El Paso Music Scene

Bar Tabs : Good Band Juiced Up

Sometimes, we arrive to our shows way ahead of time to make sure that everything is in order. We listen to the PA, check out the lights, check the hook-ups, maybe even set up and do a sound check. While we are busy getting our minds set, the bartender walks up to us and says, "By the way, your band has a bar tab." Whatever the amount, we jump at the freebees. (performing as a one-man band has its benefits)

Let's say we are on our third drink. The clock is slow-moving and the other bands arrive with their toys. The audience rounds out and the show attendance is looking good. We are now on our fourth and the clock isn't speeding up any. As much as we had planned to do things right, Murphy's Law moves in like a bad roommate. The band order gets screwed and we now play last as opposed to second. What to do?

I've seen some good bands perform great one night only to see them a week later acting like a bunch of amateurs on stage. I have been there myself. We all learn from our mistakes and re-orient ourselves to our clouded heads. All of our preparations won't stop the wrath of the GOOD BAND JUICED UP.

"It makes me play better."

"It loosens me up."

"I get nervous on stage"

"My mother is in the audience."

We have all heard the excuses for boozing it up. It all comes down to giving people what they pay for. That is a solid performance. All of our work shouldn't go down the toilet with the contents of our stimulated bladders. It is not wise to represent your band with a drunken bravado. Don't let the cup of courage get the best of you. Keep your temper in check and remember that you have a job for the night. Don't be an ass.

I've seen some good guitar players flub it up on stage, thinking that they were Eddie Van Halen or something. Those bar tabs really make people out-stage themselves. I've seen drummers with obvious lack of oxygen to their limbs. I've seen singers mess up their voices with a bit too much Jack. I've seen keyboard singer/songwriters giving excuses for their drunkenness. Never make an excuse if you are juiced up. The crowd can figure it out for themselves.

As much as I poke fun at the bar tabs, they are not always the problem. Irresponsibility is the number one reason for drunken mistakes. At least we can learn with our oversized monkey brains. Leave the boozing for after. Have a drink (a drink) before and hang tight. Give the crowd what they want and maybe they may buy you a drink. Oh hell, what am I saying. I must be sauced.

Nicholas Matta
Aux.78 / ElectroLegs
njmatta@hotmail.com

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