Six Reasons Your Band Should Not Play Longer Than Twenty Minutes

Categories: Nitpick Six

boredjasonscragz.jpg
Jason Scragz/Flickr

3. Leave Them Wanting More

Like it or not, there's something to this whole law-of-scarcity thing. When you end your set before the audience wants or expects it to, the songs you've played suddenly seem valuable. To retreat back to the absurd dating analogy: It is the difference between saying to someone, "I have nothing to do all day, so whatever you want me to do, I will do," and "I want to see you, but I only have a couple of hours." It may sound like a dirty mind game, but both love and music are terrible and painful forms of art anyway, so who cares?

See also: Six People to Avoid When Forming a Band


2. The Audience Will Tell You How Long To Play

To hitchhike on the previous reason: If the audience wants more, they'll ask. Then you'll play more. It's that simple, you idiot. No one's going to yell at you for going to a Chinese buffet and not gorging yourself in the same way no one's going to yell at you for not taking the entire 35 minutes of your allocated set time.

In the event that you're operating under a time constraint (which you never are, if you played twenty minutes or fewer) and you can't play another song, they'll just come back to see you a second time. Basically, you can't lose.

1. Your Band Probably Sucks

Two people in your band wear backward baseball hats. Your guitarist plays pinch harmonics. Your singer sounds like Eddie Vedder. You have a synth player who no one can ever hear. You've been a band for three years but have only played five shows. You've invented a name for the genre of music that you play. You have seriously discussed covering a Rage Against the Machine song before.

I'm glad you like drinking beer with your friends and that your band just "likes to have a good time." But for the rest of us, it sucks. Get off the stage.

Follow Drew Ailes on Twitter at @CountBakula.

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