There is an art to successfully requesting a song while viewing a cover band performance. Realistically, most bands have a fairly locked in set list and don’t veer off that list too much. In-ear monitors make communication with the crowd that much tougher. But, if done properly, you might just get your song played.
We’ve compiled a few dos and don’ts to make this surprisingly confusing venture a bit more successful.
Ever. Seriously. There is always one guy at each show that thinks this is so incredibly funny. Unfortunately, we can usually pick out the guy who’s going to be the one to yell “Freebird!” at some point of the show. Don’t be that guy. Not only will the request be completely ignored by any self-respecting band, but it’s really not going to win you the lady points you think it will. Move on. Find a new joke.
Make a request mid-song.
This one isn’t quite as obvious. You’re at the show, having a great time, and of course, you think, “Man, this awesome time would be even better if they played Ani Defranco’s b-side live slow jam.” So, you wiggle to the front of stage and motion for a member to come over to you. Now, you’ve already made a handful of mistakes by this point. We use in-ear monitors, which technically-speaking, filter out about 25 decibels of noise. Instead, we hear precisely what we need to hear to put on the show. It also makes it REALLY difficult to hear people talk. There’s virtually no way for us to hear you, unless we pull the in-ears out. And, Ani, well, that’s a different problem.
Set breaks are your chance
When the band has a break, find the sexiest looking band member and ask them if they know your song or better yet, any song by your favorite band. There are no guarantees, but this is the best time to ask.
Keep it general
Chances are, Ani Defranco isn’t happening. A cover band needs to play songs that the majority of people can handle, so your unique musical preferences just aren’t a good fit for us. Keep it to stuff that seems in line with what we play. A pop band playing a Pantera song? Probably isn’t happening.
When in doubt, buy it
Now, the single best way to request a song is to write it (or a band name) on cash money, and throw it on stage for us. Now you’re talking. The bigger the bill, the better your chances.
TIP: To play Slayer, you’ll need a much larger denomination.