My band has been taking a break to write songs, get members, etc., and now we're on the road to playing gigs again. I've been thinking about putting on an exciting, more professional show. I've talked the lighting over with my dad, with having strobes behind us and police beacons on sides of the stage, and even a fog machine. But it led to this question.

Should we keep the traditional set-up with our singer in the middle, guitarists on each side, bassist on one of the sides, if not a little back, and the drummer in the back?

I saw Tool at the Target Center last year, and the lead singer (I honestly don't know his name, I got free tickets) was next to the drummer, and the bassist and guitarist were on the sides of the stage. It was quite interesting as they still put on an amazing show.

Any ideas/feedback on this or bands I should YouTube and research on?

If you're playing a gig at a venue that only has one or two monitors on the stage, you're gonna wanna stick with the traditional setup so you can hear everybody. But if if they've got a monitor for every member and they mic all of the instruments, you should totally come up with an interesting stage setup.
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fog machines dont cost a lot, that should be good to get. im in technical theater, and i gotta tell you, strobe lights are a bitch set up. those probably wouldnt be worth it. if you can find police beacon things that plug into an eddison slot (like a wall plug) and you have some other way to turn them off other than physically unplugging them from the wall. you should set up some sortof guitar pedal with a DPDT switch to turn them all on or off.

tool's singer plays that far back (and out of the light) because he gets MAJOR stagefright. could be cool if you just had everyone run around freely
You could do what Black Sabbath did.

(Looking at the stage)

Geezer on the left (bass), Iommi in the middle (guitar), Osbourne on the right (vocals) and Ward in the back (drums).
When the music's over, turn out the lights.

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i fingerd my girl the other day she got so wet nearly my entier hand was soked after that i ate her up, she blacked out it was awesome
I've seen quite a few bands with interesting stage set-ups. The Locust all play lined up perfectly next to us. I've heard of one band that had the drummer turned completely around. Other bands put their bassist or one of the guitarists in the middle and the vocalist to the side. I recently saw a really cool band live called Telescreen that had a huge screen in front of them which they played videos on and with the lights you could slightly see them through it. It was really sweet looking. Botch use to set up lights that would face out into the audience that made it hard to see the band. Other bands play video clips on screens behind them. I just really love it when bands improvise and come up with something unique for their live show.
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Mix it up, move around a bit! by all means get a stage set up to start the show and settle ya nerves, but later on, break loose! An awesome thing I'm gonna do and I think i heard about on UG, is get a wireless system and stand on a stool or podium just into the crowd of the stage for a slower song or stand on it with the crowd around me for a solo!!! just keep it interesting or the crowd will get bored and stop listening!
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Why not put the drummer closer to the front? They rarely get much spotight, after all.
drums are usually at the back cos they are traditionally louder.

I suppose it goes back to the old days of recording everyone with one microphone, so it was literally, quietist at the front, loudest at the back
Heh, Tool always does that. Maynard James Keenan is his name. He just chills in the back with the drummer. Good show, though, like you said.

Anyhoo, I'd keep your regular set up. Should work. Move around a lot, though.
be creative,, it doesn't really matter that much.
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We have vocals in the centre, drums back middle left, bass back middle right, 1st guitar front far left, 2nd guitar front far right.

I reckon the bass needs to stay near drums, to communicate better with them. After all, you ARE the rhythm section.
Quote by kyrreca
If your EQ looks like this your audience will look like this
Put your most physically active member up front and center. Put the least active members farther to the sides. That gives the active one the spotlight and the room to move. No one wants to see the boring guy up front with the active ones stuck in the back.
Quote by Rykr
Put your most physically active member up front and center. Put the least active members farther to the sides. That gives the active one the spotlight and the room to move. No one wants to see the boring guy up front with the active ones stuck in the back.

Awesome idea dude. Honestly, I say you should switch it up; let the guitarist take the center stage when he's doing a solo, mabye have the lead singer run around and fill up the entire stage instead of just his dedicated spot. Then again, if you only have one or two moniters, then stay traditional.