So Saturday is set to be our first show. Problem is... since we booked the show about a month ago, things have gone south.

About a month ago we were almost ready to gig. We had 1 or 2 songs left to finalize and we were set.

But then fast forward a few weeks later and due to scheduling conflicts, we were unable to practice even once.

No biggie. Come last week, we still had about 4 or 5 practices, roughly 12 hours of preparation for our show. Then, the problems started...

- Our bassist quit
- The place where we practice at got flooded. We practice for free and cant afford rehearsal space
- We're short on the setlist time the band that booked us wants us to play, since we didnt finish those two songs
- We have songs we haven't practiced in a really long time

Now our show is on Saturday, and we're debating whether or not to back out.

Reasons to not back out:
- It would be a blow and terrible thing to do to the band that is hosting us and booked us. Drop out 4 days before the show? Ruh roh
- We're getting paid over $150.. an incredibly handsome sum that we were going to use to get 2 studio quality tracks done. Since we don't have any.
- People were looking forward to seeing us

Reasons to back out
- We can be decent... but we can be absolutely horrible.
- We have a replacement bassist who knows the material, but we would only be able to practice once for 3 hours.
- They want us to play for about 35-40 minutes. We only have 25 minutes prepped
- We might be a little bit off tempo and have shoddy bass. Or hell, even no bass at all. Thoughh, bass has always been nonexistant in our band and recordings, I can't imagine not having it live.

So the argument can go either way. What on earth do we do?! We can practice on friday for 3 hours but thats about it. Do we go on with the show, put our best foot forward, and say a prayer? Or do we cancel, and how would we break it to the band thats hosting?
the show must go on.
i'm guessing you have about 4 or 5 songs.
just talk a lot in between them, and you'll easily fill the time limit.

also, i would recommend not spending that money on recording until you're good enough to pull off a live show.
I say back out. Tell the hosting band the truth, you had a member quit and your practice space was flooded.

There's no point in playing a show if you're not going to be able to showcase your best work. Besides, if you play a shitty set, it's going to be serious negative feedback toward your band.
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Show must go on! I would play it.

Talk to the crowd, set up a couple crowd participation exercises if possible to kill time. Have a song you can jam on for a couple extra minutes? We have 2 songs we can extend if needed.
also, warn the other band in advance, and ask them if they'd still like you to play. if so, don't accept all of the money when you get paid.
I say hit it. My band and I were in kind of a similar situation about two months ago, especially about the parts where we hadn't played some songs for a while and we could only practice once for a few hours.
Still, you've practiced and each member of the band should have practiced on his own every song. How long can it take to just join the different parts together (assuming that every band member knows the song perfectly)? Tell the replacement bassist (and every other member of the band) to learn every song perfectly, including those that you haven't played before, and make every minute of those three hours count. It's not that hard to put a show together. Have a small (SMALL) break or chat with the public every once and then between songs and voilà, you've got your 35 minutes. On the gig day just play your damn heart out, like you've never played before, and I guarantee you you'll have a pretty decent gig.

Tell me how it went if you decide to go for it.

Good luck!
Quote by angusfan16

That penis guitar. Hell, i'd wank it.

In response to Babbs:

That's exactly what I was thinking. Something like that, tell the band what has occurred and see if they would like to make any changes. Or maybe accept half the pay.

We have 6 songs for sure, maybe 7 depending how we do Friday's practice. I'm most worried about the bassist, though.
Last edited by Supafly1824 at Dec 15, 2009,
We hadn't practice once before our gig and we were opening the second half of a major concert. We just showed up early to the gig and got some practice time in before hand.

The show must go on. You can't back out. Just take it easy, nice and slow, and talk in between songs. I'm sure they won't care if you're onstage for 30 minutes instead of 35 minutes.
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You have to talk to the other band as soon as possible.

As to how good you'll be on the night; it will depend upon how experienced/good your bass dep is. There are bassists good enough to go on and blag it with just a chord sequence. If you are doing covers of familiar songs then learning the songs can be quick if they are simple . If you are doing originals then the bassist can learn the songs by working with just the guitarist so you can make the most of time as a whole band.

Good luck
only 150? well for a original band thats pretty good... should consider covers at bars and parties for awhile... get paid ALOT then... I get about 120-130 just myself.

backing out a show is always a bad thing but there isn't that much you can do.. you need to decide NOW though since each day you wait will make it worse for if you do cancel..
Shit happens and the show must go on..............................
It just happened to me last Friday, our band was booked (two months in advance) for a private party at a local hotel..........then our keyboard player had to undergo surgery and wasn't able to play...........and the band as a whole couldn't rehearse for the past month due to travel schedules of various members.

We made due the best we could......the gig turned out pretty well, although we have sounded better. That's just show biz.....that's why they use the term "break a leg"....haha!
practice and if your feeling it after the practice then go for it. If not man give them the heads up asap and do your best to support their show.
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Your bassist quit?

You need to whack him upside the head. Unless someone dear to him died or something. That would be a good reason.

Last edited by osXtiger at Dec 16, 2009,
It's past saturday (almost), how did it go TS?

Quote by Babbs
the show must go on.
i'm guessing you have about 4 or 5 songs.
just talk a lot in between them, and you'll easily fill the time limit.

also, i would recommend not spending that money on recording until you're good enough to pull off a live show.

The show does not have to go on. Talking in between a 25 minute set to make it a 40 minute set? I don't want to hear you talking for 15 minutes, and I can guarantee the crowd doesn't want to either. Getting decent recordings is a good way to get shows, but I agree that you should be able to play the material first.
For our first show, we found out our rhythm guitarist couldn't make it to the show, so we had a stand-in guitarist do the rhythm parts for that one night. He practiced with us like twice in order to learn like 3 songs.
Total disaster.