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Thread: Stage wear

  1. #1

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    I play in several different projects. I have over the years worn all sorts of garb on stage, from formal to casual. Whatever makes sense for the gig is what I do. In any case, I believe that performers should dress different than the audience that they are performing for.

    I play in a band called "Hellin Back", it is is a rock and soul cover band that has a serious lighting setup, it is what I would consider a show band. We are serious about our sound of course, but also we do give consideration to our "look".

    Now admittedly, we are all old guys, we are not eye candy by any stretch of the imagination. But we do use stage wear, which is the point of this thread. We do not dress to "match", but there is a certain style that we all try to stick with.

    At this point I have eight shirts that I wear with this band and they all have one thing in common, flames. It may seem silly, but the look is part of the act. We are Hellin Back, so flames seemed appropriate.

    You may notice that I smile a lot on stage, I'm having fun and like to share that.







    How about the rest of you, have you purposely developed a "look" for the stage?
    Last edited by drummer5359; 07-17-2016 at 12:34 PM.
    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Snare drums happen."

  2. #2

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    I have a select set of shirts and T's that I only wear for gigging.

    I like your outfits!
    Signature here

  3. #3

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    It all depends on the gig/venue. With a band full of 40 and 50 year old members, all of whom have white collar day jobs, it really very rarely comes up. Outside acoustic gigs t-shirt and shorts, restaurant patios pants and collared shirts. Full electric gigs in "dive bars", whatever. Concert venue, spandex. Weddings and receptions suits and tuxs as needed. In the last 3 years, "dress code" has only been brought up once.

    I wear jeans and dry-fit soccer jerseys, or dry-fit collared shirts or polos for 98% of our shows.
    Last edited by Rotarded; 07-17-2016 at 06:17 PM.

  4. #4

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    in my last band Roxtar we had a certain "dress code" then it kinda came down to just jeans and a black shirt.

    But for me I had the Batman nickname so every shirt I wore was a batman shirt. It was crazy if I didn't wear a batman shirt people asked if I was feeling ok or what was wrong lol
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor |5pc PDP Concept Maple Classic | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 58 Snare drums and growing!

  5. #5

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    Gotta wear sunglasses to cut the glare of stage lights.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
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  6. #6

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    With 7 guys, ages 24 to 64, and about as wide of range of music as you can get, we don't really have a dress code. I'm probably the worst dressed of all. I tend to wear white t-shirts all the time....sometimes with the sleeves cut off. If it's summer, shorts and sandals. I almost always wear a hat. Usually a straw Panama hat or fedora, but sometimes a worn out ball cap.

    One thing I don't personally care for is matching band shirts. I've seen local bands with matching t-shirts or polo shirts with their band name on them. They look like a softball or bowling team on stage. I've also seen a drummer wear nylon jogging/sweat pants. I understand the need for comfort and mobility, but he looked like he just came from the YMCA or some place in Jersey. All he needed was an alarm clock on a gold chain hanging around his neck.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotarded View Post
    Concert venue, spandex..
    Spandex?

    Not that it fits our style, but even if it did, we only have ONE guy that could pull off wearing Spandex. The rest of us.....not even a remote chance. The closest I get to Spandex is the elastic waistband in my old-man khaki pants. Heck, I'm even lucky to have any elastic left in my socks or underwear.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    Spandex?

    Not that it fits our style, but even if it did, we only have ONE guy that could pull off wearing Spandex. The rest of us.....not even a remote chance. The closest I get to Spandex is the elastic waistband in my old-man khaki pants. Heck, I'm even lucky to have any elastic left in my socks or underwear.
    Just seeing if anyone was actually paying attention!
    Last edited by Rotarded; 07-17-2016 at 10:37 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    One thing I don't personally care for is matching band shirts. I've seen local bands with matching t-shirts or polo shirts with their band name on them. They look like a softball or bowling team on stage. I've also seen a drummer wear nylon jogging/sweat pants. I understand the need for comfort and mobility, but he looked like he just came from the YMCA or some place in Jersey. All he needed was an alarm clock on a gold chain hanging around his neck.
    You bring up an interesting and related point.

    We have various versions of band T-shirts with our logo on them that we sell at gigs. One of our members thought that we would all be wearing these to gigs.

    Um... no.

    We explained that they are not our uniform, they are merchandise. It's cool if your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend (if you are so inclined), children, friends, ETC wear our gear, but not band members. It is especially wonderful if hot waitresses and barmaids that work at venues wear our gear, we give shirts away to them.

    Actually, we originally came up with the idea of wearing stage wear as a way to distract him from wearing our gear. (It worked!)

    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Snare drums happen."

  10. #10

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    I never played in a band with a dress code usually the type of venue. It might sound weird but I do not like playing in pants. I love playing in shorts feels more comfortable and less restricted. Maybe that's why I stuck will the classic/metal/hard rock. Usually these gigs are very casual. My anniversary is coming up and might have to play and it looks like I have to wear a suit.

