PDA

View Full Version : Selling Tickets for Soundcheck?


J.G.
March 10th, 2011, 07:52 PM
So I was on the phone with my dear mother today and she was telling me about how The Platters + The Ink Spots, who'll soon be gracing their alpine village with a concert were offering limited tickets for a "preview show", happening in the afternoon prior to the big concert--which kinda sounds to me like someone had the brainy idear to charge for sound check...

Perhaps they're not the only act to start adjusting to the time$ and taking advantage of every moment on the mic--anyone else come across this deal lately?

E. Shaun
March 10th, 2011, 08:35 PM
I have to admit, it's not a bad idea.

I hadn't heard of it before, but if the band is amenable to it, I don't see why it wouldn't work. There are many intangibles that could make it problematic, such as increased security etc. and related costs...but if you've got 500 or so people willing to shell out another $20 to see a band warm up, well, that can't really be a bad thing. Might even prompt more enthusiasm on the part of the band...who knows?

clicktrack
March 10th, 2011, 08:37 PM
I've heard of this but I've never experienced it.

Frankly I hate the idea.

I've had a long hateon for those people (unfortunately mostly producers & artists) who insist on using soundcheck for purposes other than...soundcheck.


The artist & their musicians know their material and their show inside out.

However if I'm doing a mix on a show that I'm not touring with, soundcheck is my ONLY opportunity to learn as much as I can about the show to run it without any problems.

That means that sound check ISN'T a rehearsal for the band...meaning that when I need more of one instrument or another, it doesn't work to have to stop the band, get a dirty look, etc.

That doesn't mean that I don't try to work quickly to give the band some extra time to rehearse, but if the schedule calls for an hour soundcheck, and I need a solid 30 minutes, I'll try to get done in 25 minutes to give the band what they need. Give and take.

The same goes for paying customers during the soundcheck.
I'll be doing things during soundcheck that I don't want heard during the show...figuring out delays and effects...my gain staging and where I can push the system and where I can't.

Its one thing to be doing a bar gig where you're setting up in front of your audience. In that case, there's not much to do.

However, once you charge for time in front of a mic, people have an expectation. Even if you explain that "this is only soundcheck" there's still an expectation. Whats more is that this imposes more of a schedule on the production day which has probably already been scheduled too tight to begin with.

Like anything, as audio people, we make it work if we have to. However these little side gigs make it harder to do the job right during the show itself.

J.G.
March 10th, 2011, 08:50 PM
Yeah, Click, that's totally understandable and I'd hate to have to deal with it too if I was a soundfemme.

Even so, if one was doing sound for the band on the road, there'd still be likely sooooo many variables to deal with house-gear-wise alone, not even touching on all you mentioned huuuuuman-wise.

I don't know what their set up is but it sure struck me as a bummer of a comment on the not fine state of affairs.

In any case, I encouraged my folks to hit the actual show and get their money's worth in every possible fashion.

eagan
March 10th, 2011, 09:25 PM
That seems like a crazy stupid idea. It strikes me as almost like inviting somebody over to watch you get started on your day first thing in the morning as you're shuffling around yawning with morning breath, hair pointing in every random direction, scratching your ass, ready to bite somebody's windpipe closed like a cheetah if they wander into the path between you and the coffee pot.

I mean, soundcheck is a particular mode, of setup/adjustment/preparation, yes? It's not a show.

So I'm thinking, just wild assed guessing speculation here, maybe there's a missing piece to this.

Maybe it's not actually selling tickets to soundcheck, exactly. Maybe, what could be the deal here, possibly, is something like this.

Maybe after soundcheck is finished, somebody had a notion that the band could stay put, they open the doors for the bunch holding these "special preview tickets" and run through a 15 or 20 minute set, then leave to have dinner and security boots the "preview" crowd out until normal doors-open time.

Perhaps?

Even that sounds a tad silly to me, though.


JLE

Goes211
March 10th, 2011, 09:56 PM
Just do a YouTube search with "The Police Soundcheck".
During that reunion tour they cashed in on EVERYTHING.

J.G.
March 10th, 2011, 09:58 PM
Well, there's still a chance that the Platters' scenario is one of a post-soundcheck mini show, as I was only guessing by how the thing was described.

Perhaps it's a tale-end-of-soundcheck matinee...

Darth_Fader
March 10th, 2011, 10:01 PM
I've had a long hateon for those people (unfortunately mostly producers & artists) who insist on using soundcheck for purposes other than...soundcheck.


The artist & their musicians know their material and their show inside out.

However if I'm doing a mix on a show that I'm not touring with, soundcheck is my ONLY opportunity to learn as much as I can about the show to run it without any problems.

Amen. Especially including all the musicians' bad habits.

Aardvark
March 11th, 2011, 12:06 AM
...The Platters + The Ink Spots... offering limited tickets for a "preview show"

From beyond the grave?

The freakin' Ink Spots are from the 30's and The Platters from the 50's.:headpalm:




Cheers,
Aardvark


.

J.G.
March 11th, 2011, 12:11 AM
It's insane but apparently so. Guess there must be at least one original member from each group to make it 'em, them.

E. Shaun
March 11th, 2011, 05:58 PM
The more I think about it, the more I think they're making a distinction between soundcheck and preview show. In my day job I work for a major theater company, and we're currently running "preview shows" up until opening night on Monday. We charge less for the tickets, and if an actor flubs a line or two, it's still technically a "preview" anyhow.

Still doesn't explain why the Platter or the Ink Spots would need to do this though.

Wide-O
March 11th, 2011, 06:31 PM
"Three Coins in the Fountain"...

