Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Dan Vuksanovich / Six To Midnight

Name: Dan Vuksanovich

Band: Six To Midnight (

Where: Chicago

ED: Although I've previously had a story from the US of A by a UK band touring over the pond, this is the first time WPE has featured a band from the States. Six to Midnight are a Chicago-based cover band and this story was submitted by their guitarist Dan, who also runs a guitarist troubleshooting & advice website called Why I Suck At Guitar. Enjoy.

We showed up one Friday night at a local venue where we play regularly and usually do very well with the crowds.

On this particular night though, the venue was conducting some sort of experiment, and had both a band and a DJ. We’ve played at other venues that have had both before, but the way it usually works is that the band plays from 9pm until midnight or 10pm until 1am, and then the DJ takes over after that.

Not so on this night. The plan, if you can believe it, was to have our sets trade off with DJ sets. A normal night for us is to play two sets that are somewhere between 75 and 90 minutes each with a 15-20 minute break in between. On this night, though, we were told that we would get two 45 minute sets with a 45 minute break in between.

For those of you who are not in a cover band, 45 minutes is just about enough time to get things warmed up. The 45 minute mark is usually about the mid-point of a set, and it’s usually the point where the crowd is starting to get into it. True to form, the crowd was starting to loosen up, sing, dance, etc by the 45 minute mark, but that’s when we had to stop.

The DJ then came on and the dance floor (which also happens to be the area in front of the stage) emptied. 

During our 45 minute break we had a bunch of people come up to us and ask us when we were going back on. They seemed genuinely confused because traditionally this is a live music venue, not a DJ venue. People go there to hear live bands.

When we went back on 45 minutes later we had to struggle to gain back the crowd that the DJ had driven away from the stage, some of whom were not coming back at all because they had left the venue altogether. Once again at the 45 minute mark of our second set when we were starting to hit our stride with the crowd, we once again we had to stop so the DJ could do his thing for the rest of the night. 

At this point the venue pretty much emptied completely. On a normal night security has to chase people out when the lights come on. This was not a normal night.

Very strange that a venue would mess with success like that. This place is almost always packed with twenty-somethings looking to get drunk and check out a covera band. Hopefully they’ve realized already that this experiment was a huge failure.

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