‘What’s in your gig bag?!’

Vocalists on Instagram share with us their best pre-gig practices in and tell us what they cannot go without!

Ever wonder what singing performers put in their gig bags – and of those items which are the most important for them?

Of course no one is going to gigs right now! But perhaps this question can keep hope alive for the time that isolation ends!

We decided to ask a group of singers we really like who are active on Instagram: “What’s in your gig bag? Any best pre-gig practices?”

Here’s what they shared!

Sometimes you need a suitcase!

Sabrina Cheref @sabrinacheref_ – Sometimes, rather than a bag it is a gig suitcase! I bring my tablet for lyrics whenever I sing covers, make-up, new tights, nice shoes, a nice dress, jewels, and tissues (I often must blow my nose between songs which is very convenient and glamorous – ha!). If I’m doing a whole live set, I’ll also bring a microphone, stands, and my AER (amplifier).

Get your head in the game!

Jacob Clarke @jacobfrancisclarke – Hopefully it’s a given that if I have a gig, I’m quite familiar with the music, so my main preparations leading up to a show are mental ones. I get quite anxious about singing to people and if I let it, it does affect my performance. Limiting unknown factors is cool – being familiar with my gear, planning my clothes, even visualising the show ahead of time. Mostly just remembering that I’m playing because I love music and everyone listening does, too.

Visualize all the details

Lizzie @lizziethejazzsinger – My preparation for a gig is how I create extraordinary LIVE experiences. I practice visualization a week and several days prior to the performance. I visualize all aspects of the gig by reviewing the setlist/cue-sheet/lighting and engagement throughout the entire performance from beginning to end, it is like a movie in my head. 2-3 days before the performance I prepare wardrobe, print setlist w/cues, organize charts, I call my band to connect with them, I call certain fans/friends and I confirm that my gig bag is packed: it includes cd’s, biz cards, extra mic, throat lozenges, tape, bobby pins, makeup and $1 dollar bills to fuel the tips!

Bring that steamer!

Annie Gill @anniegill – Ideally, I’ll bring my steamer with me and steam before a show/concert/performance. When I was performing the role of Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret with Annapolis Shakespeare Company, I made sure to steam for 10-15 minutes before each performance – and especially on a two show day. I also try to limit speaking before a show, to allow my voice to rest up for a big performance. No matter what role I’m singing or what music I’m performing in a concert, I always warm up my full instrument – starting in middle voice, then working down, then singing up into my high range. Read More…

Water, batteries, sparkles – oh my!

Moxy Anne Music @moxyannemusic I keep my gig bag stocked with AA batteries, a reusable water bottle (so much easier to grab mid-show), business cards, bobby pins, a few Superior Vocal Health products (usually Throat Saver or Vocal Rescue), deodorant, Advil, extra bracelets, and a sparkly vest that goes with EVERYTHING that I’ve been wearing since I was 15. Suffice to say, I keep this bag with me at all times, and it’s big enough to fit all that and a spare outfit! More from Moxy Anne…

Throw a mini concert!

Silsar @Silsar_music – When I go to gigs I typically have my acoustic/electric Rancher Falcon guitar, strap, extra strings (just in case), water, and depending on the situation I might take my PA system.The best way I’ve found to prepare for a gig is to practice being in front of people. Have a mini concert in front of some friends and family in order to feel more comfortable and work on engaging your audience.

Have backups upon backups!

Jamie Becker @jbeckermusic – I laughed when I saw this question because I once had a gig where literally everything you can imagine went wrong – the 9V battery went out in my guitar pickup, the mic cable died, and I forgot a mic stand! Luckily, I came early and I came prepared (well, except for the mic stand!). I had extras of pretty much everything in my gig bag– batteries, 1/4 inch cables, XLR cables, guitar strings, guitar picks, power cords, etc. so, I was pretty much all set! As far as the mic stand goes, thankfully there was a Guitar Center just down the road, and I had enough time to pick one up. I guess I learned the sweaty way – better to have and not need, than need and not have!

