For all you giggers...

Kim Lucky Day

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So my band plays covers primarily classic rock but we also mx in some blues, country and pop music to appeal to a wider audience. We are relative newcomers to the local music scene (3 yrs) and are working to establish ourselves as a desirable option for local venues to bring in. Most places either do 3 hours/1 break or 4 hours/2 breaks per show. Very few dictate how long of a break we can take and as such, we tend to stretch this out to 30 minutes, which I believe is way too long. Crowd loses interest and it can be difficult to build back energy when the next set begins.

We recently were asked to play a 4 hour show but with only one break. I'm at a bit of a loss as to how long we should push for.

What do your breaks look like for you for various length shows?
 

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When I did 4 hour shows we did 3 sets with 3 breaks which were about a half hour each.

Of course if I had a 4 hour show these days I'd take a 4 hour break over the same timeframe as the show.

I should also say longer breaks were essential because that's when the dance music started playing and when people started getting into the music.
 
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Trumpet Rider

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We never were told when or how long our breaks would be. We usually played 4 hours with 3 ten minute breaks. When we played 5 hours we had 4 breaks. That worked well. Not only does the band need a break every hour or so, the audience and club staff need a break from the music too. 10 minutes seemed about right so that the crowd didn't have time to get bored and leave.
 

PelliX

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We never were told when or how long our breaks would be. We usually played 4 hours with 3 ten minute breaks. When we played 5 hours we had 4 breaks. That worked well. Not only does the band need a break every hour or so, the audience and club staff need a break from the music too. 10 minutes seemed about right so that the crowd didn't have time to get bored and leave.

Sounds about right. Why have a break longer than say 10 - 15 minutes? A drink and a smoke can be completed in 5 mins for me, if pushed I can cut that down even further. As you pointed out, long breaks can kill the mood. You want to 'feel' the audience once, not have to 'feel' them for every set...

Wow maybe join the union...

The union of "artists that are trying to get on the good side of the venues, but are a little picky about performing, too" ... :hmm: :applause:
 

Dogs of Doom

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can you talk to them, & say, you'd rather take more, short breaks, like playing 40 min +/- & taking a 10. They can cue up a couple song on the PA, during the break & then you can get right back into it...

I mean, some stuff looks good on paper but is no good in real world experiences.

If doing this, it's good to announce, that you're "taking a break & will be back in 10", so that way, the crowd is anticipating your return shortly.

Otherwise, if you just quit, then go on doing your own thing for ½ hour, people will have forgotten about you & are expecting to drink & yell at their friends in a loud room of other loud talkers...

You coming back on unexpectedly (they'll have forgot all about you by then) will be more of an annoyance for a bit, until they cede to the fact that you are now on to play louder than they can yell at each other...

That's how I see it anyway...
 

WellBurnTheSky

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Well, with my old band we didn't do a break at all for 3hrs typical covers shows. The idea being, once you grab them, never, ever release the pressure until you're done with them.
Though when we were booked to do a covers set, then a Queen tribute set, we usually did 1hr 1/2 "general" covers, 15 minutes break, then the 2hr tribute set.

Of course, this doesn't mean we didn't have points during the show when we could grab some water of catch our breath, through a guitar, keyboard or drums intro of some kind, or the singer talking to the crowd, but no break per se (which is why I liked summer outdoors gigs, I could grab a smoke between songs or during these piano+vocals intros).

But hey, at one point I was playing in function/ball bands, where we typically played from 10pm to 2am, so 2hrs 1/2 to 3hrs sets seemed kinda short in comparison...
 

Kim Lucky Day

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Geez, where are you guys playing to be playing 4/5 hour gigs?! We usually run our cover sets from 9pm - 12pm and have a quick 10 minute break about half way through.
Thankfully no 5 hour shows lol. 4 hours is pretty common but the way we've been structuring them is three 60-65 minute sets with roughly 20-30 minutes break time in between. Lately it's been a solid 30 minute break and we've been scrambling to get all of our set list in by the end of set 3.
 

