Our band has been in the midst of some transitions lately. We are looking for a guitar player and a bass player, and while we are doing that I thought we would take it slow on shows until every spot was filled. However, an opportunity came up for us to open for Old Dominion in Atlanta on Jan 21. Old Dominion is rising to the top very quickly, claiming a spot on the Kenny Chesney tour this year, so I knew this was an opportunity we did not want to miss out on. Since all my effort in 2015 has been put towards this show (and wedding planning), I thought it was only fitting to explain everything that goes into putting on a show when you're an indie artist.
Step One: Confirm the show.
Once we were told that Old Dominion did, in fact, want us to open for them, I had to send out a text to people that are currently in my band to make sure they could get off of work. Some people could not make it on a Wednesday, so I had to quickly fill their spot with brand new people. I hired a lead guitar player, fiddle player, and bass player just for this show. It was stressful trying to find the best people to do the job on semi-short notice but I think we're gonna pull it off!
Step Two: Make Sure People Come.
The scary part about playing a show, especially on a Wednesday night, is that you are not positive who will actually be there! So, you have to do your best to promote the show. Luckily the venue helps out in that way and puts your poster up around town. Here is the poster we created:
We also created a Facebook event for this show in hopes that people will commit to attending.
Step Three: Decide the Songs
Once all that was taken care of, I sat down and figured out what songs we were going to play. It's tougher with all new people in the band, because we are starting from scratch on what they know. Also, I took into account that Old Dominion is a Country Rock group, so I wanted our set to be upbeat to match their energy. Once I picked the songs, I had to make sure I had chord charts for all the musicians and compile mp3's for them to listen to so they could learn them easily.
Step Four: Rehearse
Next step, once everyone has their music, is to actually rehearse the music together! We have not rehearsed yet, but I am planning on having 3 rehearsals before the day of the show. We will decide on who gets what solos (it's always a fight between the lead guitar and fiddle!) and even what instruments we are playing! I play piano and guitar, so I'll have to decide which instrument sounds best based on the sound of the band, or if I can just sing and not play anything at all!
Step Five: Get to the Show and Perform It.
Then, the last step, is to perform the show. This part makes all the other steps worth it-- unless of course you have a miserable experience with the sound engineers or break your guitar or any number of other things that usually go wrong--but when the performance actually goes right, it's worth all the struggle.
So, now that you know how much effort goes into just one show- maybe you'll be inclined to come out and see all of our hardwork! Hope to see you Jan 21--and if you're not in Atlanta, I'll keep you posted on our future tour dates.
Sometimes I think I'm crazy. But sometimes, I think I know exactly what I'm doing.