My Band's (Desert Road) first gig in NYC

Hey everyone,

I wasn't quite sure where to put this but I wanted to share with everyone my band's first live show.  We are not quite dino music but maybe somewhere in the hard rock spectrum - though I can't help but add some dino flavor wherever the opportunity is appropriate.

Anyways, the link to the entire show (20 minute set) can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esFq7nrn64U&t=17s

If you have the time/curiosity/pity, check it out and let me know what you think!  Any honest feedback would be helpful.

I also wanted to say thanks for all the info/suggestions by everyone on DRG.  It has significantly contributed to my development as a guitarist.  I'm still learning from you all.

I'm the lead the guitarist by the way (wearing a rolled up long-sleeve black shirt)

-Marvin
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Comments

  • Where's the gig, Marvin? 

    BTW, love the aging-Dino-approved OTT/Bogner Cube rig.
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Disciple83Disciple83 Posts: 384
    The gig was at 353 Studios in midtown manhattan.

    I got the OTT/Bogner idea from around these parts!
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,707
    edited August 2018
    It's a rehearsal space. How was it a gig? Were you guys just having a private event or something?

    I got the OTT/Bogner idea from around these parts!
    Always glad to see some one's paying attention! Good man. Your back will thank you later. 
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Disciple83Disciple83 Posts: 384
    it was an open mic show that was open to anyone: musicians, artists, poets, etc.   So it was a mixed crowd for sure, which was a bit concerning.  But we got a great response from the crowd.  So we did something right I guess, haha.

    My band served as the headliner performance for this open mic show.  Basically, that meant we got a 20-25 minute set.  Everybody else gets a 5 minute time slot.
  • And you want feedback?
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Disciple83Disciple83 Posts: 384
    yea, feedback would be great.  
  • Disciple83Disciple83 Posts: 384
    I'm always looking for some constructive feedback, or what can be improved, etc.  We'll be planning on doing shows at bars in the near future, where crowds may be more discerning.  I dont know.  I feel like this past show we did was great, but it also felt like a bit of a safe space to do the show.  
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,707
    edited August 2018
    My feedback is as follows.

    The good news -- you're the best player in the band. You sound great.  You guys were rehearsed, and tight. You played well as a band. 

    Less good, I guess, is that (IMO) you're also the most interesting player in the band -- BY FAR, and I'm not saying that because I know you or because you're the lead guitarist. I'm saying it because you're the most compelling player AND performer in the band. 

    I don't know if you guys were supposed to be playing sort of quiet or what -- I see the small rigs, and that's OK, but your drummer is adding virtually nothing beyond keeping time.  Is he holding back because of the venue?  Does he hit harder in other contexts?

    The bassist, I can't tell much about. On the third track, he's playing busier and competently, but he's not adding much on the others (either). 

    The singer is OK, but not a real compelling lead singer/frontman. His vocals on all of these songs seem sort of melodically similar and limited.  Are the songs his?  Also, if he's gonna sing a song where he doesn't play guitar, he should put the guitar down. 

    Without you, (IMO) these guys don't have much going for them from what I see here. That said, if you're having fun, my advice would be to enjoy it. There's no harm in that!  That said, in your shoes, I'd be keeping an eye out for something else/better -- even if you don't leave these guys (i.e. do both). But IMO, you can do better than these guys.


    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Disciple83Disciple83 Posts: 384
    You're not the only person who's commented on the drumming - he's not a hard hitting drummer and it does tend to be bland at times.  Having said that, the band isn't really a loud band (as much as I'd like it to be).  So it's always a bit of a compromise when I want to fire up the amp and turn up the volume.

    The songs are all mostly the frontman's.  He usually comes up with the skeleton structure of the song (basic chord progression and lyrics) and the band altogether tries to make interesting music out of it.  I've been working on trying to come up with songs, but I'm still working on it.  I'm not a great songwriter unfortunately (either musically or lyrically) but it's something I'm currently working on, and hopefully will become better at.

    Despite all that, I am enjoying the musical journey with these guys- perhaps because I haven't had much experience being in a band, particularly in a band that is serious about completing projects, getting out to perform, and at some point recording an album.

    Thanks for the honest feedback Dave!  I think some of your points can be addressed and worked on to some extent.
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,707
    edited August 2018
    Fair enough.
    I can't imagine the drummer is even having FUN playing that way. Watch him in the video. ONLY HIS WRISTS MOVE.  He makes Charlie Watts look like Keith Moon!

