin' arteeest if I choose.
     
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  13. Doode

    Doode Member

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    Most probably nowhere near 99%, but yeah... I get you... and agree. ;)

    Probably it's best to only learn a short "trailer" version of songs that aren't super easy anyway. Then you throw it in somewhere at a gig and see if it's worth the effort to learn the whole damn song. :D

    One problem is, there are average people songs and musician songs. The more you become a musician, the less you're able to listen with the ears of the average Joe. If you really want to please the masses and to be on the safe side, you have to do some market research... or at least ask your non-musician friends what they would like to hear. Asking your bassist with an MIT degree probably isn't the smartest idea.
     
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  14. AZJim

    AZJim Member

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    Same here. Even WITH a full band backing you, that (and many of his) just requires a whole nuther level of energy, etc. Acoustic on piano like Bruce does, possible, but you really gotta nail that piano. Acoustic guitar? Suicide. (Although I've done it solo with ukulele, which just blows people away that I'm avail to do it at all.)
     
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  15. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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    Back in the mid '80s, we were playing this big Irish bar on the south side of Chicago. Room was packed with about 250 hard-drinking working-class Irish men and women.

    We were a Top-40 and oldies cover band (hey, I needed the money...) but we'd recently added Eddie Rabbitt's "Driving My Life Away" to our set list. We get to that point in our set, and the singer straps on his acoustic guitar and says into the mic, "You want to hear some country?" In unison, 250 people yell a resounding "NOOO!" Singer takes off the acoustic and we move on to the next number...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  16. Amplifier Owner

    Amplifier Owner Member

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    could be a regional thing. who knows, another decade goes by and maybe Sharona becomes a bar band staple in Ohio. WI may already be there.
     
  17. drewl

    drewl Member

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    When Breaking Bad ended with Baby Blue from Badfinger, I quickly taught it to the band for the very next gig!

    We nailed it as an opener and...……………………...guess nobody in the audience watched the show.
     
  18. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    off the top of my head:
    flirtin with disaster
    peace love and understanding
    dont bring me down
    im alright
    interstate love song
     
  19. RUSHFANnLV

    RUSHFANnLV Member

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    Them Bones into Damn That River. Opened the show with it. Snooze fest. Should have done Rooster.
     
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  20. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    But this is a great song long before Breaking Bad.
    How could they not like it?
    ...that is what we are up against when planning songs and that is why that top 100+ gets picked on so disgustingly often.
     

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