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Frequency's back room

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Frequency's back room

Postby satta » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:28 pm

Any opinions on the whole not charging a cover at the front door...
Seems to me like the bands would make a lot more money if anyone coming in had to pay.
I like Darwin and what he's done with the place so I'm not trying to piss in his cornflakes, but I'm curious what other musicians think of this.
I personally know a few people who won't play there because of this issue. I see how it is good for the venue but I like to see musicians get paid.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby wallrock » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:38 pm

I'm not a musician, but I do try to see live music whenever possible and I do know that not paying a cover at the door has been a good thing amongst my circle of friends. On several occasions I've gotten a friend to catch a show at the Frequency by telling them that we could grab a beer at the bar without paying cover, and if they weren't into it we could bail. More often than not after a song or two we'd end up going in. For me, I've got to see the band, not just hear them play.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby jjoyce » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:46 pm

On the flip side, as a consumer, I'm not sure I'd be cool with paying to NOT be able to even see the band. This allows the business to generate some extra revenue, which allows him to stay in business and maybe even take some chances on bands.

Plus, I gotta think that bands refusing to play the room because of this have messed up priorities. What are they giving up? $20? $30 on a good night?
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby talagaster » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:03 pm

Yeah, I agree with Jason's points, I'd also like to add in a couple more. The Frequency usually has two shows a night, often with audiences that don't exactly overlap. Being able to chill at the bar upfront lets the bands for the late show hang out during the happy hour show. Conversely, people who came for the happy hour show can stay and have a drink after the first show without having to vacate to the Dise or Genna's.

It also allows for the Frequency to be a destination as a bar, I've gone down there several times just to have a drink or two. On some of those occasions, the music in the background has interested me enough to go in and see the band.

Besides, it's not like the acoustics upfront are that great, you can barely hear some of the quieter bands if you are at the bar. And any extra bar revenue just goes to keeping the place running. You can book the Frequency for $30 bucks on a night show and that's just to cover the sound guy. That's frickin cheap. Most coffee shops in town will charge you at least $50 bucks for a space half the size and that doesn't even get you a sound guy.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Exploding Pinto » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:50 pm

I love it. I love the whole redesign of the stage/audience orientation in this space that came along with The Frequency. I love how well The Frequency filled the void of a small club size venue in the downtown area. In my estimation, The Frequency has replicated the O’Cayz scenario better than any other thus far (and, that’s a waaay good thing).

I love musicians getting paid, but what I would love even more is a small club-sized venue in the downtown area that is smartly operated and books the good rock ‘n roll to survive more than a few years and ensure these musicians have a place to play.

I have frequented the Frequency both for band and beer. I wouldn’t have paid door on any occasion I was there for beer only (hello Paradise). I’ve been exposed to and interested in bands that I wouldn’t have cared to check out because of this. Badda bing, badda boom, it’s coming up aces.

I also love the Mario Bros. arcade game.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby supaunknown » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:34 pm

Hmm, let's see .... while inflation has predictably driven up prices on just about everything else, cover charges for local club shows have remained unchanged for what, like 2 decades now? Supply and demand. Small city, lots of bands, and not an overabundance of patrons.
If I can play a 40-minute set of original music and get enough from my share of the door to cover most of my evening's drinking expenses, I consider that a financial success.
I dig the way The Freq has it arranged. So a few folks stop in get to hear your band for free. Cool. Exposure. The whole Genna's/Tornado/Paradise/Shamrock/Freq block is an haven for hard-drinkers. There are tons of regulars and walk-in traffic. I'm damn sure people appreciate being able to pop in for a bev without having to pay a cover.
What exactly is your friend's beef anyways? The lost income? Would the few extra bucks garnered from charging everybody a cover really make a difference? I'm thinking not. So what is it? The principle of the thing? No such thing as a free lunch? Heck, if making money is their primary motivation for being in a band, well, ouch. They're sure to be disappointed. I'd reckon the chances of "making it" as an original act are tantamount with someone sporty making the NBA, NFL, etc.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Walter » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:03 pm

The set up with the front room/back room is a good idea. It gives someone a chance to get a preview before spending the cover. How many times have you paid a cover to see a band you heard or read was good and then regretted it and bailed?

As mentioned earlier, if you don't like the preview, finish your drink and then go, or since the sound isn't that great at the bar, have a another. Or ten or whatever. If I were a drinker, I would go the the Frequency just to support the place. My Coke with refills isn't going to keep the place afloat alone but I throw a buck on the bar for each refill and if the bartender forgot about the refill, I pay for another and don't complain.

