#1
Hello!

There's been a lot of talking about verious stuff like setlists, order of the songs, performance, etd...
I'd like to thank to Zamboni for making a "how to" thread about giging... Zamboni's post consist of 4 parts (The First Song, The Middle of Your Set, The End of Your Set, Your Encore)

In this thread, I'd like to focus on one thing which would be "The First Song".

I've seen some good show openings in my life... some bad ones... so let me share some of my knowledge with you, but ofc, I'm here to learn too, so share your thoughts, ideas, whatever..

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1 The Drummer is the Man

I remember this one show where the drummer was the one responsible for the opening. It all started very powerful, with a fast tempo drum solo, exposing the drummer's skills. The solo was, let's say... 30s long and then the whole band came in and it made me thik that the walls were about to break. They played along with the drummer and the intro smoothly developed into their first song.

A great intro in my opinion and it works well in small clubs, big stages, everything... As an arguement to my words, let me mention that u2 opened their show that way in Zagreb.

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2 Pre-Recorded Stuff (Yet another cookbook instructions)

The second opening i'm going to describe is a simple one, but it requires some coordination with your soundtech or sound engineer or whatever you call the guy who handles the mixers. I've seen it perfectly fit a punk band, but it is very commonly used by metal bands (if they don't have a piano/synth).
Assuming you've all already seen atleast one metal band open a show using this trick, I am going to describe the opening of punk show mentioned above. They were all turned away from the crowd, with hands up in the air (as if they were being aimed at with a gun). In the background you could hear the siren of a cop car getting louder and louder. I think there was a chopper sound aswell... Once the siren was loud enough the drummer simply made a quick hi hat countdown and there they go... They started with a very powerfull riff... to give you an example (http://www.myspace.com/redpotatoband - song named Raztur)
Works well on stages.. It can get pretty lame if you're doing this in a small club or something.

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3 Behind the Curtain
This next way of opening is ment for big shows, or atleast big stages. It is pretty simple, but it really wouldn't do the trick in small clubs or odd places like most unknown bands usually play at. However the stage needs to be big enough, so you can fit a curtain between the band and the crowd. Again, everything starts with a light show and then the band starts playing a song. It should really be a song with a "breakthrough" at about 1:00. Wondering why? It's because at 1:00 you drop the curtain and the band can finaly be seen. To do that, you need somebody to be responsible for the curtain. Back on the issue; like i said; You shouldnt use a song that builds up constantly, because that would ruin the contrast you're going for.
It usually works well if the bass comes in the same moment, or the guitars go distortion or whatever... And yeah; remember, no vocals until the curtain is down.
(here's a youtube video, but it's not a good example, because you really can't hear any bass... Imagine the bass coming in the moment the curtain drops http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKB1Vqkw2ys)

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4 Truck, Truck

I kina ran out of ideas for openings so i started to google... and i came across a vid where a band plays on a truck. (a small place outside is prefered) However, there was a truck and the band was inside. The truck pulled up, opened the back (or the side) and they started playing. The only problem i see here is the electricity, but i guess somebody could quickly connect the amps to a prearranged 220V power supply form a nearby house or whatever. When the gig is over, the electricity is simply cut off and the truck is free to drive away. Simple, fast, no problems with gear transport, etc. I imagine the drummer can keep on playing until the truck is far enough the crowd cant hear anything. I've never seen this live, but i think it's a great idea... .. Hey what about the vocals connected to PA? I've figured that out in my head.
I was able to think of 2 options;
-The PA is there before the truck comes, and as soon as the back is opened, the mic is handed to the vocalist
-The PA system is inside the truck, allowing you to amplyfy the guitars and drums too. As soon as the truck pulls off the electricity is provided and the gig can start.
To be honest i am a fan of the 2nd option, because There's less complications and you can amplify other instruments too... However the biggest issue on the minus side of this option would be the lack of an audio engineer adjusting your volumes and things those guys usually do.
WARNING: make sure you provide a strong enough power supply to hande the PA, and the amps. (light show optionally) If the power supply is not strong enough, the whole show can be ruined.
WARNING2; I'm not really sure it's completely legal to drive around in the back of a truck.

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These are the ways to open a gig i was able to think of. Now i'd like this thread to become a place to discuss the "gig opening" topic. Tell us, how do you open your gigs! We'll give you feedback and vise versa.

