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Played Our First Agent Showcase The Other Night! Experience Was Great!

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  • Played Our First Agent Showcase The Other Night! Experience Was Great!

    I posted a week back about us playing an agent showcase in another market. I figured I'd share some of our experience since this was the first showcase we had ever done. Tuesday night's a worknight for everyone and it was a 5 hr drive round trip to play just for 30 minutes. We've had many offers before to 'audition' for midweek showcases but it never felt right or the details were always fuzzy. This one we didn't even blink. The club is one of the biggest in the Northeast, one of the hardest to get into and there were 11 other club owners and industry buyers there. We all took off the next day, got some hotel rooms nearby and stayed the duration.

    Our time slot was late: 12:30-1am... 10-11 bands performing. They had two stage areas set up... the mainstage used house sound and lights, and bands played 30 minute sets. A smaller side stage area was setup on the club floor for bands who would play two 15 minute sets while the mainstage bands changed over. The club had house lights and sound, the agency provided backline. All the bands had to bring was their instruments and their talent.. Overall the event ran very smooth... the schedule and the change overs ran like clockwork. Our keyboard setup is a bit complicated and I was worried that we would struggle with the short time between sets. We staged everything on the side of stage and we were setup in less than 10 minutes. That was a nice feeling.

    The bands were overall ranged from pretty good to f**king great! There were no weak bands or terrible performances on the roster. In fact I'd rate the majority from good to downright terrific! Many of the younger bands, were being groomed by the agent to 'bring the show'... so there was plenty of hairspray, guyliner and Affliction T's to fill a Good Charlotte World Tour. Still I have to say that all of the bands that were marketing a 'masculine' rock image were still grade A good. They were full of terrific players and had great frontmen. One guy was singing Steve Perry with such confidence if I closed my eyes I would have thought it was a tribute band. A few bands had style and presentation that in my eyes would kill in any room. There were a few lounge style bands (one was doing 60's mod rock) that were very cool. Could definately see in a Martini Bar or higher end joint. Two bands were full of music nerds... and were sickening on the talent scale. Presentation was a little lax but in terms of musical performance they could sing, shred, multitask... gave me goosebumps. I was both intimidated and inspired. And the average age of both bands was 23-25.

    Most of the guitar oriented bands were using backing tracks but the performances were pretty seemless. The band members moved around so much that your focus was on their performance, not on the fact that there wasn't a keyboard on stage. Still, I can't help but think that some of the performances were chained a little by the click track. For instance every band played each song from begining to end. No deviation at all from the track on the album or the radio. None of the bands except one, played any mashups or medleys. In my mind, using these tracks to suppliment band members leaves them without the ability to orchestrate on the fly. Still despite those limitations, these bands still performed like they wrote the material themselves. And as we've discussed here ad nauseam neither the club owner or the chicks in the front row care.

    It seemed like forever for us to hit at 12:30. We had gotten to the club about 8:30pm and loaded in around 9pm and there were already bands that had finished their performance and were loading out. I remember relaxing, chatting with some friends who made the trip and having a few drinks (something I rarely do) and what seemed like 50 bands and three hours had passed. When I looked at my watch it was only 10:15. We had two hours to go. Then the thought hit me... my bandmates... 2-3 who could win some consumption contests, had two hours to kill... in a bar, surrounded by alcohol, before we audtioned for the biggest club owners in the state. BAD MOVE!!!! Nope... we all kept a clear head, kept things in check and waited to unleash afterward.

    As for our audition/showcase... whatever you want to call it... it couldn't have gone smoother. We pulled together two medley's we often perform, sliced each in half, glued them together and had time for one more song. In 26 minutes we played 12 songs and didn't take a single break except for the last song. Both medleys gave us ample opportunity to showcase the most current songs we perform plus a mixture of some old school rap and hip hop. Since so many of the bands were rock and guitar oriented it was a wise move. We stood out completely and any nervousness faded by the 2nd song as the we started drawing people to the front of the stage. Felt right at home. As soon as we got offstage, one club owner that we had sent a press kit to over two years ago hired us on the spot (well, details like pay weren't discussed). I have no doubts we'll get booking opportunities out of this. It will just depend on whether the money will justify the travel. Overall it was great just to experience a little pressure and succeed. See some quality bands in a completely differen't market and see how we sat in the deck.

    I was also thinking about this experience at this stage in our band's life/history, it seems a break like this was long overdue (we've been around almost 10 years and have never audtioned for anything really)... yet I really couldn't imagine this happening with any of our previous lineups. Our current lineup (solid since Nov 2010) has never worked so well together ever. Everyone are solid players, there are no egos, attitudes or selfishness. We agreed on Halloween costumes in July... what band does that????. Everyone is so agreeable that honestly we joke that we're tipping over in niceness. I used to think we needed a strong personality (aka:****************************) to balance the line up. No more. We've had some strong players in the past... some guys that from a talent perspective could be a draw on their own. Yet ego, bad habits, bad decisions would have really ruined, disrupted or give us a bad immpression at this event. We certainly would've had fist a cuffs in the parking lot afterward and silence on the van ride home. It goes without saying that a band that can get along is a sometimes a better working band than one packed with talent but full of conflict.
    so over this signature BS!!!

