Our Hardest Gig Just Made Us Better

Mayfield

Gold Supporting Member
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1,496
I am sure many of you have run into this type of scenario before.

You get asked to play a gig that is going to stretch you. Either it is a longer set, or a different audience than your used to, etc.

For us, we tend to play Corporate Gigs. So we have a stable of tunes, but then learn new ones for each gig to help customize the experience for the audience. Well, this was very different. The gig itself was to be the "house band" ala The Roots/Schaffer etc for an event where the leaders of this group were having an all hands kick off, but in the vein of a late night talk show.

Thus, we played 7 songs in total that were start to finish. We played 19 songs that were just snippets. This was out of our wheelhouse from anything we had done in the past...but it was a BLAST! Why? Because we had to practice how to follow queues more, make more real time adjustments on where to stop a song mid phrase, etc. Stuff that we had never been through before, to this extent.

It made us better...even though it was a ton of stress at rehearsals leading up. And we nailed it....and got two more gigs from it right away. We even got asked by the event Manager (the even was held at an Indian Casino) that he would like to book us for their own shows. We are all just a bunch of parents with careers that do this on the side, so this is overwhelming as to the reaction we got.

Bottom line..we almost passed because it was out of our comfort zone. But we pushed ourselves and it paid off.

Anyone else ever take a completely different gig that was scary at first, but turned out to be a good thing for the evolution of your band?
 

Funky Monkey

Gold Supporting Member
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3,422
Awesome. :aok An old band of mine did something semi-similar for a sketch comedy act. Practicing for that made us better and closer than any practice before or since.
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
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5,571
I had a trial by fire like that last Feb. I'd been gigging with a local guy whose songs were simple... either the regulars would join him and jam out or one of us would be calling out changes to a new guy.

Anyway, this guy calls his regulars about a gig and we all said yes. Turned out we were the "house band" backup for 10 artists at a big-ticket fundraiser. About half would do covers, the rest songs off their own CDs

Here's the catch: the bass and keys player were full-time musicians and the paycheck didn't warrant them learning all this original music. Rather than face the gig without them, I charted every chord, riff, dynamic, key modulation, tempo change, etc. and we had a single 2-hour practice of the tougher stuff.

The night came off without a hitch even with some curve balls: "Guys... I do this in Eb... 2-3-4" or Nick Clemons (Clarence's son): "Did I pick that song? Screw it. Little Wing. 2-3-4..." Turned out to be a great night.
 

Mayfield

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,496
Awesome story Mike!

Funky...playing with a sketch comedy act sounds like a big challenge!
 




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