Hope my words were helpful to you!

Best regards, Serjem
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#3
I like it when bands have songs that are like, specfically meant to be openers to a show. Of course you could record the song and have it on an album. But the main purpose of the song is to serve as an introduction for live shows. Like, usually a song that's only a minute long or something.
However, I think that if I were in a band I would start the show just introducing the individuals in the band during the soundcheck, saying your band name, then going into it :p
#4
Interesting.
I've come across this issue a few times and I must say I'd kill for a thread like this.

Sticky?
#5
Serjem, i think you would love Jane's Addiction's 2009 tour opening. They were behind a curtain playing a clip of a movie and then went into three days. I saw the show in Toronto in May, it was just amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2j_EIca8yc

My bands playing its first gig next week at my highschool. Were opening with a Zeppelin medley, but were thinking well say hello and what not after the medley. BTW first songs rock and roll
#6
BFMV does the curtain drop gig opener with "Scream Aim Fire" where the curtain drops after the drum fill/intro
#7
I don't know about openings but an insane israeli metal band called Monotonix ends every gig with the singer being carried to the van whilst standing on top of the drummer's bass drum and the band still playing along with what's left of their equipment.. crazy.
Quote by the_white_bunny
your just a simpleton that cant understand strategy apparently.

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all hail king of the penis sucking(i said balls. you said dick for some reason?) Isabiggles
#9
I wish that this were a bit longer. It is kind of fun to read the funny gimmicks. Very informative, too.
#10
I almost feel a little insulted reading this... it has some tips but from all the shows I have played or even the shows I have seen alot of bands don't do stuff like this. I do see a few professional *meaning really popular* bands do some stuff like this, but alot of it just seems like exagerated or thought up ideas never tested. I wouldnt mind seeing people play on a truck/trailer moving away but thats asking for alot out of the drummer, driver, and equipment to make it work.

For most the gigs we do, we like to keep it simple... We mention who we are, what we play, thank them for coming out, tip bartenders/etc and get on with it. We sometimes do a long intro song so we can talk a bit before it kicks in, kind of how radio announcers do it on stations. Our first song changes based on where we play... if we play at a heavier music type bar we might try to squeeze out the softer songs before the crowd really comes or we will hit them hard and play softer stuff as people start to leave. One song we usually play for this is Talk Dirty to Me - it isn't that hard, it gets us a little warmed up, and alot of people like it from all age groups.

I think alot of showy stuff tends to go wrong more times then it goes right and unless the crowd really needs you to do these things to actually like the show they should be fine with simple introductions and the dancemoves/guitar mouth of the people on stage.
#11
Quote by ehlert99
I almost feel a little insulted reading this... it has some tips but from all the shows I have played or even the shows I have seen alot of bands don't do stuff like this. I do see a few professional *meaning really popular* bands do some stuff like this, but alot of it just seems like exagerated or thought up ideas never tested. I wouldnt mind seeing people play on a truck/trailer moving away but thats asking for alot out of the drummer, driver, and equipment to make it work.

For most the gigs we do, we like to keep it simple... We mention who we are, what we play, thank them for coming out, tip bartenders/etc and get on with it. We sometimes do a long intro song so we can talk a bit before it kicks in, kind of how radio announcers do it on stations. Our first song changes based on where we play... if we play at a heavier music type bar we might try to squeeze out the softer songs before the crowd really comes or we will hit them hard and play softer stuff as people start to leave. One song we usually play for this is Talk Dirty to Me - it isn't that hard, it gets us a little warmed up, and alot of people like it from all age groups.

I think alot of showy stuff tends to go wrong more times then it goes right and unless the crowd really needs you to do these things to actually like the show they should be fine with simple introductions and the dancemoves/guitar mouth of the people on stage.


it depends... Monotonix are their own roadies, they get the crowd and the drums and play towards the van and have to get to their next show within a few hours lol.

EDIT:

I was just kidding with that as a suggestion but if you're interested..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfOf6n9Xd1o&feature=related
Quote by the_white_bunny
your just a simpleton that cant understand strategy apparently.

Quote by the_white_bunny
all hail king of the penis sucking(i said balls. you said dick for some reason?) Isabiggles
Last edited by isabiggles at Dec 6, 2009,