There’s More Than One Kind Of Gig

Ahem. Check, one two…check… ::thump thump::

Hi. I’m Scott Andrew, singer-songwriter guy from Seattle, and as Joe already mentioned, I’ll be a guest blogger on for the next few weeks. I’ve never been a “guest blogger” before, so this is a brand-new venture for me. Also, I hope I don’t break anything. So here we go.

Last week I caught Greg Behrendt’s new stand-up comedy special Greg Behrendt Is Uncool on Comedy Central. Sporting a black tee, wallet chain and spiky hair, the 42-year-old Behrendt bases much of his stand-up on the plight of the aging rocker dude. (My favorite bit is Behrendt’s lesson on how to play air guitar.)

But the part that caught my attention as a musician was Behrendt’s ideal “adult rock show.” He outlined the following criteria:

  • Start the show at 7:00pm. None of this waiting ’til midnight stuff, we got jobs!
  • Age-restricted. If we grownups are paying a premium for tickets, there will be NO MOSHING.
  • No opening acts. (“I don’t wanna see you struggle through your career! I could be dead before you get good!”)
  • Play only your hits. We’re glad you’re working on new material, but we want to sing, please.
  • End the concert in ONE HOUR, tops, so we’re home by 9:00pm (hopefully in time for Lost).

Of course, the largely over-30 crowd roared back in approval, because even though it was a joke, you just know they’d totally dig a show like that. Heck, I’d pay extra.

It got me thinking about how often we expect people to rearrange their daily routines to accommodate our needs as performers. Shouldn’t that be the other way around?

Do any of these sound familiar?

“I really wanted come to your show, but I just can’t stay awake past eleven these days.”

“I was planning on coming, but there’s never any parking downtown, and it’s kind of dangerous at night.”

“That place is always crowded, smoky and there’s never any seating. I think I’ll pass.”

It’s easy to get stuck thinking there’s only one kind of gig. Are your designing your shows to appeal to your audience, or are you just booking where you can, when you can, and praying for a good turnout?

One response

  1. I totally agree with your point. Our band makes it a point to book gigs at the most convenient times for our fan base. That means only weekends and only places with easy access. Those are generally harder to book, but once you draw well the first time, you can use that reference to book other weekend gigs. It becomes a domino effect. In one year, we’ve increased our draw to 50 people per show. Bookers love us. If we ever get to the point where we’re drawing over 100, then we could consider booking other nights of the weeek and still draw well. But then again, who would want to?