When I stop in when I'm working just to catch a couple of songs from a band I like, er, to check capacity and safety I mean, I pay the cover. What's $5? How much did you spend on coffee today?

I'm not a working musician. I can't play well enough to call myself a musician, even a crappy one. But I think the Frequency is a great place that fills a small club need in this town with, excuse the hackneyed phrase, a by-musicians-for-musicians feel.

The best part about it is that it's a cool, friendly place even if you're not a rock and roll hipster that everyone knows. Hell, everyone is nice to me in there and when was the last time you were in music club and everyone was nice to a uniformed cop? Just saying.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby droidsattack » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:44 pm

The Frequency does take cover at the front in situations where the band playing has a big draw, but for most locals and unknown touring bands I think the halfway point is way fair.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:01 pm

Then there's the back room at the old Rainbow Room, previously in that space. But that's another matter.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby SirK » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:35 am

The Frequency is awesome, the set-up works great for bands and for the drinking crowd. Keep the video games!
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby lonesomejohnny » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:07 pm

The new room setup is great, a huge improvement over the previous setup. I like to move a lot of air behind me with my amp so I like it that they don't mind if we have our amps cranked up a bit! It still sounds good with us loudy-loud guitarists, too. (I don't enjoy carrying in my 50+ lb amp and then have to play it with the volume at less than 2 like some other places, but I understand that's the way it is.) The sound guy we've worked with there always remembers us and does neat things with the sound. I get the feeling he does his homework on the bands.

I was at a show there a few weeks ago that didn't have much of a crowd. The touring band opened, and let's just say they didn't really hold the audience. Most of the other people in the crowd/the other bands went out to the bar while they played. My wife and I were sort of guilted into staying through the band's set because we didn't want to leave the room empty for them.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby dave esmond » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:12 pm

lonesomejohnny wrote:My wife and I were sort of guilted into staying through the band's set because we didn't want to leave the room empty for them.


Thanks. Sorry about the ditching.

I too like the setup there. I'd rather a few folks didn't pay but still got a chance to hear us then the alternative of them just walking away.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby zero point zero » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:04 pm

I'm pretty new to Madison and have been checking out the scene a little. Some of the only shows I have gone to here are at the Frequency and I like it so far. The place hasn't been too packed when I've been in and I really think that the pay at the back thing works well. It takes some pressure off the bands to carry the bar's patrons for the night too.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby zippy » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:19 am

Sorry to throw water on the frequency lovefest but bands are shy about playing the frequency because it pays next to NOTHING!
If you pack the back room with your friends (an iffy proposition these days for most bands) your talking about what fifty people max? At five dollars a person cover your talking about 250.00 dollars to pay two sometimes three bands. If the bands are only four piece bands thats around 30 .00 dollars per band member.
And thats the BEST you can hope for. Oh and you get a couple drink tickets good for Blatz. I had to laugh when I saw a local paper do a cover story on the frequency which talked about how altruistic the ex musician owners of the frequency are for this little arrangment. Look the world is full of bands. God knows EVERYBODY has one. And hey your all good because look at all the people packing the clubs going to shows. (Ok i will cut the sarcasm.) And they all need places to play. But some of you are convinced its cool to be playing at this place. To me it looks like the equivilant of the publishing industrys vanity press.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Kyle Motor » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:25 am

zippy wrote:Sorry to throw water on the frequency lovefest but bands are shy about playing the frequency because it pays next to NOTHING!
If you pack the back room with your friends (an iffy proposition these days for most bands) your talking about what fifty people max? At five dollars a person cover your talking about 250.00 dollars to pay two sometimes three bands. If the bands are only four piece bands thats around 30 .00 dollars per band member.
And thats the BEST you can hope for. Oh and you get a couple drink tickets good for Blatz. I had to laugh when I saw a local paper do a cover story on the frequency which talked about how altruistic the ex musician owners of the frequency are for this little arrangment. Look the world is full of bands. God knows EVERYBODY has one. And hey your all good because look at all the people packing the clubs going to shows. (Ok i will cut the sarcasm.) And they all need places to play. But some of you are convinced its cool to be playing at this place. To me it looks like the equivilant of the publishing industrys vanity press.

Where in town can original bands play that pay better?
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