What's up with the "arms folded guys"?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Teleking, May 27, 2015.

  1. Teleking

    Teleking Supporting Member

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    I've read about this phenomenon here before and chuckled as it's never happened to me before. I've been an original musician my entire life. We never get the "arms folded guys." The original crowd is either very much into your band, or they're way in the back not paying attention.

    One of my original bands has decided to play some covers to try to grab some audience and expand our profile a bit.

    Sure enough, "arms folded guys" were there. I was trying really, really hard not to laugh after reading some of the threads here awhile ago, but that's all I kept thinking about when I was trying to sing.

    What's really strange is they were there the entire night---three full hours. I'm not even sure they were drinking. Just literally stood at the bar, faced the band, arms folded, didn't crack a smile once.

    The rest of the crowd loved us, but there was a pack of about 4 of them just staring at us all night. It was very distracting, and I caught myself laughing at least twice while trying to sing.

    It was the most bizarre thing I've ever experienced in all my years of playing music. Normally, if people think you suck, they just leave. Not these guys. There the entire time. Very strange.
     
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  2. ClassicLP

    ClassicLP Member

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    Every show needs the gig police to count your "mistakes" and number of times you "didn't sound like the record."
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    We had a guy, wearing a gimme cap, mechanic's shirt and dirty jeans/work boots come into the middle of the empty dancefloor and just stand there and stare at us blankly, for a whole song.

    Then walked away, didn't say anything.

    I'd have given my whole night's pay to be inside his head for that one song. What the hell was he thinking?
     
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  4. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Member

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    I too have experienced this in the past and to see a thread on it made me laugh also. I live in a pretty active music community and have seen it happen to others and it makes them nervous on stage. I played with a guy who would perk right up if he knew other musicians were in the room and anxiety would set in. I couldn't believe it. He got really rattled and this guy is a killer player, just really self conscious. After some time playing with him in a band, one of the main reasons he plays is to "impress" other players and kind of feed off of compliments. It was a total turn off to me to play with him after that. Some people have some silly hang ups and reasons for hitting the stage.
     
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  5. ZeyerGTR

    ZeyerGTR Supporting Member

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    I can't say I have ever seen him... if he ever shows up, I'll think of this thread and have a good laugh. I hate to admit it, but 15 years ago I probably would have tried really hard to impress that guy (and failed, no doubt).

    To be fair, you can't always accurately assign meaning to body language. Maybe he actually really did like your music, which is why he stayed, but something else was going on in his life. You don't really know unless you talk to him. I wouldn't spend to much time guessing what he was thinking.
     
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  6. HiddenCharms

    HiddenCharms Member

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    Thankfully I have poor eyesight and tend to zone out when playing in public. I probably wouldn't have noticed the guy.
     
  7. bayAreaDude

    bayAreaDude Member

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    Well, you're not a comedy act are you? Not everyone smiles for the duration of a show, plus for a normal length show your face would be hurting if you smiled the whole time. Arms folded can be comfortable if you have to stand for a long time. I think you're reading way to much into it honestly and it's kind of lame that you were tempted to laugh at members of your audience who stayed for the whole show. I think the reasonable conclusion is they liked your music, else they would not have stayed. Not everyone is into dancing and being animated. But if you want to alienate your audience, keep calling them strange and laughing at them - they'll quit coming.
     
  8. o0Ampy0o

    o0Ampy0o Member

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    I never heard of the "arms folded guy" until this thread but I think I may have been him a couple of times. It is all where your head is at that moment. Something about the music, the band, a specific member in the band that overrides the whole point of the event. You need to work on that.
     
  9. Faraldi

    Faraldi Member

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    I remember Metallica fans would turn their backs to the other bands on the bill and have the bird flipped the whole time.

    Never understood that.
     
  10. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

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    ^^^

    Arm Folded Guy

    You don't remember that. You heard Hetfield say it on a Behind the Music episode.
     
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  11. tenchijin2

    tenchijin2 Member

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    Not everyone is a jovial, dancing, outgoing type. I know I spend a lot of time leaning against the wall with my arms folded watching and listening. I'm not there to entertain the band, I'm trying to listen and watch. If I didn't like it, I'd leave. Don't be so insecure and judgmental.
     
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  12. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Member

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    Damn man, is it possible you can be more of a troll? I think there is a bridge in San Fran that is just right for a troll your size.
     
  13. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    You are assuming he was sober enough to be thinking.
     
  14. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    Maybe you have admirers....hmmmm?
     
  15. Faraldi

    Faraldi Member

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    Holy carp you're actually right. Man I'm getting old.
     
  16. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    You can always spot the handful of guitar players in the audience. For us, it's small bars in the mountains. I'm a hack, but I do play in a band. There are tons of really great guitar players here that, for whatever reason, don't play out... But they sure come to check other players out.

    I see them, but pretty much ignore them unless they strike up a conversation. Nine times out of ten they're nice guys. I know who I am, and have no intention of being guitar competitive... I play to have fun and work hard to be better. It's really all I can do.
     
  17. GerryJ

    GerryJ Member

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    Teleking, you still look pretty young, and if until now your bands were only original music, most of the clientele were probably even younger. When you play covers, you'll get some older people, with jobs, kids, adult responsibilities and worries, etc who can't all act like it's a beer commercial.
     
  18. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I thought his answer was perfect. I'm not sure what else the OP thinks they should have been doing. If they stayed all night watching the band, there's a good chance they liked them.
     
  19. jammybastard

    jammybastard "I'm losing my edge, but I was there..."

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    Guilty!
    I first folded my arms, and eventually turned my back, to those clowns Poison.
    It was 1985, I was 18, and they were playing the Rainbow Music Hall as the opener for Loudness.
    I was a big fan of Akira Takasaki.
    Brett Micheals and the boys were everything I hated about the new "glam metal".
    Plus they were lousy musicians.
    Me and a bunch of friends had the front row, 3 songs into Poison's set our arms were folded.
    Brett actually flipped us all off.
    We laughed at him and then turned out backs.
    Good times.
     
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  20. EricStratton

    EricStratton Member

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    Probably A&R or BMI/ASCAP/SESAC guys.
     

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