one, always allow enough time to get from A to B to guarantee you aren’t late for load-in not matter what; sucks to start the night with excuses or an argument. if you’re gonna be late, you better call the venue or your booking agent so the club knows in advance.
two, arrive in a business like manner, there’ll be plenty of time to show your wonderful personality later on.
three, have one person speak for the band as it relates just about everything; … you don’t want each band member bothering staff, management or the sound man for that matter (sound check aside of course (often can’t be helped!)). Fine if they wanna make buddies after sound check, until then – shut up and get your gear on stage!
four, you are not rock stars yet, don’t forget it no matter how great the gig goes. the people running the place have seen it all before and will be more than ready to stereotype you as the beers flow and the ego hits over drive … stay cool yo.
five, the sound man is the most important person in your life: do what he says, be polite but not too friendly (or he may take the nite off), know how to sound check as a band in the shortest time possible, already know what you want in your goddamn monitor or ask for little to nothing, “get what you need” only, less is always more in this regard and, lastly, treat him with respect right outta the box and make him feel he is part of it. Never soundcheck full songs if you can help it. Choose a tune to run that covers all the bases so you are able to hear your stage mix quickly and get out of the way. Less is more in this arena. When you’re a star you can become a soundcheck diva, until then, plead the fifth. The better you sound check the better your chances are at the club because first impressions are often the most telling.
six, tell your friends there is no guest list and, if you have to put Mr. Big on the list, pay outta the bands pocket for the ticket and then have him added to the list – you will make a strong impression.
seven, after sound check, make yourselves scarce and don’t start drinking. if you are gonna be drinking early, don’t do it at the venue.
eight, always thank the soundman by his/her name from the stage and mention the openers / headliners at some point. you are there to make friends or you will never build your draw there.
nine, be seen listening to and enjoying the other bands on the bill, do not disappear backstage, it can empty a room out a bit and people start wondering when they are leaving too. you are there to make the club money, if they don’t, it wasn’t a good night no matter how good the board mix sounded in the van.
ten, humility and an eye on the prize is the only way you will make the venture, your gig that night, time well spent. the real clubs staff n’ mgmt. know who the real bands are even before they’ve heard’em, or think they do, and are right more often than not.
eleven, this one goes there ….know your rights and stand up for them if you have done all the above and still got the shaft, it’s a game, be prepared to win it and bite your tongue here n’ there ….