#1
So we're playing 3 hours at a cookout/fundraiser, and I'm slightly nervous. To make it clear, I'm not afraid of performing in front of people. Although we're definitely going to take breaks, I'd say we're going to play a solid 2 hours of music there. This seems like a lot for a first gig with my band, and I don't know how to handle it.

For one, it's a cookout so people are going to be in and out, going around and doing stuff, not always paying attention to us. So I'd think the effort of getting a crowd involved is a little different, because people are constantly moving around. So do you have any advice for interacting with these people?

Next, how do I prepare for an outdoor gig? I have windscreens for our mics, and plenty of water, but I'm not sure what else to do to prepare for this.

Finally, I'm by no means a pro singer and have never had a lesson, just kinda picked it up. How can I prepare myself to endure a 2 hour beating on my vocal chords?

Thanks, just looking for some help to calm my nerves.
#2
make sure your drummers in the shade because the sun reflects hell into the cymbals, unless you want a blind drummer, and yeah dont try to get the crowd to hyped up because your just their outdoor radio really, just relax and jam outtttt

and you can look up Vocal Eze Vocalist Throat Spray if youre nervous about your voice but water should be enough really unless you scream a lot
Last edited by marshmellow666 at Jun 10, 2011,
#3
I agree, in that type of situation, you are there for ambient music so to speak. Not a concert. The low pressure ones are the funnest ones. Just take it easy and have fun.
#4
Thanks everyone

Good tip about the drummer, that never really occurred to me.

I'll check out the throat spray in advance and see how it works for me!
#5
There are plenty of things out there to help with your voice/throat, just make sure you eat/drink things that are friendly to it and stuff like that, I don't know anything about throat sprays however.

In terms of outdoor gigs, they're pretty much the same as indoor ones, but colder! (depending on the weather...on my first (and only) outdoor gig it was raining like mad... luckily the band were covered though! ).
Make sure you have plenty of power sources. When I did my outdoor gig we ended up overloading an extension thingy and taking out half of our sound (lead guitar, bass and one half of the P.A system).

For interacting with people, just do as you would at a regular gig. The thing is if people are moving about not paying a whole lot of attention to you (though there will be some people focusing on you), you won't have a whole lot of stress on what you have to say. Friendly banter with the crowd, talking between the band (not in a "ARGH stop turning your amp up" way, in the kinda "stage act" way which is intended to entertain the audience between songs).

The best thing you can do is to wait and see how it turns out. Because there's a chance you'll be purely background music, but there'll also be a chance that everyone'll be watching you and dancing to your music and stuff.
#6
Harden up Princess.
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#7
Quote by seeneyj
Harden up Princess.

Thanks bro

@Punk_Ninja: That was a very helpful read. The power issue never really crossed my mind, I'll be sure to be cautious about overloading, that mustve been sorta embarrassing with what happened to your band.

My drummer is now set on playing Moby Dick for part of the show. I personally think it's a bad idea, because I feel the song is more suited for a concert rather than the situation we're facing. Would you find it strange to hear that at a cookout?
#8
Quote by baf250
My drummer is now set on playing Moby Dick for part of the show. I personally think it's a bad idea, because I feel the song is more suited for a concert rather than the situation we're facing. Would you find it strange to hear that at a cookout?


It takes a talented drummer to keep any audience entertained for over 30 seconds. Moby Dick is around 11 minutes long, and I highly doubt that your drummer is skilled enough to keep the audiences attention for very long. It will probably sound like random banging while people are trying to cook food.

I think in this situation you probably will be background music, and should treat it as such. Don't put the levels too high, but just at a good level to be heard (even though the levels will be higher due to the nature of an outdoor area).

I hope you have some shade or cover. Last time I played outside it was a very hot day, my guitar kept going out of tune due to the heat, I got sunburnt and was left with sunstroke afterwards. Not good. Wear sunblock and drink lots of water.
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#9
Quote by baf250
@Punk_Ninja: That was a very helpful read. The power issue never really crossed my mind, I'll be sure to be cautious about overloading, that mustve been sorta embarrassing with what happened to your band.


You should be fine if the venue doesn't give you one plug socket thing which has two extensions in it!
And luckily it happened during the soundcheck so we could rectify the mistake in time for the actual gig. (though it wasn't helped by one member who is determined to think that every problem that is faced is down to a bad cable, because that was the case one time.)

What was embarrassing was one of the power amps getting rain damage and having to put the vocals through a backup guitar amp...

Oh well, I'm leaving them soon anyway!
They made me a bit of cash but it's just so boring and gigs are always so dramatic when they don't need to be (what with power overloads and all that! )


On the whole Moby Dick stuff, unless you have a following who want to hear your drummer (or if you're a tribute/covers band doing a song that people have come to see do that stuff) it's hard to have any extended solos.
The closest to a drum solo any band who plays that sort of thing will get is Wipeout by the Surfaris. Which can go down quite well.

Playing an 11 minute drum solo would probably be as well received as Free Jazz in that context!
#11
The more they drink, the better you sound.

Our band's first gig was a barbeque/party. Lots of beer, good fun, cops showed up 3 times and shut us down. Rock & Roll!

Just don't let drunken idiots play your gear. Our drummer had a fairly new set of heads ruined because he let a drunk bimbo play his skins.

Be prepared for some requests. Our band specifically learned a Skynyrd song for the event, just in case somebody yelled out "Play some Skynyrd, man!".
#12
I've played a couple 2hr + outside gigs, and it sucks! lol, especially living in S. Carolina, being 90+ degrees and humid as hell.

a few tips: Have a cooler up on stage with water for you guys, my first time doing an outside gig, everyone kept asking the bar over the mic to bring us water because we were dying up there. Have a couple water bottles for each of you up there.

Also, get a sweat band! Either one for your arm or head. It's a necessity, for me atleast, playing outside.
#13
Quote by cheapr2keepr
The more they drink, the better you sound.
Be prepared for some requests. Our band specifically learned a Skynyrd song for the event, just in case somebody yelled out "Play some Skynyrd, man!".

Oh we got Sweet Home Alabama ready for this situation!

@TheChosen1One: We'll definitely end up improvising. When we practice we turn every song into a jam at one point or another, so that might carry a little bit into the show.

@Punk_Ninja: Wipeout is a great idea, I'll suggest that to him!
#14
I'm not an expert on singing, but I know that you should never drink ice cold water while you're singing. It shocks the vocal cords or something. I've heard you should drink lukewarm water instead. Hope that helps.
#15
Just play some good old ZZ Top or something, AC/DC would work too. Just not cannibal corpse. If you haven't practiced your vocals, play stuff that isn't too hard to sing, such as (I know it doesn't fit the situation) Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2'