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Show Time(s)

March 20, 2012

During live shows something always goes wrong, sometimes it is minor and completely negligible sometimes it can be huge and ruin a show. The most common and recurring problem is one of the easiest to avoid but most frustrating when it happens: set times. Every band at some point will have a show ruined by set times in some way, whether by their own fault or someone else’s it is an inescapable universal law.

The easiest way to stop this problem is simple and easy, know your set time and know how to adjust it. Sometimes the previous band will go over their time a technical issue will happen and you may have to cut some songs. Be prepared for this and know which ones to cut. Generally your opener and closer should be your must hear songs so that if something happens and you get the last song warning you already know what to do. This also helps prevent you from being the band that goes over their set time, which is an extremely undesirable occurence.

Secondly to this is have a stage manager. Sometimes a show lacks a stage manager, especially if there is no formal promoter. The simplest thing to do is the person in whichever band is most responsible handles this. It might seem like a trivial thing but sometimes you can get caught up in the show and not realize how much you have already gone over your time slot.

While not something that directly affects going over or under but does affect the overall time slot is starting on time. This means setting up the show with a decent load in time and being there for it. Nothing is worse than the band supplying guitar cabs or drums for a backline being 40 minutes late with a short time for sound check already. Starting a show off late means either you plan to end late, something neither the bars or fans want, or cutting a few songs off each bands set.

There are loads of things that can mess up your set time but there is always something to counter this. The best thing to do is prepare by realizing that problems will happen and practice knowing this. Much like public transit, nobody is ever happy when things don’t run on time.

-Hassan

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