So once again it is time in my life that I start throwing shows. I can't afford the pleasure of throwing a gig away from my house, so here we stand.
My roommates have thrown a handful of shows over the last few years in our shared warehouse. I have done 2 in 2 years. One night time gig and one day time gig. Their nighttime show, sure enough, had a fight involving a crack head who crept in because of a bad doorman situation. The day time ones seem to run a lot smoother for me. My roommates always do them at night, ultra crazy party style action with kegs and crazy shit galore. I find it is better to do them during the day to avoid the crackhead/ police melee and I like to keep the keg upstairs. I just get too fucking sketched out at night. During the day my street is a lot safer.
I use to do shows next door to where I live now. I did a lot of shows over there hosted such bands as IMPERIAL LEATHER, S.M.D, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, BLOODWULF, A.N.S., and a slew of others. I always preferred to do the daytime matinee show though, C.B.G.B's style. A good Sunday matinee show is the shit. Nobody has an excuse why they can't come. Truth be told I did have some problems during a day show some years ago when a riot broke out. I try not to think about that one too much, geesh!
To undertake a show in your living space takes a bit of preparation, foresight, courage and a certain anti materialistic stance on personnel property. One thing about throwing shows at my warehouse is the illegal factor. I do not possess a cabaret license. So it is against the written scripture of god to charge at the door and the whole fire hazard thing. There was another warehouse two blocks away that was throwing multiple shows a week when the shit finally hit the fan over there. The first thing the cops did, as they arrived on the tails of the fire department, was take all the door money and assert in their authoritative way that you can not be charging money at the door. When I had S.M.D. from L.A. play, the cops showed up at the end of the show and the first thing they asked me was if I was charging. "No sir, free show and you just missed it, we are going to the bar." Yikes that was a close one.
So the way around that is to just ask for donations. Luckily we all know how rich punks are.... oops maybe not so much. Ya, maybe everyone gives you a dollar two and a handful of change. One local underground show spot will cut off a chunk of your hair if you don't bring any money for the touring bands. If you don't have hair you have to go up to each member of the touring band and tell them why you can't pay at the door and apologize for being an asshole. They have a bag of collected dreadlocks and such.
So you might as well make it a benefit show. People are a little more inclined to give to something that is justifiable. This next show I am going to have is to raise a hundred bucks to try a pay for a park permit so we can have our first Denver Punx Picnic. If we get the permit then we can drink in the park and not go to jail when the police show up and I guarantee they will.
My favorite thing about doing shows a few years back, next door, was putting on local shows. No touring acts. The scene began to grow right away. A lot of those kids from bands I still see in new bands around town. They always bring up the old warehouse and how rad it was. The importance of doing just local showcases is huge. They give everyone a chance to do their shit. Not every band can always get on the big out of town show. Plus there might be a stigma on certain venues and bands won't play there and people won't go. Local spot, local bands, daytime show that doesn't interfere with night time show and no fucking tude. Sounds perfect! I booked the locals, usually and my brother would book the touring bands due to his savvy and networking skills on the computer. Don't get me wrong usually touring bands are pretty cool. A few have been dicks but what can you do? Touring is hard on your body and mind and you forget thank people and not be a rock star douche sometimes. Regardless of throwing shows I have always been into giving bands a place to stay on the road if they are not too scared. I had all ten members of BAD MANNERS stay here a few weeks back and they were a great bunch of guys. Opposite their name in fact. Buster Bloodvessel reminisced about the time he met Poly Styrene, the singer to X-RAY SPECS who sadly died recently, and she said something offensive to him. Truth be told I have a hard time understanding drunk Brits. at four a.m. HELLBASTARD's tour manager was too scared to stay here but DRESDEN stayed recently.
My roommates usually throw garage rock and arty shows. They are pretty fun but just not my scene. Although last Halloween we had a garage rock show and I got to sing Monster Mash while the Manxx jammed and I was dressed up as a barbarian. Wasted!!! So we have a lot of different types of music coming through here but it is time for more crushing punk, crust and grind.
I have found over the years there are a couple of really important things to not overlook during shows. One is lock-up everything you don't want stolen. Two is have a good door person who knows everyone. Three is water and finally a good, accessible bathroom. Those are huge. They create a smooth flowing show. Smooth is always better over a crazy show that makes you feel like you are on the precipice of doom. I don't need anymore anxiety. If this next one goes good I believe I will try to do gigs here more often. So please wish me luck and pray to the rock gods that there are no fights, the cops don't come, nobody goes to jail and none of my shit gets thrashed!!!