My close, personal friend Townsman Andyr and I were talking yesterday about what makes a satisfying show for our band, from our perspective (the hell with the audience!). Beside decent sound on stage, an engaged audience (oh, you know we love you!), a sectioned-off band room and moderately clean bathroom, and no more than a reasonable amount of mistakes, we agreed on the following under-acknowledged elements of a satisfying show—for our band, not every artist:
- Songs are performed faster than they are on record
- There’s a minimum of time between songs
- Any song breaking the 3-minute mark is justified by a solo
- We’re breaking a serious sweat
This led to comparisons between our approach to playing live and the visionary football strategies of Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly. We both like to work fast, get the plays in at the line of scrimmage, etc. Unlike Kelly, we’ve yet to develop visionary approaches to health and nutrition, what we will call “rock science” when we get around to developing these things. We’re not bothered by bills requiring us to play short sets. We’re not about “time of possession.” We can get in more “plays,” or songs, than most bands can in a 4o-minute set, with the soundman breathing down our backs. When we’re running on all cylinders, we could put our 40-minute set against one of Bruce Springsteen‘s 4-hour sets and give Him and His band a run for its money. Yeah, Andyr and I were talking some serious shit!
Then we talked about a certain segment of the local music scene that will never be turned onto what we do, not necessarily because they don’t like our music or us (either or both of which could surely be the case), but because we’re…”too macho” is not quite the right term for what we are, because if you know us we’re really not macho. That’s where the discussion took a turn into levels of shit so deep you may want to put on a protective suit before wading any further.