My band is set to do a gig with a just-for-one-night replacement drummer, which is an interesting thing to contemplate the first time around. My advice to the guys who were wondering how well it would work was:
Fear ye NOT, for we are ROCK!
Seven Top Tips for gigging with a dep drummer:
1. Remember, the audience is less familiar with the correct arrangement than you
2. Like playing with a drum machine, it may not be quite right but only needs to be in time
3. Remember, the audience has been drinking more than you
4. The vibe is more important than the precision, just keep playing through the mistakes
5. Remember, the audience never gets hung up on mistakes
6. Look him in the eye, count out loud, and telegraph the changes with extravagant gestures
7. Remember, the audiences always loved Ringo Starr
Just embrace the idea that all the spaces, the bits where Rob does or doesn’t do that thing, will end up getting filled with things you’ve never heard before – and someone else will have to shout the count.
It’ll all be slightly different – so seriously, we’ll have fun, and so will the audience.
P.S. not that I would want to do it every time!! It’s definitely a bit more effort than a regular gig. But, you know, RRAWWK!!!