    Honestly, Marvin, the way your band is comprised, (IMO) your template should be Riverdogs.  Go check out their debut album on YouTube or Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/2nb96eSfzRxjXSjprPoKlj

    In Riverdogs, you have a great singer-songwriter playing acoustic, with a bad-ass lead guitarist Viv Campbell, adding the flash.

    Your singer should work to try and expand his lead vocal melodies. He doesn't have tons of range, but maybe you can sit with him -- guitar in hand -- when he's writing his vocal melodies and push him a little harder.  I'd also suggest staying safely within pop song form.  Your singer and rhythm section doesn't have the chops to go too experimental or weird.  Do like Riverdogs. Nice, simple, pop forms, and get the oomph from arrangement and dynamics. Check out my review of that Riverdogs album. It is FLAT OUT formulaic, and your band can STEAL that formula. 
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Disciple83Disciple83 Posts: 384
    Cool. I will definitely check it out. I am familiar with some Riverdogs and I’ve really liked what I’ve heard from them, but it was only a few songs that I’ve listened to.  Good idea though - I’ll revisit Riverdogs to try to get some ideas. 
  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 9,435
    Well done Marvin....I see a lot of Billy Gibbons in your guitar playing. Dave is pretty spot on in his assessment. You  are definitely the reason to listen and watch the band. The other guys are not terrible but just kind of there. I also thought the singer should put the guitar down if he is not going to play on the song at all....however that 3rd song really needed more guitar parts. He should have written or arranged something in a lot of that empty space. Also the acoustic is ok for certain things in this band....but the band to me sounds more like an electric band...and I think the singer should consider playing electric rhythm guitar on much of it. It would certainly live'n up the music somewhat. Looks like you were having fun though....and the songs were decent. I think with a little more time the band will develop into something better. There is plenty of potential. No comment on the singer's mustache/mullet combo....
  • Disciple83Disciple83 Posts: 384
    I agree, I think the singer should incorporate some electric rhythm as well, which I've mentioned to him before.  As per Dave's and your suggestion, I'll let him know to put the guitar down when not in use. Thanks for the feedback, Mark - much appreciated!
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,613
    I enjoyed that! Thank you :)
    Overall I think it was really enjoyable and I am glad you are out and playing. I really miss being in a band and try to live vicariously through everyone that gives me the chance, haha! 

    I will give some pointers on what I noted as you wanted feedback, but keep in mind that this is things to improve upon, you did good and are on the right path :) 

    I will echo the sentiment that you are by far the best player in the band. As long as you're having fun though thats not really a problem. But as Dave said, keep your eyes peeled for something else if you feel like it. Always nice to have a few projects running. I feel I always upped my own game the most when I've played with guys much better than myself. It sort of forces you to work really hard to keep up and it pays off big time.

    The songs are cool but maybe need some more work in order to be completely finished if that makes sense. I feel that they are still a bit from fully realized songs rather than "ideas we are working on". May be a bit of a personal thing but I think they lack some musical depth. Shaking some life into the rhtym section would definitely help big time. They keep time and are there but as far as sonic interest they add virtually nothing. They do leave a lot of space for you as a guitarist though. Try expanding on the riffs with adding some stuff a la Randy Rhoads. I think the singer sounds good but he also sort of plays a bit safe. Would definitely benefit from pushing himself out of his comfort zone.

    I think you should definitely test the waters in some bars. It is always nice to first dip your toes in sort of a safe space but nothing really turns a band into shape like playing out a lot. One of those is giving as much as ten rehearsals, at least.

    I think to sum up all that rambling - to take this to the next step just pushing yourself a little bit more. You're playing this stuff solid and (what at least seems to me) pretty comfortable so there definitely should be some room for expanding and raising the bar for everyone.
  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 9,435
    edited August 2018
    Try expanding on the riffs with adding some stuff a la Randy Rhoads. 

    lol....I am not sure that is the answer.....but I think in order to fill up space he should look for inspiration from players like Andy Summers, Elliot Easton or Joey Santiago of the The Pixies. Those guys were masters at adding texture and color to other's songs. So much so that they should have been given more credit. I think Marvin is doing a great job on this stuff but on the song the singer is not playing guitar....it definitely needs more. Not only with added guitar parts but in the arrangement.
    Post edited by Duojett71 on
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