You finally landed that gig that will put you on the map. You put countless hours into practice and promotion, text everyone in your contacts list (even that girl you had a crush on back in high school ), and strike a deal with that shady promoter to sell 50 presale tickets, otherwise you’ll have to mortgage your parent’s house.
After weeks of stressing out, the day is finally here. You pick out your best clothes, do all your pre-show rituals, and load into the venue. Now you are ready to play the best show of your life. You take one last breath, look up from the stage and… nobody’s there.
Unfortunately this story is all too common for both ourselves, as well as many other aspiring young bands. While it is easy to get down on yourself and fall into a vicious cycle of thinking you’ve done all the wrong things; the most important lesson we have learned as a band is to is to treat every like it is the most important one of your band’s career.
A specific experience that sticks out to us is when we scored a gig at The Casbah, one of San Diego’s most renowned local venues. Some of our favorite artists, including The Strokes and The Black Keys, have played the Casbah, so we were expecting a noticeable increase in attendance at this show. Like the scenario above, we practiced extensively to revamp our set, promoted it, and took all the necessary actions to make it an impactful show. We took to the stage with great optimism only to find that almost everyone had left after the previous band. This is where we had to put this lesson into action.
Rather than going through the motions and letting the disappointing turnout ruin our show, we decided to play the show as if it was sold out. We put all of our energy into each song and by the end of the night we were covered with sweat. What resulted was like nothing we could have imagined.
The people that were still there sensed our extreme passion for the music and began to gravitate to the front of the stage. They fed off our energy and were jamming out unlike any prior audience we had played for. We even got to do our first encore!
What should have been the most disappointing show of our lives turned out to be one we’ll never forget. It would have been very easy to just play through the songs as fast as possible and leave the venue feeling defeated. Instead, we played like it was a full house, and by doing so, we were able to gain new fans, friends, and unforgettable memories.
Even the biggest rockstars in the world started off playing empty dive bars. What we hope you walk away with is an understanding that you should treat every show with the utmost importance and never let the scenario around you ruin your love for music..
We wish all of you musicians out there the utmost success. In the music industry it is always important to have friends, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Drawing influences from bands like The Strokes, Oasis, and Twin Peaks, San Diego indie rockers, Stray Monroe, are a high energy outfit blending the boldness of Marilyn Monroe with a desire to push the boundaries of popular music.
They released the single, “Happy Accidents”, in September 2017 which introduced a more mature sound and demonstrated their growth as musicians. This is set to be the first of a series of singles to be released in the following months.
Photo credit: Sara Bluhm