  11. #11

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    Last Halloween we dressed up for the gig. I went as Elwood Blues and wore my black suit with a white shirt, black tie, black leather dress shoes and a black fedora. I even shaved and left my sideburns long. The funny part was; it was VERY comfortable. The fabric was light weight, cool and loose fitting. The shoes worked great on the kick pedal too. I must admit, I looked pretty good to....
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    Last Halloween we dressed up for the gig. I went as Elwood Blues and wore my black suit with a white shirt, black tie, black leather dress shoes and a black fedora. I even shaved and left my sideburns long. The funny part was; it was VERY comfortable. The fabric was light weight, cool and loose fitting. The shoes worked great on the kick pedal too. I must admit, I looked pretty good to....
    Great minds think alike. (And so do ours...)

    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Snare drums happen."

  13. #13

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    Actually I thought that Tommy Lee brought a style that would be the dress code for years to come, with home movies to show where it started.









    Wait a second. Didn't Morrison get arrested for something along those lines, or was it Pee Wee Herman?

  14. #14

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    Yeah I've known many bands that go to far and do full matching attire.

    It really all depends on your type of music and the venue you're playing.


    I think the best is when RHCP went on stage wearing just a tube sock....
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor |5pc PDP Concept Maple Classic | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 58 Snare drums and growing!

  15. #15

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    Nope, wear what we want. Played an outside gig this past Friday though and the tube sock thing might have been the way to go cuz it was close to 100 degrees.

  16. #16

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    The other two main players in our band (we rotate a second guitarist in for some shows) both tend to gravitate towards southern rock style clothing (flannel shirts over t's, or vests and such), and they'll end up with different hats and such depending on the venue.

    I decided to not try and keep up, but to stay pretty basic. An appropriate t-shirt with either jeans or cargo shorts for most bar gigs, occasionally with an unbuttoned collared shirt over the t-shirt, sleeves rolled up.

    The nicer venues I'll shift to a nice polo shirt, and either khakis or cargo shorts.

    Sneakers. Always sneakers. Plain white (boring, my kids say) sneakers.
    Last edited by worcesterbruce; 07-18-2016 at 10:22 AM.

  17. #17

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    Wait...you're supposed to wear clothes on stage?
    Six piece Mapex Armory, Black Panther Blade and Orange County Custom snare drums, Centent Emperor cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

    Highway 49 Band


  18. #18

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    Back in the 80's, in my New Wave band, we went all out on stage wear, spandex, animal prints, leather, skinny ties, mini skirts (for the female singer). We even changed outfits between sets. We could pull it off because we were 16 - 21 years old. Now, with band members ranging from 55 - 65, those kinds of clothes would not go over well. I try to wear something that looks like stagewear and not regular street clothes. I check out older rock stars like the guys in Aerosmith to get ideas. Usually it's skinny jeans and a t shirt with a cool print or a button down short sleeve, and low top converse. The rest of the band varies in how much they dress up. The lead singer tries to look the part, the female backup singer tries, but is really too old to pull off anything radical, the 2 guitarists make a minimal effort and the bass player wears whatever he put on earlier in the day.
    I personally think that stage wear goes a long way toward making a band look professional, and adds to the experience for the audience, but if you can't get the whole band to buy in, it won't work.


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  19. #19

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    I almost always wear baggy gym pants (slimmer near the calves and ankles so the beaters don't get hung up) and some sort of Gretsch or Zildjian logo t-shirt.
    Also my good drumming shoes and a golf cap to catch the sweat.
    And, of course, my sunglasses to block the stage lights glaring in my eyes.

    Dressed for work..................
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  20. #20

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    in my younger days when i could get away with it, shirtless was a popular option for me. Would start out wearing something but end up weaning nothing

    1996 Reign Of Sound @ The Boardwalk Orangevale, CA
    Last edited by slinky; 07-19-2016 at 10:01 AM.
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  21. #21

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    If I went shirtless, I'd need a piece of Moongel stuck to my belly to control the errant vibrations.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Nope, wear what we want. Played an outside gig this past Friday though and the tube sock thing might have been the way to go cuz it was close to 100 degrees.
    Agreed.

    We play a lot of weekend outdoor gigs at popular on-the-river bars/clubs in my area, which is known for its extremely hot and humid summer time climate. For these gigs cotton shorts, moister wicking tee shirt and ankle socks, and some sort of "redneck" baseball cap is my usual attire ...

  23. #23

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    My band is a punk rock band (all members are pushing 50 and I'm in my 60's. The other members wear California beach punk attire (board shorts & some other band's t-shirts). Since we have no band dress code, I wear a tuxedo.

  24. #24

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    Depends on the gig and the venue.

  25. #25

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    I think a band should look like a group, not a random collection.

    This doesn't necessarily mean matching outfits, but at least coordinating outfits.

    Even if it's as simple as jeans and black Tshirts, as long as they "match". Hell, if you want to wear cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirts, fine. Just make sure everyone follows suit.

    When a band shows up dressed with no cohesion, like they would be on a trip to the grocery store, I think it looks amateurish,.... like they don't care enough about their show. Granted, most bands are actually amateurs, but it doesn't take a lot of effort to put some thought into it and dress up a little.

    If all else fails, at least wear black pants&shirt.

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