By Rolando Segovia
Music has been viewed as a legitimate art form for centuries, however, there have always been certain elements of music that have never gotten the love they deserve. This list showcases my opinion about the music industry’s most underrated aspects.
Basically, they’re musicians that play at a concert before the opening act.
Once the band that you paid money to to see appears on stage, the opener seems to disappear into the background.
For example, in December 2011, Indie band Ra Ra Riot had a concert in College Park, Maryland with the then-unknown rapper, Logic as an opener.
The the next time you see an opener at a concert and think they’re some throw away artist, they just might make it big before you know it.
Whenever you think about band members dancing on stage, you’re most likely thinking of the bassist, guitarist or keyboard player - anything except for the drummers. Drummers play a vital role in a song by banging their drums in accordance with each instrument in the song, which adds to the tempo of the song.
Drummers need perfect timing and total concentration - it’s not usually a job that can be done while moving around too. So while the other band members stay at the front of the stage, the drummer has to stay behind to keep the beat going.
- Sound Technicians
Band musicians know how to play their instruments, but they likely don’t know how to set up equipment for a venue - that’s what sound technicians are for.
Sure, guitarists can tune their own guitars and keyboardists can fix their keyboards but technicians are often the only ones with training on the rest of the audio equipment so the audience can actually hear the music through the speakers.
Technicians don’t necessarily focus on sound, though they also make sure that the lighting works, to prevent any electrical fires and so the audience can get an extra flashy show.
Sound technicians do their job before the concerts even start, so unless you come early, you might not even be able to thank them for their hard work.
- Talent Buyers
Do you ever wonder how venues are able to approach artists to play for a concert? Talent buyers are the ones you can thank for that.
Think of them as agents for venues. They constantly call, email and organize multiple people for venues.
Talent buyers are the professionals who go back and forth negotiating and making sure that even the most obscure bands get a chance to play at their venue.
They debate on the ticket sales based on the anticipated attendance numbers and the possibility of hiring an opener.
- Music Producers
Music producers are the perfect example of those unseen employees who do so much work that probably never sleep - research shows that they can work up to 10 hours a day instead of the typical 8 or less.
Music producers do so many things, but here are a few examples:
- Composing, recording, producing and arranging songs.
- Setting up the recording studio while planning writing sessions for songs.
- Contacting and promoting their featured bands.
- Going to concerts to recruit potential business concerts.
In my opinion, music producers are probably the most important people who contribute to the music we listen to besides the musicians themselves.
While most producers are never seen in the spotlight roles, some producers have actually become solo artists, so they get to make their own music and being their own boss. This can also work the other way around, in which a band member leaves the group to produce music for other bands.
For example, Dave Fridmann was once a member of the 1989 indie band Mercury Rev. Once leaving the band, he became a record producer. He’s worked with bands such as: Neon Indian, MGMT, Weezer, The Flaming Lips and plenty more bands which landed him critical praise.
Hopefully after reading my list, you’ve grown a deeper appreciation for the process that goes into music and concerts you listen to. It’s easy to take them for granted - after all, they’re not usually the ones of the front stage, but all of the music that we love wouldn’t be possible without these five underrated professions.