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Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Funky54, Jun 18, 2019.
I gotta PM you and ask a few specifics.
I have to admit that I hate it when someone in the band, usually the other guitar player, plays part of a song that is requested but that we don't play. It makes the person think "they know my song but they just won't play it...
Cool. I'll try to give you the benefit of the doubt that you actually have a band.
Cover bands play more than just bars and clubs. Weddings seem to be very lucrative. I sort of follow a Dance/Cover band out of Dallas that seems to be doing very well. They seem to do 3-4 gigs a week and more than half seem to be high end weddings that can pay $10-20K a gig based on the decor I've seen.
I run a fountain pen show and we have live music on Saturday night of the show. We pay $2-3K for the band. So the number @skinvoyager threw out seem consistent with my experience. We are not getting a decent band for less than $2K in our area.
As for why I would follow a wedding band, the reason is weird. There was an all-female Japanese pop band, Chelsy, that broke up last year. The band was signed to Sony records and not a small band. The bassist ended up in Texas of all places and joined this band.
I'm going to take a guess and say that the bands you look for have enough lights and sound to fill a large venue, bring labor and a sound engineer. Honestly, that's where it is at. A lot of cover band discussions tend to lean toward thinking of a band of 4 people who show up to a pub, set up in the corner and play through 1 JBL stand speaker (2 if they are lucky, with a sub if they are really lucky) and the 16 channel mixer is right there next to the bassist (and 7 of the channels are broken). That's not a wrong assumption and it probably accounts for a larger portion of what makes the cover band scene.
Then there are those bands who run a business. Invest in it all .. putting a great stage show together from scratch when needed. Wouldn't think of playing without a contract. And probably have representation outside of the band members. They also have to be extremely versatile and flexible with their set list, including adding songs that a client requests before the show (not pull off a half-arsed version of it on the spot).
My band is a hybrid of those two things. We own the mains, the pa, the lights and the atmospherics to put on a show at a small venue without any other support. Most of the time, we use a combination of a bars lighting and FOH with our own. Sometime we set up in the corner and bring the smallest PA we can. We are the kind of band who takes a wide range of pay. $300 to $1800 so far, it all just depends what's our level of responsibility beyond playing our instruments. We don't do weddings (different animal) and you get the same act whether it is in a pub or at an event. It's nice to be able to go for that variety, but also means the $1500 client sees that we played the Irish Pub last week and has doubts if we'd be right, they go for the event band who only markets themselves as such.
Anyway, just chiming in. There are different cover band scenes with wildly different pay and responsibility.
I have a rule - I never play in or listen to any band that plays Tom Petty.
Probably half those songs would be largely unknown by the average audience here.
Yep - the bands that "get" what you just said are the ones likely to make it to these higher paying spots. If you want to make the money, you have to think about all the stuff that's required to get there. It doesn't just "happen".
Similarly, having it hit song has probably less to do with the song itself than it does with the hundreds of people and support teams that are required to "make it a hit".
I have played 16 of those songs in bands.
So you'd be the guy selling the kale, chickpea, and quinoa salad with a gluten free vinaigrette at the baseball game?
This thread makes me want to put a bullet right through my head.
Your guess is absolutely correct.
You don't say . . .
I've played plenty of corporate events and those obviously do pay a lot higher than bars/clubs, but don't have any experience on the wedding circuit. I know people throw away stupid amounts of money on weddings but I won't believe $20K for a wedding gig until someone shows me a copy of the canceled check.
Yeah, same here. For $20k you can hire a nationally known professional act.
And a pretty good one at that. There are plenty of touring national acts playing for $10K guarantees.
I'm so glad I don't play in a cover band, I honestly don't know how people do it.
Why? You looking to buy?
So today I was talking to a co-worker of mine who has a pretty good cover band about the payouts for weddings, corporate events.
And that's when he told me about this band:
You may recognize one of their singers, Uche, who was a Top 10 finalist on American Idol this past season. Another one of their alums got a publishing deal in Nashville.
I'm much less skeptical about what revenue a professional outfit of this caliber can generate.
Looks like one stop shopping to get the pro showband in a style of your choice.
These have been around for like ever doing gigs for crowds in halls, conventions, and various events.
The old big bands would be in the same category, imo.
It's one (?) step down from being a successful draw based on one's own own composing and performance merit.
Well, we didn’t make $20K, but my old wedding band played a reception once in the Boulder CO at a ski resort. We were from San Francisco. The father of the bride paid for 7 of our 9 members to fly out, paid for a rental van to haul our gear plus hotel rooms on the road for the other 2 members, paid for our hotel rooms at the ski lodge, our food and bar bill was picked up, plus we made $3500. We totaled it up and he spent around $10-12K for the band. I think he spent around $100K total. Nice guy, fun weekend.