Stagewear?

MBB

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Do you cover band folks wear what would be considered stagewear?
I ask because a bunch of coworkers showed up at a gig yesterday which was pretty cool. All loved the band/music. I think they were surprised that we did NOT sound like a crappy dad/garage band. That said some asked why I looked like I do at work (I work in research at UCSF). By that they clarified by asking why we (mainly me) did not have "outfits". Not matching things, just something different than regular street or work clothes. I sheepishly said since I'm hidden in the back it did not really matter but even I know that's a cop out. My band mates sometime harp on me so maybe I need to rethink what I wear onstage.
 

Polska

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I like to have a funkier shirt, whether its a tee shirt or a somewhat flashy short sleeve button down. I figure I'm sitting down in back, so something a bit noticable. And even though I usually wear jeans, i do always try to look neat if that makes sense. I dont want to look like i just got done roofing.
 

Heartbeat

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Yes! Sounding good is only half the gig. The other part is looking good. My general rule of thumb for myself is "no blue jeans or shorts." The only time I wear blue jeans is occasionally with my country band, but they're stylish/ripped. Half my closet is stage clothes. LOL
 

gwbasley

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From my College band to present, I have always worn dress shirt, slacks, and shoes. During the 70's and 80's I worked with a contract orchestra and a Tuxedo was mandatory.

I was a music major but it was my private teachers and not my professors that taught me that I was in the entertainment business and to respect the audience by playing and looking my best. I have heard the arguments about the Hippie, Punk and Grunge look but, believe me, even they are quite selective in picking out their best torn jeans each night!

You dress for your audience...give them what they expect and more.
 

chillybase

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I've never played in a cover band but I have some friends that do. Friends that play in 80s cover bands tend to dress more like that era of music. Same with 90s and so on. If your cover band tends to do music that covers multiple genres and/or eras of music, then I'd pick out something reasonably nice that doesn't pin you down. I think tribute bands should definitely try to look the part of the player they are mimicking.

The last original band I was in as a guitarist/singer, we all wore black Adidas track jackets on stage with dark or black jeans. It is sort of fun to dress up in stage attire that is comfortable to you.
 

dcrigger

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MBB - I would suggest just thinking of it like any other job... I'll bet there's a look or vibe that best fits being member of your research department. And it's likely different than guys would wear in Warehousing or Shipping and Receiving. And different still from that in the upper level executive offices.

So why wouldn't "a drummer in a band" be different from any of those? Of course, from there it can really vary depending on the band and/or the event... as well as how you want you see your "player persona" versus your "research guy persona". Some guys tend to express some degree of a look - while still dressing for the occasion - in other words, maintaining a bit of their "thing" whether the gig is more casual or more formal or whatever.

Anyway - from the number of folks that have mentioned it to you - you are probably getting that it does matter... and to some folks it matters a lot.
 
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Tmcfour

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Band leaders call for us. Usually black jeans and skeleton tee shirts but sometimes black jeans and black bowling shirts. In my older bands stage clothes are a big no no in the hardcore world. But even that's kind of a costume of sorts.
 

Old Drummer

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I've noticed the indifference of band members to attire and consider that a marketing misstep. In most bands dressing up like a Motown band probably isn't necessary, but shorts strike me as a real no-no. Yet some guys climb on stage wearing shorts.

I also saw a band this past week in which the front man was an older skinny guy with a pot belly and tattoos. He was wearing a sleeveless muscle T-shirt. I'm not saying that he should don an Elvis jumpsuit, but he looked bad (for anything but a biker band).

And I saw a 4-piece a few weeks ago in which apparently by accident 3 of the guys were wearing black T-shirts. It looked strange, as if one guy was out of uniform--although the uniforms of the other 3 were accidental.

Which is not to mention the blues singer I know who wears a baseball cap. I've told him that the cap would work for country, but for blues he really needs a more blues-appropriate hat.

Far be it from me to be a member of the fashion police force, but the reality is that people go to SEE live bands, not only to hear them. Some minimal thought ought to be put into how the band members dress. For crying out loud, it's entertainment.
 

pwc1141

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Here, for jazz guys, it is mostly black on black because every musician is likely to have such clothes here for the many funerals we seem to attend and it makes mix and match groups simple in clothes terms and stays smart-ish. But my own gigs tend to be just smart casual. Shorts were ever a no-no for me.
 

CherryClassic

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I played in cover bands most of my life and always dressed in a presentable manor. Playing Big Band music always black coat, white shirt and tie but that goes with the music. I play mostly Country Western now but I always look like I just walked out of the cleaners with starched shirt and dry cleaned jeans with a western style tie when I remember to bring it. I don't think everyone needs to look the same, on the other hand I have played with some Country bands wearing matching shirts and a western hat. It just looks more professional and sometimes the lead singer will wear the same style shirt but a different color. But then I have always had a full time job and was able to afford it. Plus we were always getting compliment on how we look from our fans and that makes us feel good.

I really don't like walking into a venue and seeing guys wearing tee shirts but I do try to overlook some individuals in a bar realizing they are trying to live off their earnings. But I also notice most of then will act and try to project professionalism.

What I really don't like is; when a star, well known drummer gets on a big stage with a large kit to put on a show without a shirt and sometimes only wearing shorts. I do not want to see someones harry body with sweat running all over his body. That is a big turn off for me and it takes away from enjoying his ability to play drums.

sherm
 

On the one

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I agree also it depends on the gig. Majority of the time I play in a polo and nice shorts. But none of us have matching oufits unless it is a formal event.
 

bongomania

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I’m always the most dressed up in my band, and it bums me out when the guys in front (sax and keys) wear t shirts and shorts. We’ve talked about it a little but we don’t have either a bandleader or a unified aesthetic vision, so it’s not something I can be stern about with them. But I’ve brought it up and they agreed it would be nice if we looked sharp... they just haven’t followed through yet.
 

MBB

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Thanks for all the replies and input. Clearly, I need to deal with my choices in attire for gigs. It has become even more obvious to me now when I look back at photos from past shows. An easy yet important fix with some new things to wear for gigs.
 

Roch

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I think your looks can elevate your band...nothing worse than a bunch of guys in t shirts and shorts grinding out some tired old covers..at least put some effort into it for the people that have come out to support you. Sorry, but your playing isn't so great that you can get away with dressing like you've just finished mowing your lawn...give them something to look at..have some self respect..be a somebody...:brushteeth:
 
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