Gig coming up soon and we're cutting it very very close..any success/horror stories?

...I'm sure a few people have been in a similar situation, so I'll ask for advice..optimism, pessimism, all of that.

My band took a show that we expected to be ready for. And were supposed to have about a 20 minute setlist. However our setlist is now 30 minutes...and we aren't so ready we feel. Why?

Well..we're playing 7 songs. 2 of them we have down perfect, and another one is not a song, but individual solos and intros.

That leaves 4 songs.

The problem? We haven't perfected these 4 fact, 3 of them we haven't played together as a full band (sort of..other than the cover we have done bits and pieces or come close to finishing the other 3. one of them is an acoustic song but its played exactly the same on electric, we had it perfect on acoustic..but the additions of the drums over an acoustic drum box might change things).

The good?! One of those songs is a cover song, the other is our short intro which we have down very well, just need to tighten the end riff. the other is a song we practiced and had decently down in the past but just changed slightly, and the final song is one we all have parts for and have performed acoustically (and the drummer knows how he's going to drum to it) but haven't done is as a full band. Everyone knows their parts to all the songs..just to put it together.

The show is Saturday and we plan to have a full band practice Thursday/Friday for about 3.5 hours. Though myself and the other guitarist will practice with the drummer on Wednesday and before the show for a couple of hours.

Hopefully not too much text or the situation isn't too complicated. We're all good musicians and work well...and what we play really isn't difficult at all. Think we can pull it off in such a short amount of time, especially since everyone knows their parts? I'm just worried if even one person misses a practice, or we don't get all our equipment to our new practice that things could get really ugly. But otherwise, any words of encouragement?
Last edited by Supafly1824 at Jul 6, 2010,
every big gig I've had we all practiced each part individually, then before the show practiced a good hour, then did it. every time went fine. all you can do is practice and hope for the best.
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every big gig I've had we all practiced each part individually, then before the show practiced a good hour, then did it. every time went fine. all you can do is practice and hope for the best.

Haha hopefully it all goes well for us then.

We've practiced together and have perfected the songs..but without drums, which is probably the biggest thing. Getting those drums down. Though like I said we aren't going into any of the songs completely blind or anything, and everyone has the .mp3 of the songs for individual practice.
In the future, don't take the gig if you're not ready.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
the answer is in your question. You've prepared 30mins of stuff for your 20 min slot. At your full rehearsal you are going to find that some of it is working well and some not so well. Be honest with yourselves and drop the bits that don't sound good. It will keep to next time.

If you are only doing 20mins then I guess its only for a bit of exposure so make sure you give as good an impression as you can and leave them wanting more.

Next time don't leave it so late.

Have fun
Don't practice on the day of the gig. That's asking for trouble. Every time I've done that something has ended up going horribly wrong.
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In my first few gigs we always struggled to fill out the set and usually had one song that just wasn't quite ready to be played that we had to include. No song ever went horribly wrong, but it does show when the band isn't confident and well rehearsed. Occasionally the drummer would forget when a change occurs or our singer would sing the wrong parts of the song which leads to lots of awkward looks on stage to each other.

But those days were good learning experiences. My advice is to just practise as much as you can before the gig, play as well as you can and next time try to plan the entire set out well in advance of the night.
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In the future, don't take the gig if you're not ready.

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The first time my band played live was an open mic night and it was a disaster. We were supposed to go up around 9:30pm but didn't get to go up til 1:30am and by that time, we were tired and I had a headache so bad. So we went up there and just ran through the two songs. Not only that the monitors didn't work so we played blind and sick. To a crowd of like 7 (the people who worked there, friends and the last group to go up). The worst part was we got there first and our drummer lent his set to use for everyone and the group that played last was there at the beginning with us.

Our second gig was a house party. We had maybe a month to practice for it. We made out the set list and practiced it as if we were playing at the party each time. It went off without a hitch and everyone was asking if we were getting back on. People danced and cheered, it was amazing.

TLDNR: I'll never do an open mic again.
Two stories.

First show. Our bassist cancelled 3 weeks beforehand. We formed a week before that. We played 4 covers and 4 originals. 1 song we made up the day before we played. another the practice before that. No biggie. All went well because we made sure they were nice and easy but still crowd pleasing.

Story #2

Battle of the bands at my high school. My friends band had this song they put together. Their bassist quit so they asked me. I "didn't fit in with the group" so they booted me. Found another bassist on the monday before the show (friday). The whole band never actually practiced together until the day of battle of the bands. They got 3rd place out of 10.

TLDNR; You don't have to have a full band practice to sound good. Just make sure each person knows their part. EXACTLY knows it.
At my current bands first show our regular drummer was out of town for the week, so we had to get a replacement. We practiced with him for an hour before the first act came on stage and it still went fine. We were really the only ones who noticed that things weren't sounding as good as we'd like. You'll find non-musician ears can be pretty forgiving.
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