Band Pro Tip #1: Don't Invite Andy Grammer to Your Show If You Know It's Gonna Suck

Once upon a time, Stop Motion Poetry won a contest to play a slot at South By Southwest (SXSW), the famed music festival where almost everyone of note in the music industry converges on Austin, TX.

We found out we won a little late in the game, so planning a tour wasn’t exactly an option. We tried and ended up with a couple shows in LA and then a long, long, LONG drive to Austin. Why did we drive? Mostly because we were broke. So we piled in my mom’s minivan and bit the bullet.

Another by-product of late notice meant we weren’t all available, and Devin had to stay home. We found a fill-in bassist, who then bailed. Next up was our friend Rob, who reluctantly accepted. Rob’s a violinist, a talented one, but the poor bastard doesn’t play bass.

The day before our show, we had a meeting our producer set up with some music industry people that “it would be good for us to meet”: a manager, a producer, an attorney, and an (as yet unsigned) Andy Grammer. We shot the shit, enjoyed a few drinks, and Andy and his manager said they’d be at our show.

We had the opening slot at this show which meant we were performing for the other bands, a few friends, and Andy and his manager. We weren’t good. We were OK at best. Andy and his manager bounced while we were still tearing down our gear.

We should have adjusted our show to fit what the lineup could support. Having Rob play violin and the rest of us play a stripped down show would have gone way better.

Band Pro Tip: Play to Your Strengths i.e. Don’t invite Andy Grammer to your show if you know it’s gonna suck.