Behind the scenes of the concert you see

Carleigh Mack and her bandie, Nathan Pevear, rocking out a cover of “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish.

Photo by Carleigh McCritchie

Carleigh Mack and her bandie, Nathan Pevear, rocking out a cover of “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish.

As a local musician, my favorite thing to do is perform with my band. Nothing hits as good as tapping the keys with my fingers, singing into the microphone and whipping my hair all around to the beat of the song.

Not only do I love being in the music with myself, but I love looking around to see how my band is enjoying our sound. My guitarist, shredding with his guitar high above his head; my drummer flipping his sticks and banging on the drums; and my bassist, doing what all bassists do: bopping his head around to his bass lines.

This is what you see when you go to that concert with your friends, but it’s a completely different story for the band.

#1) The Setlist

Before you’re even thinking of the concert and buying the tickets, the band is figuring out what to play to impress the audience. Well-known bands choose at least two hours worth of music, but for a local band in New Hampshire, 45 minutes to an hour of music is plenty.

Picking the setlist and arranging what song goes where is extremely important because, if you think about it, you’re riding highs and lows in the music.

The start of the set usually kicks off with a bang, and it may continue that way for a couple of tunes, but eventually the ear longs for something else, so we bring it down with a softer song.

If half of the songs don’t run smoothly into each other, then the concert will sound choppy, and at that point, you’ll lose your supporters.

#2) Practice

While you’re buying your tickets and putting the date in your calendar, we are preparing for weeks ahead.

The band meets up and practices for hours upon hours to get every note sung perfectly and every guitar riff beyond amazing.

Popular rock bands, like Aerosmith and The Beatles, have hilarious and interesting stories about how a studio session went.

For my band, The Haze, we have plenty of stories to tell; for example, we once stayed seven hours to practice through a setlist, and by the end, all we could hear was ringing in our ears.

#3) Concert Day

Finally the day of the concert.

You’re packing up your coolers and chairs, while the band is packing up their sound system and instruments.

We’re there three hours before the gig setting up the speakers, the stage, and adjusting how everyone sounds, all while having butterflies rushing around in our stomachs. The adrenaline is rushing through all of our bones with 30 minutes to spare while a few early arrivers are showing up.

Looking out at all the people who came to see us play makes us feel important and supported.

Eventually, the lights dim down, the crowd settles, and the band picks up their instruments. The long pause before the huge first note of the whole concert is a feeling of power.

We feel the room waiting, and we can control when we turn them up. It’s when that first note hits, all the cheers erupt. That is the sound that never gets old.

You all know how the rest goes, and as they say, “the show must go on!”

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