Sapient

 
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This is Doom style ... so don't piss him off.

Manowar (Germany, 2008)

Although this wasn't technically during a concert, metal band Manowar set an intense record during soundcheck at the Magic Circle Festival in Germany in 2009. A small group of fans was able to witness the intense rehearsal, where a sound pressure level of 139 decibels was reportedly reached.

Manowar previously held loudness records for shows in both 1984 and 1996.






AC/DC (1980)

In 1980, Australian rockers AC/DC embarked on their Back In Black tour and performed a number of shows at a whopping 130 decibels. The effects would be felt years later when, in 2016, the band was forced to reschedule a series of show or risk singer Brian Johnson experiencing total hearing loss.

It's a wonder that Johnson wasn't impacted by hearing issues until years later, given the fatigue that likely came along with such an intensely loud tour. At the time of the tour, the band received complaints from promoters and were told to turn down to more tolerable volume levels.

 
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JazzBrandee

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Thankfully no 5 hour shows lol. 4 hours is pretty common but the way we've been structuring them is three 60-65 minute sets with roughly 20-30 minutes break time in between. Lately it's been a solid 30 minute break and we've been scrambling to get all of our set list in by the end of set 3.

Yeah, we ended up making ours ten minutes as it felt a bit rushed in the second set - although if your drummer wants a work out, take a longer break and just get them to play everything double time. Sorted :D
 

JazzBrandee

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I don't do cover gigs, but, it's kind of sad that they want all these hours of straight playing, yet want you to adhere to an 80-90db sound limit... :nutkick:

Ah, easy bit of beer money round these parts - plus it's nice to be out playing most weekends, even if some of the songs make my eyes roll :D Luckily they're not too strict on the sound limit (at least not by measuring decibels), so I get them to confirm what volume they're happy with, then we turn it up a couple of songs in anyway haha.
 

StrummerJoe

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BAck when I was gigging covers a 10-15 min break after 1 1/2 hours seemed right. 20 minutes was stretching it. Any longer is definitely too long, IMHO, and gives the crowd a chance to get bored.

Sometimes friends or just friendly people want to chat you up or make requests as you're trying to get a drink, a smoke, and/or a toke, but you just have to be polite and say "I'm sorry, you have to excuse me - we're back on. I hope you stay and enjoy the rest of the show - great to see you, thanks for coming!"

That's what seemed to work best way back when....
 

George Dickens

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Sounds about right. Why have a break longer than say 10 - 15 minutes? A drink and a smoke can be completed in 5 mins for me, if pushed I can cut that down even further. As you pointed out, long breaks can kill the mood. You want to 'feel' the audience once, not have to 'feel' them for every set...



The union of "artists that are trying to get on the good side of the venues, but are a little picky about performing, too" ... :hmm: :applause:
Ya I suoppose thats true. I feel for ya, It aint the stage tech union and the smaller stages probably dont even hire union folks. Sometimes you gotta burn.
 

Dogs of Doom

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This is Doom style ... so don't piss him off.

Manowar (Germany, 2008)

Although this wasn't technically during a concert, metal band Manowar set an intense record during soundcheck at the Magic Circle Festival in Germany in 2009. A small group of fans was able to witness the intense rehearsal, where a sound pressure level of 139 decibels was reportedly reached.

Manowar previously held loudness records for shows in both 1984 and 1996.




AC/DC (1980)

In 1980, Australian rockers AC/DC embarked on their Back In Black tour and performed a number of shows at a whopping 130 decibels. The effects would be felt years later when, in 2016, the band was forced to reschedule a series of show or risk singer Brian Johnson experiencing total hearing loss.

It's a wonder that Johnson wasn't impacted by hearing issues until years later, given the fatigue that likely came along with such an intensely loud tour. At the time of the tour, the band received complaints from promoters and were told to turn down to more tolerable volume levels.


Manowar typically sound good live. Loud & good is, well good...

that tape sounds bad though...

I wonder the truth to the AC/DC stories...
 

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