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Saw a really bad dad band last night


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So my girlfriend and I were planning to go to this wacky, monthly bluegrass picking party and contra dance thing held in the wilds of Connecticut last night but her boss wants us to go out and see a "really GOOD band" with him. So we decide to do the social thing and have a good time going out to dinner with the boss, who is a very nice guy, and his wife and then head over to this local dive, The Black Duck to check out what turns out to be their neighbor's band. Not only did they suck but their song selection was mostly a bunch of obscure covers, most of which I had never heard or could not recognize. The place was empty by the second set which was when we escaped as well. Just a mini rant, but we had a fun night anyway.

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Hard to judge a performer on one gig. I play a place regularly here in town. The crowd varies wildly, depending on weather, what else if going on in town, etc. Two weeks ago I played .to a packed house. Last night, there were maybe 15 people. There happens to be a big blues festival going on in town. Yet I still made almost 50 bucks in tips. Which can be an indicator that people like what I'm doing even if the crowd was small. But I play a lot of obscure stuff, which has kind of become my niche. I'd just hate to have someone walk in and judge the legitimacy of what I'm doing based on what they saw last night.

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Hard to judge a performer on one gig. I play a place regularly here in town. The crowd varies wildly' date=' depending on weather, what else if going on in town, etc. Two weeks ago I played .to a packed house. Last night, there were maybe 15 people. There happens to be a big blues festival going on in town. Yet I still made almost 50 bucks in tips. Which can be an indicator that people like what I'm doing even if the crowd was small. But I play a lot of obscure stuff, which has kind of become my niche. I'd just hate to have someone walk in and judge the legitimacy of what I'm doing based on what they saw last night. [/quote']

 

I can't imagine anyone would walk in at any gig you do and not know that you can play and are good at what you do. I presume the OP is talking about a band with poor individual skills and worse as-a-group. (But I didn't see them, so maybe I'm projecting....lol.)

 

But I've unfortunately seen way too many bands performing in public over the years that really have no business being on a public stage. But yeah...if it was a just a poor crowd/poor songlist (songlists being subjective and all that) band then there's no reason to be harsh on them.

 

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I`ve heard some really good artists playing to a practically empty room. Then I`ve seen bands that suck play to a huge crowd.

 

A lot of it comes down to how popular these people are off the stage. They have lots of friends and co-workers come out to support them. If they`re young and attractive, even more people show up.

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I watched a similar band the other night with a guitar player that stared at his music stand all night and a hack playing e-drums. No dynamics. God it was awful. The song selection was mostly 60s and Beatles, until they decided to Stan Rogers' "Barrett's Privateer" acapella. I have never seen a joint empty so fast.

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You know... those "crappy Dad bands" didn't all of a sudden just go bad at a certain age. More than likely they started out as a crappy high school musician, becoming a crappy bar band before finally arriving at "crappy Dad band" status. I just hate that phrase. It just rubs me wrong. It's always made to sound like something that just happens after a certain age rather than something bestowed upon you because of your glaring lack of musical ability. I know, I know... Lighten up Francis!

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You know... those "crappy Dad bands" didn't all of a sudden just go bad at a certain age. More than likely they started out as a crappy high school musician' date=' becoming a crappy bar band before finally arriving at "crappy Dad band" status. I just hate that phrase. It just rubs me wrong. It's always made to sound like something that just happens after a certain age rather than something bestowed upon you because of your glaring lack of musical ability. I know, I know... Lighten up Francis![/quote']

 

Actually, I think it kinda DOES just happen all of a sudden. Because most of these crappy bands are crappy because they are made up of guys who played around a bit in high school, but then because they didn't have the ability and/or desire, gave it up to do something 'real' with their lives. Then they get to a certain age where they decide they want some of what they missed out on. Problem is that taking 30 years off didn't make them any better musicians or performers. But some can afford some really nice gear, though.

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You know... those "crappy Dad bands" didn't all of a sudden just go bad at a certain age. More than likely they started out as a crappy high school musician' date=' becoming a crappy bar band before finally arriving at "crappy Dad band" status. I just hate that phrase. It just rubs me wrong. It's always made to sound like something that just happens after a certain age rather than something bestowed upon you because of your glaring lack of musical ability. I know, I know... Lighten up Francis![/quote']

 

 

I think you will find most of the so called crappy dad bands came from the era where they never had a real music scene when they were young. If they missed the holiday inn touring thing odds are they never gigged much. You have to be almost in your 60s to have been old enough for the teen band scene,, so that leaves a ton of 40 sumthings that had no real training ground and are just now learning to be bands in their 40s and 50s. that can make for a whole lot of suck. I ran into a ton of that when I was on the comeback trail doing auditions for start up bands. Most of them totally lacked the ability to play well with other players. Not bad guys but not the kind of people you want to be on stage with because they had no real foundation skills in bands playing with other players. Vocals aways seemed to be a problem too.

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...Guys who played around a bit in high school, but then because they didn't have the ability and/or desire, gave it up to do something 'real' with their lives. Then they get to a certain age where they decide they want some of what they missed out on. Problem is that taking 30 years off didn't make them any better musicians or performers. But can afford some really nice gear, though.

 

 

You're both right. And maybe that's the official definition of "Dad Band".

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I remember this all starting up in the mid-90s. It was the first time I ever heard the term "weekend warrior" and it was at a local music store who was promoting a program where they'd sell some old guys some gear, maybe give them some lessons, and help them hook up with each other to start bands. Sort of a "School of Rock" for old dudes. Made sense from the store's perspective since these children-of-the-60s were just now reaching 40-50 and had some extra time and spending cash. Instead of spending money on a boat or a sports car, guys were starting to live out their mid-life crises by buying a couple of expensive guitars and amps and learning some old Cream riffs. There were even some gigs to get for the motivated that didn't completely suck since "classic rock" was really starting to take off right at this time as well. (Didn't hurt that every old album ever released was being "remastered" for CD right around then too.)

 

There have always been older musicians. But most, in my experience, were all either former full-time pros or never stopped being working pros. They may or may not have been playing in bands that were relevant to younger audiences (most weren't) but very few sucked and they usually got some respect from younger players, if nothing else. No one ever thought of those older band as "dad bands". They were just older dudes still playing Big Band music or maybe 50s rock or in an Oompa band or something. Most were pretty damn good. At least in the cities I lived in.

 

But I don't recall many who never did much with it when they younger and who just decided to take up being in a band when they got into their 40s or 50s until the 90s. So, yeah...I do think that's where the (usually derisive) term "dad band" comes from.

Edited by Vito Corleone
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I guess maybe. I never believed the "boss" when he said it was a really good band. But can't they have fun at home?

 

Well, this is where I blame the clubowners. I guess if it's a place that's also using the cheapest possible food ingredients and watering down their drinks, then you can probably expect them to not care about how bad the bands are as long they don't cost much and they can still technically put "LIVE MUSIC" up on a sign out front. But for a place that takes pride in what they do... it really should be upon the clubowners to be the gatekeepers for the quality-level of the entertainment.

 

Used to be bands worked hard to be good enough so they could get the gigs. But if they can suck and still have a gig on Sat night, then where is the impetus to be better? Their wives probably all tell them they are great.

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This place, The Black Duck is a riverside dive bar built in an old barge though it is on the banks and not floating. It has been there forever. Food is basic and OK. It is definitely the kind of place any local can book a gig if they say they are going to have a bunch of friends coming. If there were 40 people in there it would be packed. Still if the band was good people would have stayed for set 2 and maybe even set 3 and they would have sold a lo tore beer and watered down drinks. lol

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