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Old 06-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #1
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First time playing a huge stage - any tips?

So my band Shadowmind got booked to Řyesletta Live 2012, where we will play on the same stage as Hammerfall and Amaranthe, and the stage is 10x30 metres. We are used to only playing tiny clubs where we barely have and space at all on stage, and now we're going to play this seriously huge stage.

We've already decided to invest in Line 6 G30 wireless for guitars and bass.

What do I need to know about playing stages this size? Anyone got tips to share?
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:41 PM   #2
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Don't just stand there and make it awkward for all those watching

I actually play on small stages, so I'm trying to imagine walking onto a large stage for the first time... Sounds scary. Yeah. Move around a little. That's all I got for ya.

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Old 06-10-2012, 06:49 PM   #3
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I'm not in a band, so I can't really give advice, but congratulations for getting on a large stage
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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Best thing you can do is have fun with it and not worry. Gigs are always way more fun when you can tell the band are having a wicked time.
Plus itl be wicked to make the most of the space
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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I have one suggestion: practice all of the things that you would need to do to have a show run smoothly, but make sure to practice them until you CAN'T get it wrong. a couple of relevant examples (you may already do these things, they just reinforce my main point)

as far as setups for venues goes: make sure that everything is in working order and that you have backups for all of your major things(guitars, amps ... etc); make sure that everything that's routine about setting up goes as quickly as possible and have a well practiced system in place to take care of any glitches that can happen at a live show

in regard to the performance aspect: rehearse with the mantra "perfect practice makes perfect". try to anticipate what it'll be like on the big stage and rehearse accordingly. if your rehearsal space isn't big enough to mimic the actual stage, then take elements (the previously mentioned "move around" would be one example) that would be important to have down and rehearse these items during band practice.

it all boils down to how well prepared are you going to be when you hit the big stage. seeing as this is a new thing, it would be best to put everything under the microscope, examine it, and then work at what you find. the more rehearsed you are, the easier this is going to be ... which will translate into a superior performance.

to sum it up:

dedicated, focused practice on important things will make perfect. nothing less.

planning how to get around stage problems before they happen will make any actual problems during the show easier to handle. experience is no substitution for prevention.

take a cue from nigel tufnel's amps: make sure things about this show go to 11. why? because it'll make things more enjoyable for everybody from you and your band to the audience

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Old 06-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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As awkward as it's going to sound...

Rehearse how you want the show to go. It feels weird at a jam session, but it's better than going on stage and looking extremely unorganized.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:48 PM   #7
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If you got a huge yard to use, I'd take your amp outside and jam while walking far away from it, get used to how it feels and sounds. It won't be exactly like being onstage, but it'll be close.

The more you can expect and anticipate what it'll feel/sound like (in every aspect of the bands performance), the easier it'll be to get up there and jam.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
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And then the neighbours get a free show, too!
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:44 AM   #9
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Watch footage of bands you like and know have reps as good live bands.

One of my favourite bands to see live is Machine Head. They just slay with their presence on stage.

My band - Ex Curia - Prog in an Opeth meets Karnivool meets Porcupine Tree meets Tool kind of way
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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Play it like you normally play
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:07 PM   #11
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biggest show i think i played was around 1100-1500 people amphitheater, and one thing i can say is play like you own the thing! I imagined i was in the local dive i was use to and knew everyone in the audience and we had a great show, minus the rain and the bad ground on my amp! oh and bring a back up amp or head
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:18 AM   #12
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Don't wander too far away from the monitors. You want to hear what you're playing Also, isn't G30 limited to 30 meters? I bet you don't have 30 meters of walking space, but if you do, don't start doing stage runs It might be a bit akward to realize you can't hear yourself.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:23 AM   #13
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the move around advice is good, but only if your keep in mind that this big stage does have boundaries. don't fall off.

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:08 PM   #14
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Make tons of sweet faces and rock star poses. And like the rest of everyone says, jam out at practice like its live, turn the lights down and shred it up. Just try not to put any holes in the ceiling like myself. It's embarrassing everytime I try to explain that one...
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:52 PM   #15
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This is traditionally a tip for vocals, but it does wonders for instrumentalists as well imo--play to the kind folks way in the back row, not just the people in front. You'll sound bigger and more interesting to more people if you don't forget to include everyone in the venue. Try to get into the mindset to play out as far as you can.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:18 PM   #16
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Quote from Jason Lee's character in Almost Famous:

"I work just as hard or harder than anybody on that stage. You know what I do? I connect. I get people off. I look for the guy who isn't getting off, and I make him get off."

Make sure you connect with the audience the same way you would in a smaller venue. That kid who is just learning the guitar, he's watching your hands. You should spot him and make sure he gets a really good ....ing look at your solo. There should be about 70 or 80 of them in the first 30 feet of the audience. Make lots of eye contact. If you can reach them, high five the people getting the .... beat out of them just to maintain their spot in front of the stage.

And this will sound scary: play it like it's the last time you'll ever get the opportunity. This could be your "retirement from big ....ing stages" show. Make sure they remember you.

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:34 AM   #17
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Crank the volume on the bass and guitars at a bigger venue unlike at smaller clubs where you have to lay back on the volume and rely on the PA to get equal volume. So crank the volume but keep it equal. Also constantly keep checking to see if everyone is in tune even before you go on (you dont want to risk it at a big show) last, a couple people already said it but dont look like a zombie on stage and try to get the crowed involved. show them that you are really into the music youre playing. It doesnt have to be textbook perfect. For example, what ive noticed what gets people pumped is our vocalist will literally reach out grab some kids collar and scream in his face. He hasnt gotten punched in the face yet so i guess that means it works haha.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:48 AM   #18
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:09 AM   #19
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I'm excited for you. I'd be scared as ...., I'm not going to lie. I have a problem playing in front of people still. I don't like doing any of the stuff I enjoy around others. Even having someone watch me use a computer bothers me.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:48 PM   #20
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You just have to own the stage, its not as hard as it sounds if you enjoy your music and can play it comfortably.
I remember the first time I played a big stage I was ....ting myself but as soon as I was out there, I transformed into some demon. Hopefully the same thing happens for you.
Good luck
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:24 AM   #21
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I think I'd try and imagine I was 20ft tall, like a huge, awesome, ogre of metal. Just don't get too wrapped up in it all and appear egotistical on stage, I feel there's a fine line between putting on a show and coming across as being in love with yourself and the crowd can smell that a mile off.

Congrats anyway dude, sounds like a great opportunity
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:00 AM   #22
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Playing in a huge stage is always great. I always thought that feeling the breeze of air while playing live gives a sensation of liberty that, usually, can't be felt in a regular venue. Enjoy it.

I assume that is an open air festival so, adding to the other tips, an important tech thing: be careful while moving all around the stage and getting outside the stage monitors range. If you don't use an in-ear monitor system it may be difficult to you to hear something. Remember that the acoustic of an open stage doesn't work like those from the clubs.

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Old 07-12-2012, 04:52 AM   #23
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:33 AM   #24
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do the dillinger
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ToreFagerheim View Post
What do I need to know about playing stages this size? Anyone got tips to share?
Move around, dont be boring.
And pay attention to your monitors.
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