#1
How long would you say is reasonable for a band to be expected to play straight? My band just got invited to go four hours at a girl's school (6pm-10pm, the school is Emma Willard if anyone is familiar with it). For that span of time, should we get an openning act? As a rock band we would be complete toast after the third hour, especially given what we play, which as a stage show can turn pretty athletic, and can be a pretty good strain on our vocalist.

For reference we have a "standard" setlist consisting of Foo Fighters, Alter Bridge, Dead Kennedys, Audioslave, RHCP, Soundgarden, Who, and Godsmack covers, with some originals thrown in.
#2
Take a few breaks. Four hours is a LONG time
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#3
Yea I agree, take some breaks every now and again.
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#4
You should talk to the crowd, maybe put some joke songs where other band members sing, Getting other people on stage, Breaks, if you're creative, 4 hours should go by fast, but it still is a REALLY LONG TIME
#5
I've done shows upwards of 3 1/2 hours several times before. Watch out for fatigue in your wrists, fingers, and your drummer's entire body. It may sound cheezy, but take breaks and do hand massages and stretches. If its good enough for Petrucci, its good enough for the rest of us.
Anyways, make sure you plan your set list in a way that your very technically demanding songs that put a lot of strain on the band are well spread out, with fewer towards the end. I play progressive metal so I tend to do one tech song, and then something far easier by RHCP or something to fill in the gaps. That way the popular material keeps coming for the average joe and your main fanbase is impressed.

I think I just over analyzed this.
#7
That's why you should learn some REALLY EASY SONGS

beginner material basically, but good ones
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#9
Don't bands usually take breaks and do like 3 or 4 sets if they are booked for the night.. Thats what all pub bands i've seen do. Breaks between sets will give you a chance to have a break, get a drink, take a piss and fix any eqiptment probelms you have.
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#10
Don't bands usually take breaks and do like 3 or 4 sets...


Yep, 45 minute set, 15 minute break. 40-45 songs total, depending on how many are long ones or can be stretched out, (ONLY if the crowd is getting into the song, otherwise chop it off short.) I like to hit them with at least 3 songs back to back, no more than 15 seconds between songs, 5 seconds or less when possible, then a short rest, letting the front man talk to the audience for 30-45, then back to the music. More idle time between songs than that and you lose your audience quick.

They DO NOT want to see you standing around onstage trying to decide what to play, so have a printed set list for each set, printed large enough to read if you keep it on the floor at your feet, and stick to your set list as much as possible. Average 15 songs per set. I can switch guitars when I need to in 15 seconds or less, an I switch a lot when a guitar is out of tune or I need an alternate tuning, or I want a specific guitar for the sound I'm after. I also use a volume pedal so I switch guitars with no loud buzz when I plug another one in. That's annoying...Avoid tuning onstage as much as possible, that's the main reason I started taking more than one guitar to a gig. I refuse to retune onstage, I've seen that many times as a member of the audience and believe me it's irritating. The only thing I thought was unprofessional about Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young when I saw them in Austin 5 or 6 years ago was when Neil Young stopped the band 15 or 20 seconds into a song and retuned his Les Paul onstage then restarted. Made him look bad, and the band look bad. Unprofessional. And if you must retune, use a tuner and don't try it by ear, the audience should not have to listen to it, that's what Neil Young did, retuned by ear. I thought it made him look like a jerk. In his position it's not hard to have a stage hand bring out another guitar, he was using 4 or 5 all night, mostly the black Les Paul. I've stopped the band before in the first 10 or 15 seconds on one of those occasions a guitar suddenly drops out of tune or breaks a string, but usually it's not possible, and I don't like to do it. I either wait for a chance during the song I can drop out for a few seconds and swap guitars or grin and bear it...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#11
this will be our third "real" gig, so we're still a fresh band trying to get established on the show "circuit." So yeah, I use 4 guitars to do our whole setlist, plus my viola. I have that much covered, especially if my girlfriend will tech my stuff for part of the night(she also may be playing violin on a song or two).

Our setlist isn't easy for a band to play, there is a lot of soundgarden and tool, so lots of time signature changes, as well as our originals and the Foo Fighters which are rhythmically interesting. We may be doing YYZ, but that is up in the air. We like challenging music instrumentally, but we dont want to wear out our lead singer, whom is a classically trained chorus/theater baritone(with quite a bit of upper range extension for a baritone). I've done shows with him where he has done challenging music vocally, but Les Miserables and Camelot are very different than rock shows. Are there any must haves for preserving a singer other than lots of water?
#12
i dont know what to say about the vocalsit, but to lower the strain on him, get an opening act if the school allows you to. or take breaks between songs, i dont think they expect you to play for 4 hours straight.
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#14
Throw in a few instrumentals! It would add flavour to your set and create all kinds of moods. Have an improv. session, they're fun. (As long as you can, which I'm assuming you can)

And maybe try a few popular songs where you can get the crowd up to sing a bit. It's only a school, they don't expect you to be absolute pros, though I see you're trying to make an impression.
#16
Alirght, I see that tuning on stage can be irritating... I was at Gov't Mule sunday night and Warren and Andy each did it a few times, and it was slightly bothersome.

