Sunday, December 30, 2007

Musician's Guide To Playing A Certain Restaurant

Over the years, we've played a number of gigs in one pretentious restaurant. Here's a helpful guide for musicians who have booked work in said venue.

1) The venue will double-book events and then try to squeeze everybody in. It's happened three or four times while we were playing there. Far too often to have been accidental. You are still entitled to play, even though they've set your party up in middle of the restaurant, with dividers on the side, and told you to keep it down. Obviously, be reasonable. But, we've found that pointing out the absurdity of the setup and the fact that the other patrons will be able to hear you no matter how low you play will save a lot of hassle. The first few times this happened, we had them coming over to complain about volume constantly. Since we've begun pointing out the absurdity of their position --to them and to the hosts-- we've had zero complaints.

2) Don't waste you time asking them to turn off the overhead music. They will ignore you. Ask the Ba'al Simcha instead. They'll listen to him/her. They don't want to get him angrier than he already is over the fact that the event isn't taking place in the party room as promised (and paid for).

3) Bring a snack. They won't feed you. Even if the host asks them to. Even if some guests don't show and you wind up being the "panim chadashos" at a Sheva Berachos. If the host follows up and asks a few times, you might eventually get fed.

4) Tape extension cords down 100% of their length, even if they tell you it's fine to leave it as you have set it, with only the exposed parts in trafficked areas taped down. Otherwise, at some point, someone will come and tape the rest of it down using the stickiest non-removable tape known to man. Your cord will be sticky for weeks.

As an aside, the best line of the evening came from one of the hosts, a mortgage broker by profession, who thanked the guests for coming out despite the current state of the market and taking a risk on a "sub-prime grill." (FYI, the venue was not Prime Grill.)

Here's something for the manager to consider.

When a client asks us to recommend a venue for their upcoming dinner party, which place do you think we'll suggest; your venue, or the restaurant we played last month, where the owner comped us a meal, and then took us out for drinks and live music at a nearby club?