In this Preshow Rituals segment, the alternative rock band, Harmless Habit, reveals what they do before taking the stage. You can check out the rituals, after the break.
Like most rock bands, we take pride in giving the audience the same high-energy performance at every show. Playing live is what we do best. Whether we’re playing to 5 or 5000 people, there are a few rituals we have before taking the stage that helps us give the audience a good show.
Our band is paranoid about preparation, so the day of a show always begins with double-checking that our gear works. This means replacing any strings, drum heads, and batteries then ensuring we have every piece of gear and merch before we head to the venue. It is also very helpful that Nick (bass) does professional live sound and Cooper (guitar) is a producer that’s extremely knowledgeable in audio software. This allows us to do a full sound check the day before a show in our own rehearsal space and make sure everything sounds great.
If we’re fortunate enough to open for a larger band or play a festival, Rinn (drums), Joey (vocals), and myself (Jon – guitar) will pass out free stickers and talk to fans waiting outside the venue. It’s a great way to connect with new people and introduce ourselves. In the meantime, Cooper and Nick talk to the staff to make sure all of our equipment is compatible with the venue’s sound system. When we are headlining, you can catch us in the pit watching the other bands perform. It helps us get the adrenaline going before the show and we enjoy hearing live music just as much as we like playing it.
The most stressful part of the night is the hour before we hit the stage. We meet backstage and prepare to set up every piece of gear we own in 15 minutes or less. We’ll do some neck and back stretches to prevent the “bangover” but sometimes it’s inevitable. Once the chaos of setting up is over, the last ritual we have is to stand in a circle, put a hand in, and shout “1, 2, 3, TEMPO! 1, 2, 3, DON’T F**K UP!” then take the stage and throw our necks out for 45 minutes.
Overall, the most important ritual is to genuinely thank everyone who made the show possible. We are fully aware that we cannot not do this on our own and it’s the combined effort of the audience, venue staff, booking agents, and promoters that make our shows successful. We are grateful for any chance we get to play and if everything goes well, we can perform all of these rituals in a city near you.