I may be asking my girlfriend may be adding violin to a song or two, should I ask her to keep my stuff in tune when she isn't onstage? I switch guitars a lot and use a few tunings... over the course of our current 32 song list I make 13 switches between three guitars. We set the setlist up to provide maximum variety and still carry moods in a coherent way... but that means my "blood" splattered strat wouldn't work continually, and i switch with the Epiphone Dot quite often and only use my Jetking for two songs(in Eb/drop C#).

Oh, and does it seem pretentious when the rest of the band drops out so the guitarist can do a song by himself? I wanted to do "That's Entertainment" by the Jam alone.
#17
opening act ftw! goodluck tell us how it goes!! try to get someone to record it too!

your band should respect that you want to do that song alone. Plus im sure they want a break too
#18
as long as she knows how to keep it in tune, then its no problem as long as nobody hears or sees her doing it (if possible). you should record it though. showing venues that you can play for that long would be pretty impressive.
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#19
Throw in a few instrumentals!


I've always liked instrumentals, can't get many bands to do them much.

I also like doing solo acoustic stuff, including with the band leaving the stage or before they get onstage, that works well. Both instrumental and with vocals.

Yes have someone tune guitars if possible, I wish I had someone to stay on top of tunings, I use up to 8 guitars and 3 or 4 tunings. Having someone to keep them in tune would be EXCELLENT...a 15 minute break and I might have time to run to the little boys room before I start tuning guitars. 2 degrees temperature change also throws tuning off, so I avoid getting under heating/air conditioner vents as well. It sucks to spend my entire break tuning guitars and halfway into the second song the A/C comes on and all tuning is out the window before the end of the song...not a guitar in sight in tune any more.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#20
Quote by mybandsuks_15
i dont know what to say about the vocalsit, but to lower the strain on him, get an opening act if the school allows you to. or take breaks between songs, i dont think they expect you to play for 4 hours straight.

If the gig's 4 hours long, I'd get a couple of opening acts. Limit your own set to about 1 hour and 45 minutes and give it all you've got. That way you get a better performance and the audience doesn't get bored of watching the same band for ages and you don't end up being ignored by the audience, which is what usualy happens when an unknown band plays for more than two hours.
#21
4 hours..?

Nobody is gonna stand there for 4 hours and actually watch the whole thing.
Get more bands, playing a 4 hour set isn't normal.
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#22
At Topsfield fair, a fair in my area, i've played there the last 2 years. We have a 5 hour set time, but we play for 3 hours. What you do is split your set, I dont know how long your set is. But since ours was a fair and you dont see the same people the whole time. We repeated our 1 hour and 30 minute set twice, taking a 15 minute break in the middle of the set, and a 30 minute break in between each full set. Take a 30 minute intermission. And get an opening band in your case.

Opening band-45 minutes-1 hour
Set 1- 1 hour
Break-30 minutes
Set 2-1 hour.

Thats if you have 2 hours of music.
I'm sure she wont care if you only play 3 1/2 hours
Make them want more!
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#23
The openning act isn't much of an option, unless I open up with one of my other groups...

What I am considering is doing the Gov't Mule at the Fox Theater in 2005 thing(widely regarded as their all time finest performance). At that show they started off with just Warren on guitar and slowly added in the rest of the band for the first hour, in an acoustic setting, then for the second/third set rocking the crap out of the place, interjecting some acoustic stuff at times.

And as an aside, the girl that invited us is an ex girlfriend of mine, anyone know any jokey songs I could dedicate to her? Obviously we are still on good terms, and it would really puzzle my current girlfriend, whom will be there playing some violin.
#24
Quote by Keef-is-king
The openning act isn't much of an option, unless I open up with one of my other groups...

You don't know any other bands that want to play a gig?
Quote by Keef-is-king

What I am considering is doing the Gov't Mule at the Fox Theater in 2005 thing(widely regarded as their all time finest performance). At that show they started off with just Warren on guitar and slowly added in the rest of the band for the first hour, in an acoustic setting, then for the second/third set rocking the crap out of the place, interjecting some acoustic stuff at times.

How long away is this gig? Do you have loads of time to rehearse all this?
Quote by Keef-is-king

And as an aside, the girl that invited us is an ex girlfriend of mine, anyone know any jokey songs I could dedicate to her? Obviously we are still on good terms, and it would really puzzle my current girlfriend, whom will be there playing some violin.

Jeezus! That's just asking for trouble.
#25
Quote by SlackerBabbath
You don't know any other bands that want to play a gig?


There could be other bands, but we can do the whole thing(just did two 3 hour shows this weekend), and we don't want the only other good band in our school to steal our thunder with their crazy good guitarist, who is admittedly their only good part. That and they are all better looking than my band, which could "ruin" us afterwards.

Quote by SlackerBabbath
How long away is this gig? Do you have loads of time to rehearse all this?


The gig is in december, we rehearse every weekend, and have a 3+ hour set down(without jamming), so that's just one more hour to fill with a bunch of new originals and jamming.

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#29
mabeye post an add to get an opening band in your local guitar store or whatever
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#30
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