Hudson's Helpful Hints

As some of you know, I actually made it out into the real world the other night to witness a stirring set by one of my favorite bands. While a good time was had by not only me but everybody present at this show, there were some issues that I thought I should address.
Unlike most of my weekly presentations, I have no vendetta towards anybody that I am addressing today. I believe the club in question had some great potential, and I hope that any representative of this company will take what I have to say as suggestions…or at least helpful hints.
First off, while the show was relatively well-attended, nobody I talked to had heard any promotion for this nationally-known act. In fact, at least six people who approached me informed me that it was through my website that they discovered the show. Others said that they learned of the show through word-of-mouth. Many fans of the band that I encountered in the next couple of days said they either had not heard of the booking or thought it was just a rumor.
This is obviously not a new problem in this town. Many local promoters seem to have a “if we book it, they will come” mantra, and then blame the “lameness” of our city’s music scene when the crowds don’t arrive. You have to work to bring shows to the attention of the public. I realize that you can’t force the Argus or other media outlets to feature your shows, but one has to at the very least get posters out all over town.
But promotion was not actually the biggest problem of the evening. That award goes to the person running sound that evening. It was a unanimous opinion that the mix for both bands that performed was beyond awful. Those in the know supplied me with a plethora of information about the culprit responsible for this problem, but I learned a few months ago to not listen to second-hand rumors…or at least not print them on this site. One person even claimed that the sound guy is legally deaf. I hope that’s not the case.
What was the problem with the sound? Well, let’s just say that settings that are perfect for Warrant and Dokken are not the standard mix for every band of every genre. The band in question played Stones-y southern rock with just a hint of old-school country. Think of Neil Young, CCR, and Son Volt tossed into a giant mixer. Mixing the drums way up front with the vocals buried is probably not the way to handle this band.
On a similar but admittedly much less important note, maybe the music played before the show and in between the acts could have at least attempted to match the acts. Was there really a need to play a track from Saturday Night Fever? Or the one overplayed hit of the Proclaimers? We really didn’t know whether to laugh or scowl. I did both.
This should be a really easy problem to fix in the future. If you don’t have any music that fits the sound of the booked act, ask to borrow some of their discs. Or call me. I used to pretend to play DJ when bands I loved were booked at the Pomp Room, and I’d be happy to do the same for the high price of a free Windsor/Coke or two.
The most bizarre moment of the evening came at the very end. Within seconds after the band’s concluding cover of Neil Young’s “The Loner”, a disco remix of “Sweet Home Alabama” was pumped at blasting volume to the groans of everybody. Well, not quite everybody. Although it was refreshing for a show to conclude so early (midnight), few attendees had knowledge that the bar would immediately switch over to a dance format. I guess the first clue should have been the entrances of the young and the scantily-clad clueless during the final couple of songs of the band’s set. Still, it seemed a bit puzzling to go from pure roots-rock to computerized dance music in such short time.
As I said before, I have nothing against the owners of the club in question. I wish them the best of luck in the future, and I really hope that they continue to occasionally book acts that the long-neglected indie rock crowd can enjoy. If there’s anything I can do to help them out, I hope they have no qualms in contacting me. That offer goes out to anybody in this town. Despite my public persona as a negative creep, my main desire is to once again foster a live music scene in this town. After all, my son’s gotta have somewhere to play when he’s old enough to go to bars.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I heard last night that the sound guy was struck by lightning, that's why he is deaf in one ear.

I guess he shouldn't have been wearing his magnetic gloves in a T-Storm.

Doesn't anyone listen to Shawn Cable?!!!!

Detroit Lewis
Anonymous said…
I happen to know that dokkens own sound guy did sound check and ran the equipment that night. What a lucky guy that you were invited to a Private Party with free drinks free music and free food. The employees of Dollar Loan Center and Lava worked their asses off to have a good party and it was a great time. Your glass is always half empty.
Scott said…
Sorry, the show in question was not the Dokken concert. I'm sure that gig went off without a hitch.
Anonymous said…
if a deaf guy runs sound, does a blind guy run the lights?
Anonymous said…
In this town, unfortunately, we have to take whatever they give us.

Scott you should get some old money investors together and open up a kick ass place.
Anonymous said…
I'll give you a helpful hint: Instead of publicly trashing the only decent live music venue that this market has had in years, you should have privately given your suggestions to the club's mgmt.
paulisded said…
Mr. Healthy Hint, nowhere in my rant do I mention either the name of the band in question or the club.

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