Interesting conversation with indie musician - if Jimi Hendrix played every weekend in your town how often will you see him?

This was great insight that made me rethink show appearances in order not to exhaust the local scene from doing to many shows thus declining interest.

If you think about it - you’d probably go nuts if Jimi Hendrix (Jimi Page, or plug in your fave musician) played every weekend in a local pub. I’d probably go every time for a month…then…maybe once a month, and will probably get bored fast.

I’m not sure if I would ever go…Even if it was my favourite artist. I usually don’t enjoy concerts…Musicians usually sound way better on their recordings and I don’t get anything from the social vibe of humans congregating in large groups. I’d rather sit in the sound of vast silence…and crank some hard rock, metal, or mellow music on my own time and terms, when I feel the need.

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After the initial shock value of seeing a decaying corpse on stage, I think I’d probaby go once every few months. You also have to consider that you already know your favorite artist’s material like the back of your hand. Some indie band who may not even have a record out won’t exhaust the scene as fast because you can only hear their songs live once a week. Some food for thought.


This is a good topic. I personally believe there is a lot to be said for not over-saturating your market. This holds true for both rotation bands and destination bands (a rotation band is a group that plays in a bar, and their audience is based on the bar’s natural draw. A destination band is where you show up at the venue because you want to see THEM.)

A lot of professional management companies that represent destination bands (which Jimi Hendrix was) have a clause in their contracts that they won’t perform within a 60-100 mile radius of venues, because it causes the concert promoters to have to compete with each other over the same act. Its a conflict of interest.

The one exception to this is musicians that specialize in certain areas. If Renato Neto, Andy McKee, or Valentina Lisitsa played multiple concerts in my area, I’d go watch them as many times as I possibly could because their musicianship is at such an incredible level, I could really learn something every time I watch them. I wouldn’t say the same of Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix, though I’m sure many others would.

In my experience, I’ve found it’s not the same. In college, you’re required to attend a certain number of professional performances per semester. The reason for this is that you learn and retain more information, and different information from subjecting yourself to the challenges of observing a musician in an environment different from the recorded performance (as in being there vs watching them). You also retain more information because of observing with the addition of a visual stimulant. You’re watching them in addition to hearing them.

For me this hinges on WHY I’m there to see them, and how much I get out of watching them. More specifically (for me), does watching them challenge me to grow as a player? Do you walk away understanding something you didn’t understand before about the musical arts? Or about the rhythm…chordal harmony…or about technique? I can watch Renato Neto or Jordan Rudess over and over, and observe an insane amount of originality and creativity in how they blend and layer sounds on a keyboard. I wouldn’t get that from having watched George Duke or Brad Paisley, even though they’re arguably just as good of musicians.

Long story short, it doesn’t have anything to do with the player. It has to do with you. What parts of their musicianship and their performance do YOU identify with? What do YOU get out of it? No correct or incorrect answer. Its just all about what you want.

Some thoughts!



I usually try not to look at how a musician plays something, no matter how close you try to cover something it is always “you” or so I’ve discovered. I usually go to a concert more for the feeling.
There are better nights than others for sure, I remember seeing Vai at a G3 and wasn’t moved at all, then same year I saw him in a small dingy club and it was incredible.
I might pick up a trick or two but it always goes thru my filter, I really don’t try to mimic anyone too much.

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Not once.

This TOTALLY cracked me up.

Even for the local indie bands I follow, I only go see them once every few months, regardless of whether they have an album out or not. To me, it’s just as easy to burn out on them as it would be to see a world famous artist that I dig.

I find that true to a certain extent. Though good freelancers have to be able to mimic the style, feel, and technique of the musician that played the parts on the record. The higher profile the gig, the more accurately you have to be able to do it. Its the nature of having an ‘artist gig’. But this is also true for high dollar tribute bands and impersonation acts.

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My Van Halen tribute band was in this position. It came down to us saying " how many times would we go and see the real VH if they were playing local bars at affordable prices?"

After 3-4 times I’d probably not go for years. We had people coming to see us at every bar which was good but how long could that last? We changed up the set, we bought more clothes, we added cool VH tunes that they don’t even do. But we had to think of something to keep interest.

From there we decided to work our little area. We live in New Jersey right in between Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York. So we would play in one state one month, another the next and keep the rotation going so people could see us less often in an area.

Though we didn’t have any decline in our following and it actually grew, we were still scared of failure. So the ultimate fix was to hook up with a booking agent that only handles tribute acts. We landed the biggest one in our area and now play all over the country, don’t have to worry about booking clubs or waiting to talk to club owners and managers that never call you back, and our pay scale has gone up to $insanity per man. We get 4 star hotels or better as part of the deal, meals and other cool perks.

The only negatives have been wear and tear, gas and tolls for our vehicles, the dreaded 1099’s and you have to sometimes wait 15-30 days to get paid. We’ve since formed an LLC to handle the 1099 part and we rent passenger vans for travel and split gas and tolls. No more beating up our personal vehicles. The last 6 hour drive wore us out.

I know the above post probably doesn’t address the initial question but there is definitely some merit here that may even help some people out that may be doing exclusive shows or tributes.

I mentioned I’d see VH 3-4 times…it would only be because I play in a VH tribute band today and would want to see what they are doing today. I’ve not been to a VH show since the Balance album and have seen them every time from 1978 with Black Sabbath until the Balance tour. I’ve seen them enough and probably know Eddie’s stuff as well as he does. We do the Roth era only, so I’m always looking to pick up on cool things for our live show. :slight_smile:



It’s always a good idea to keep Van Hagar out of the equation. When Sammy stepped in, I didn’t really like much of the stuff they did. Only a few songs, here and there that I like, but I feel no passion for that era of VH. On the other hand, the DLR era version of Van Halen is one of my favourite bands ever. Their first 4 albums were great,…especially “Fair Warning”!

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I like Sam Halen. Sam liked to party, Dave was the party.

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Sammy’s songs always felt so generic to me and though he’s a good singer, his voice isn’t tolerable for long periods. I never enjoyed his “party vibe”. Dave is /was a weirdo (maybe that’s why he was so interesting) but he was dripping with character and flavour.

Sammy would be a great singer for a cover band …, in the local bars. :smiling_imp:

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For some reason I’ve never been one for “tribute” bands that mimic look and everything…just not my cup of tea. Well, maybe for a performer that has died and you can’t see, like say Elvis I have an occasional laugh or whatnot, especially the Elvis conventions where you have Chinese Elvis, slim Elvis, fat Elvis, etc. that is always fun.

There are quite a few tribute bands in our area that do rather well, I was just never drawn to go see them, especially considering the higher value tickets. To give you an example, a tribute bands generates asks about the same ticket prices as a medium club touring act like say Accept or King’s X.

For me, if Hendrix played my town every weekend I would probably see him a few times and try to talk him into letting me hang with him at the Red Roof Inn he was staying at to see him just goof around on a guitar with no pressure to perform. About five minutes of that with a great player would give you a lifetime of things to work on.

Me neither. I kinda got roped into this by a few friends and then the money started getting better and better. Ticket prices for us are more than fair. You usually don’t pay a cover in quite a few of our places or they charge $5-$10 depending on the venue.

The good thing about my situation, I don’t mimic much of anything. I don’t have an EVH guitar, I tune in a weird tuning, I have my own clothes that are “in the style of VH” but not exact, and I play the stuff about 75% accurate because I like injecting myself into the songs. So for me, it’s almost like playing originals in a sense…even if the songs are “originally” written by someone else. LMAO!

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