Edit: Oh wait, that was The Four Aces. :headpalm:

jstuart
March 12th, 2011, 11:03 PM
I'll bet I'm not the only one here to have played with "the Platters".

early/mid 70's, I get a call from a booking agent that I knew, and who had never actually overtly ripped me off..... ( though a few years later he booked an all original jazz/prog rock /fusion band I was in for a private party ("They have seen you guys play in other bands and will love it!!!!!!") Turned out to be the high school class of 1962..... They hadn't seen, and didn't love, and in fact hated us because even when we realized what was going on and said we would play what we could; between us we knew stuff like the Beatles /stones/ creedence from the late sixties and 70s,, and fifties rock/ country tunes, we knew absolutely NO songs from 1960 to 62.....

So, anyway, returning to "the Platters". He needed to put together a backing band for a 3 day run of the "Platters" at a local supper club sort of place, and called a bunch of guys up till he had what was called for on the rider.


The "band" members ( a reasonable bunch of local players, though all too young to know or care anything about what "the Platters" were- I think I probably figured they were sort of a R&B lite band ) showed up at 4 to set up, The "musical director" ( Guitar player that traveled with them) showed up @5 to hand us each "The Book" ( all the tunes in no particular order, with pages hanging out, and with loads of scratched out sections, and lines/arrows from here to there, looking like a 5th grade treasure map....), ( "Heere be dragons") and tested 1,2,3 into the vocal mics, and informed us that we would be playing a set of tunes ( " Keep it mellow, guys") before each of the two "shows" that "the Platters" did each night, then went and ordered a shot.

No set list, so We might take a peak at what we might be doing, just show up and the tune is called, and we leaf frantically through "the Book", and attempt to find the tune as "the Platters" made stage small talk and "entertained" ..... ,and the "Band Director" comped through the top chords to give us a little idea of what was coming for tempo, etc. , while we searched through 100 tunes to find the called one....

Within the first two sets, the drummer and I (bass) just gave up the hunt for, and subsequent interpretation of, the treasure map (" here be the chords that somebody penciled in at some time in the days before the dragons") to "many a lonely tear shall fall from heaven while I miss you in the moonlight my darling" and just listened to, and did our best to accompany the guitar player/ musical director.....

Were there any "Platters" there? The booking agent said there were "a couple" ; but he also said we would get rooms, and dinners...... so you know how that turned out; 1 "dorm" room ( 3 sets of bunk beds in a regular sized motel room, and the choice of a hamburger or some soup...... So, maybe there was a Platter or two there....

Maybe I should re-install that "Played with the Platters!!!!" on my musical resume'???????

Or, maybe not...
j

PS: there was no rehearsal

nobby
March 13th, 2011, 09:21 PM
Were there any "Platters" there? The booking agent said there were "a couple" ; but he also said we would get rooms, and dinners...... so you know how that turned out; 1 "dorm" room ( 3 sets of bunk beds in a regular sized motel room, and the choice of a hamburger or some soup...... So, maybe there was a Platter or two there....

Unless you ordered the soup. Then there'd be a bowl or two...

samc
March 13th, 2011, 10:05 PM
However if I'm doing a mix on a show that I'm not touring with, soundcheck is my ONLY opportunity to learn as much as I can about the show to run it without any problems

Do you seriously believe that the kid of band that can pull this off would not have an engineer touring with them?

clicktrack
March 13th, 2011, 10:27 PM
Do you seriously believe that the kid of band that can pull this off would not have an engineer touring with them?

You wouldn't believe the things I've seen people try to pull off without a touring crew.

Its all about budget baby.

And you wonder why the state of the industry is what it is.

samc
March 13th, 2011, 10:59 PM
I believe we have all witnessed bands making any number of bad decisions on the road. I however still think it highly unlikely that a band with the star power to charge people to see their sound-check would do so without an engineer on the tour....

As with almost every business endeavor, I don't remember a time when the budget was not a major deciding factor when producing a tour. It has always been about the budget...

CloseToTheEdge
March 14th, 2011, 05:28 PM
Just do a YouTube search with "The Police Soundcheck".
During that reunion tour they cashed in on EVERYTHING.

I would have purchased tickets to see one of their infamous backstage beatdowns.

bobzilla77
March 16th, 2011, 05:39 PM
Yeah some big bands do this. I've seen Kiss offer an "ultimate fan package" for about two grand that gets you a tour of the backstage area and a quick meet and greet with the members, as well as hanging out to watch soundcheck. It's a way for the mega fans to feel like they bought an ultra-VIP behind the scenes experience. We may laugh at the idea of people paying good money to watch lighting rigs get put in place and listen to "check one! check two!" for hours but some fans really want to have an experience that other fans will be jealous of.

The first person I remember doing it was Prince - if you were in his fan club in 2002 and bought the VIP tickets, you were let in for soundcheck as well as the afterparty. Evidently his soundchecks consisted of jamming for forty-five minutes or so, not just playing songs off the set list. And the afterparties had different set lists from either one, so you could see three unique Prince sets in one day. I might have paid the extra $75 for that if I'd known about it. People who went said they were let in about the time the line checks were done and the band started jamming. Sounds like a good time to me.

J.G.
March 16th, 2011, 06:28 PM
A damned fine deal.

: J

Brendo
March 17th, 2011, 11:45 AM
The current version of the Smashing Pumpkins tried this out - not selling tickets, but letting the first 50 people in line get in for soundcheck. Eventually they canned it as it was putting too much stress on Billy's voice (doing 3 hour shows every night + soundcheck mini-shows). They were using it as soundcheck/rehearsal time as you would expect, warts and all - and the hardcore fans who were lining up since 9am realized what they were in for.