  • #2
    I'm glad you're pumped and all, but my experience has been that these showcase things are just a scam to get bands to play for free. I can't recall anything good coming from playing for free, ever.

    I got a call the other day from a local promoter wanting us to do one. He promised me lots of gigs if we did it. I told him give me the gigs first and we'll talk about throwing you a freebie. The conversation ended right about then. Said he'd send me an email all about what he could do for us. Still waiting for it.

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    • #3
      I'm glad you're pumped and all, but my experience has been that these showcase things are just a scam to get bands to play for free. I can't recall anything good coming from playing for free, ever.

      I got a call the other day from a local promoter wanting us to do one. He promised me lots of gigs if we did it. I told him give me the gigs first and we'll talk about throwing you a freebie. The conversation ended right about then. Said he'd send me an email all about what he could do for us. Still waiting for it.


      Yeah... like I said, we've turned down many in the past. You just have to take a real hard look to see whether the 'juice is worth the squeeze'. In this case we quickly determined-

      #1- The agent/promoter has a good, long standing reputation in the business. A former frontman in a popular club band years ago he has networked connections into the best rooms in the area. He was organized, followed through and came on the recommendation of another agent we've used for years. He personally introduced 5 club owners to our manager after the set.

      #2- Having the chance to play this room gave some clout. Even if we never play there again, we can always say we were there. I know bands that tried alot harder and alot longer to actively book this room. We didn't even try, we just accepted an invitation for the showcase.

      #3- The caliber of the bands, and the clubs they are booked into is another 'good' sign that the event is legit. We were the only band on the bill without this agent's representation. I also believe we were the only band from out of state. So it wasn't a situation where these bands were trying to get representented. They are already repped... this was to put them infront of club owners of some of the biggest clubs in NJ and NE.

      We've been working with two agents in New England and Long Island for a few years but we never audtioned for those. We made contact, sent press kits, followed up and slowly through wearing them down, and getting positive feedback from trial bookings were we able to get into the big rooms into those markets. NJ on the otherhand has be impossible to break into. The big rooms are all agent controlled and one entertainment agency in particular monopolized the best bookings. Out of state bands always seemed 'locked out'. There were 2-3 local bands that tried for years to play the Jersey Shore... playing mid-week gigs at smaller rooms, doing agent auditions...etc. and nothing materialized. So this is certainly a breakthrough for us.

      Good opportunities do exist, you just have to do your research and be choosy.
      so over this signature BS!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Awesome, Grant! Whoo hoo!!!!
        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
        My cover band

        HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOESN'T WORK HARD

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        • #5
          It goes without saying that a band that can get along is a sometimes a better working band than one packed with talent but full of conflict.


          You're singing my tune, brother!

          Congrats on the good audition!
          _________________________________________________
          band websites:
          http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
          https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
          https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
          http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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          • #6
            This was for real, the showcase was on a Tuesday night, in a huge CLub and they didn't advertise in their calendar, this was indeed a private showcase for in the biz people. The agent I use here in NJ saw you guys, he will be calling you. I will PM you info later, he said you guys were great!

            Rod
            www.tablefor2.net

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            • #7
              We did one of these showcase gigs a few months back; 15 minutes in the middle of the day for about 35 activity directors around the valley. We got 10 bookings right off the bat. I used to sneer at doing showcases; this really changed my 'tude!!
              <div class="signaturecontainer">I just play what the voices in my head tell me to play.</div>

              Comment


              • #8
                We did one of these showcase gigs a few months back; 15 minutes in the middle of the day for about 35 activity directors around the valley. We got 10 bookings right off the bat. I used to sneer at doing showcases; this really changed my 'tude!!


                I think if you do your research and network with the right people these opportunities are golden. Did you ever see a band playing a sporting event in front of 60,000 people and wonder... "how did they get that gig?". You have to be top talent networked with the top movers and shakers in your area.

                We've played in other markets and I've seen so-called A-list bands and many are average bands that are just throwing together gimmicks or dressing for the part. The roster of bands we played with were scorchingly good. One band nailed "Bohemian Rhapsody" with such ease... it was like any other band playing "I Want You to Want Me"... And I mean nailed it. Vocal harmonies were sickening. One guy even sang the Roger Taylor's Bb falsetto five octaves up. I thought I was watching "Glee" for a second. I think the best thing about this agent's roster was that even though there was a little song overlap and some of the 'hunkier' bands seemed to blend a little.... every band had some signature that made them stand out. It was either the Frontman.. or a signature song choice (another band nailed "Du Hast" from Rammstein... my neck still hurts from turning so quickly). It was all good company to be in.
                so over this signature BS!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I haven't posted video here in about 38 seconds (joking... since I still produce weekly band video I've held back a lot these days). I thought I'd include the video recap we filmed for the showcase. There are a few songs we've recently discussed on this forum that are included (Party Rock Anthem, Down). I produce these for our fans not other bands... if anyone is interested in seeing video from other songs (Dynamite, Insane In The Membrane, Brass Monkey, Love Is Gone) PM me and I'll dig em up.

                  so over this signature BS!!!

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