Managing the Vibe at Gigs, Parties and Weddings

mixer-at-partyWhat happens when you expect a dance crowd and get one that wants to listen intently? Every gig is different, and many times you don’t get to control the vibe of the room you walk into. The only thing you can do is control what you deliver from the stage, and sometimes that means adjusting on-the-fly. Hear your two favorite weekend warriors talk through some of the recent scenarios they’ve encountered and how they’ve learned to deal with it. But first, a question from listener Michael about setlist creation tools. Press play and enjoy!

Chapters and Timestamps:

00:00:00 GigGab 83
00:01:14 Of playing and learning “Fool In The Rain”
00:08:42 Michael-Set List Creation Tools?
00:16:59 Choosing an opening song
00:22:06 Vocal and instrumental warmups
00:23:46 On the subject of weddings…
00:30:23 Managing the Party Vibe
00:34:37 Wedding Stories … and Racist Firemen!
00:39:16 Don Henley knows how to build and deliver a setlist
00:47:25 The job of a party band

Falling into the Autumn Music Scene – GigGab 82

guitar laying in autumn leavesAutumn is almost here for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, and the gigs change right along with the New England leaves. Even though Paul’s not in New England (or, well, not usually), he’s experiencing the end-of-summer effect with his west coast gigs, too. Listen to what your two favorite working musicians have to say about this different time of year, and also about booking new gigs and supporting other acts. Name checks this time around include Paul Costley, Little Feat, JAM PATROL, Pitch Slap Percussion and Two Cheers!


00:00:00 GigGab 82
00:00:57 Playing a gig exhausted
00:04:19 Booking agents that work for the club vs. the band
00:06:27 The ethics of booking
00:09:02 The Houserockers back to the clubs
00:13:18 Ahh, drummers.
00:16:42 Blending harmonies … “Seven Bridges Road”
00:18:49 Little Feat – Let’s talk about grace and longevity!
00:25:22 Jam Patrol’s Acoustic Set (including a discussion about Skye using Dave’s wearable Pitch Slap cajon… and its new microphone!)
00:33:27 Shout out to/from Two Cheers Podcast

The Benefits of Intimidation – GigGab 81

hello, I am leaving my comfort zoneDespite the shorter-than-usual gap between episodes, both Paul and Dave found themselves in intimidating scenarios they had to deal with in the moment. Caring about what you do and how you do it is an important trait of being a musician, and sometimes that means external factors drive you to perform better… or worse! Listen to what your two favorite weekend warrior musicians went through this week and how they coped!


00:00:00 GigGab 81
00:01:06 Paul’s back… is back!
00:02:42 Gigs for the weekend
00:04:20 When not to pickup a pickup band
00:09:53 Trust the Universe. It speaks to you!
00:12:12 Monkey Fist… with Johnnie D the “Man Angel”
00:13:16 The building anticipation before you go on stage
00:20:32 The challenge of friendly competition
00:23:58 Dave’s second Bitter Pill rehearsal: Intimidation


Watch What Goes Into and Out of Your Mouth – GigGab 80

allergies-and-face-maskBoth musicians and bandleaders alike have to make split-second decisions and then live with them long-term, and today’s show is all about being a little more thoughtful about the things that both come out of and go into our mouths. Paul and Dave share some recent lessons along these lines to prove that time and wisdom don’t necessarily stay in sync!

Your Two Weekend Warriors Share a Weekend – GigGab 79

Dave's View from behind The HouserockersIt finally happened: Dave and Paul played the gigs together that they’ve been discussing for the past few episodes. As always there are lessons that were learned, stories to tell, and sometimes both are about the same thing! Listen as these two weekend warriors share their shared weekend with all of you!


Chapters include:

00:00:00 GigGab 79

00:01:04 Big Ears

00:05:06 Beginning of the Trip

00:06:10 It all began with wine

00:10:58 Heading to the gig

00:17:59 Your sound is your style

00:20:36 Sorting out the time

00:23:04 Finding the groove

00:26:24 What is Hip?

00:34:17 Sunday – We (ain’t) Got The Power!

00:40:42 GG Outtro

Embracing Intensity and Lessons from the Pros – GigGab 78

drummer-intensePaul and Dave are in the final stages of their shared gig prep, but take a detour today to talk about all the other projects they each have going on and the value of embracing intensity. Then it’s time to look to the pros and learn some lessons about requests and stage presence. As if we thought honing our craft on our instruments was enough, that’s only the beginning!

Confident vs. Overconfident Subbing – GigGab 77

substituteDave’s coming out to sub for The Houserockers in a couple of weeks, so it’s time for him and Paul to chat through some of the details required to ensure a good gig. Equipment, dress code, charts and confidence are the topics discussed today, and it’s a good one! On top of that, listener Kevin has a question about how much input and influence a subbing drummer should exert. Dave and Paul have slightly differing approaches to answering this particular question. Don’t worry, it’s only a little awkward! Buckle up, press play and enjoy the ride.

Outdoor Summer Gigs, Musical Inspirations & Uninvited Stage Visitors – GigGab 76

cartoon-rock-starsPaul curses Dave by revisiting the subject of People Behaving Badly™, this time with the twist of discussing folks who feel the need to join your band (or any band!) on stage without invitation. Before getting into that, though, your two favorite weekend warriors discuss the joys of playing outdoor summer festivals, and why you might want to do that with your band. Finally, have you ever gone to see a band and been so inspired that you want to change everything about the way you do what you do? You’re not alone!

The Energy Required To Be Intimate – GigGab 75

Today, Paul and Dave address the question a new bandleader asks about getting things started. As you might expect, your two favorite Weekend Warriors have a differing set of opinions on this, and that makes for a good podcast! First, though, it’s about how much energy it takes to play a “simple” acoustic gig. Keeping the crowd engaged is always an effort, and as a musician you’re constantly reminded of just how necessary that effort is. Hear Paul and Dave talk about all this and more!

Whose Mistakes Most Often Turn Into Trainwrecks? – GigGab 74

music-staff-mistakePaul and Dave come together today to ponder the subject of responsibility, and that leads to discussing which instrument bears the most responsibility for keeping the train on the tracks. A thoughtful, spirited discussion ensues, and your two favorite Weekend Warriors find they’re on common ground. Drummers, you might not be happy with Dave today! Before that, though, Paul talks through his All-Star Band gig this past weekend, and Dave talks about continually retraining his brain. Enjoy!