Performers in all spheres often discuss the importance of ritual -- but especially in music, where a pre-concert ordinance may be more significant to the band than we ever know as observers.
One might think that rituals are reserved for witches and baseball players, but we have evidence that musicians get in on the superstition as well. We asked a few bands nominated for the Westword Music Awards about their pre-show rituals. Some of them seemed like good ideas. Some of them seemed like felonies, and more of them seemed like jokes. We included our favorites across the spectrum.
Pre-Concert Ritual: Colin [the drummer] has a problem with being constantly online playing Grand Theft Auto V, usually hanging out in the digital strip club spending all his digital money. It's sometimes impossible to get him off the couch to make it to the shows.
If this is his way of relaxing before shows, more power to him. Drummers need to relax and exhibit solid dexterity when they're playing.
Pre-Concert Ritual: Darren and Doug shotgun a beer. Tripp has to be given enough time to put on his makeup. I'm sorry if these sound like jokes. They aren't jokes.
Shotgunning Beers before a show: common. Male bandmembers applying makeup before a show? Think about it -- also pretty common.
Pre-Concert Ritual: We like to huddle up and "Get It In'' before the gig to go over what to expect, the vibe of the show, and to get our heads in order.
One band, one blend, one sound, one love.
Artist:Wheelchair Sports Camp
Pre-Concert Ritual: There's nothing better than dropping a deuce right before hitting the stage!
True. Also, before pretty much anything in life.
Pre-Concert Ritual: Before every show, I sacrifice a live chicken. After the show, I usually go for an eleven- to seventeen-mile jog, in search of a chicken for the next gig.
Wirtz's dedication to the ritual clearly matches his dedication to his craft and technical ability.
Artist:Safe Boating Is No Accident
Pre-Concert Ritual: We usually down shots of baby blood before our set so that Baphomet will smile down upon us.
We have no doubt that he does.
Pre-Concert Ritual: That rumor about eating live Chihuahuas before we go on is unsubstantiated.
Baphomet also smiles upon Itchy-O.
Other bands we talked to mentioned their drug of choice, mostly alcohol or weed. Regardless, rituals are important. They provide the mindset required for performance. Being an artist is about much more than the music; it's about philosophy, image, fashion, activism and more. Bands like Dubskin, which diligently integrates their rituals into their demeanor, are fully aware of this concept.
And here's a bunch more information about the Westword Music Showcase: -The 36 best songs you might hear on the main stage at this year's Westword Music Showcase -The 2014 Westword Music Awards nominees -The people of Westword Music Showcase 2013 -Ticket page for this year's Showcase