More About Our Contributors:

Annie Gill, Soprano, continues to gain recognition as a distinctive and versatile artist, as well as an established teacher of voice and piano. In addition to her classical singing career, Ms. Gill is a voice over artist and acts in commercials and television, notably appearing as the “Opera Singer” in the Season 2 Finale of House of Cards. Most recently, Ms. Gill performed the role of Musetta in La Bohème with Opera Camerata of Washington, appeared as Soprano Soloist in Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ from the Cross with the Maryland Choral Society, and performed a reprise of the recital “Písně Lásky a Naděje” – “Songs of Love and Hope”. In concert, she appeared as Soprano Soloist in the Verdi Defiant Requiem (Defiant Requiem Foundation/Indiana University of Pennsylvania Chorale/Penn State Altoona), and as Soprano Soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Landon Symphonette. Ms. Gill made her studio album debut for composer Garth Baxter’s Ask the Moon, Visit her artist website at www.AnnieGill.com for more information and links to social media pages.

Lizzie Thomas, vocalist and musician, has made a name for herself in NYC as a swinging, sultry vocalist with a beautiful stage presence. She captivates her audience with the rare ability to sing with absolute precision on lightning speed tempos, with melodic freedom and control. Her phrasing is effortless and naturally swings. Follow her on Instagram @lizziethejazzsinger.

Jamie Becker is a Nashville based singer-songwriter with a haunting voice, rocking spirit, and a Gibson J-35 named Lola. Her original music is whimsical yet soulful; sensitive yet edgy which you can hear come out in her apocalyptic single “Dance in The River” and her sultry release “Gotta Be Magic”. In response to the pandemic, Jamie released a single entitled “All I Want Is To Be Close to You” with her father, Los Angeles based singer songwriter Jim Becker, in their side project Deep Fried Bubblegum. “This single was released to remind folks about what is really important”, Jamie says. Jamie has been working hard in the studio and is currently working some new releases for June 2020. Follow her on Instagram @jbeckermusic to see what she’s up to, and learn more at jbeckermusic.com.

Moxy Anne is a 22-year-old musician from Southern California who sings her heart out with passion, energy, and excellence. Moxy has performed and recorded behind talent like Jackie Evancho, Aerosmith, Josh Groban, and Meryl Streep. As her experiences cultivated passion, she started her own band, Moxy and The Influence. MXI garnered thousands of international fans, released Alive and The Best Revenge, and 3 music videos, and toured internationally. During college, she studied privately with Sara Leib, Teryn Ré, and Bill Cantos. In early 2019, she completed her Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music at Azusa Pacific University and graduated with honors. In the Fall of 2019, she released her debut single: a musically complex piano ballad entitled “The Egg,” written to raise awareness of the current tensions rising in Hong Kong. Moxy Anne and “The Egg” were featured nationally by Azusa Pacific University, The Christian Post, and other major media outlets. Singing regularly in a multitude of styles (rock, jazz, pop, R&B, electronic, country, reggae, folk, classical, choral, acoustic and a capella music), she enjoys any experience where she can collaborate with talented musicians and reach others with the power and influence of music! She currently works regularly with groups and artists like Sydney Ellen and Moses Sun at music venues, churches, and frequent public/private events throughout Southern California. She also co-hosts an ongoing pop culture podcast with media mogul Ruben Jay, entitled You’re My Best Friend. Follow her on Instagram @moxyannemusic.

Silsar is a small town 17 year old singer songwriter/guitarist/producer who strives to make a difference through her music. The name Silsar means “the torrent is coming ” or “the big wave”. To her this wave symbolizes the depression that devours our society, but her goal is to reach out to those in need and save them from the depths of their own despair through her original songs. Her 2020 release ‘Family?’ is now available everywhere for download and streaming. Follow her on Instagram @silsar_music

Jacob Clarke. Despite starting his career as a guitar player in and around Manchester, it’s Clarke’s ocean-side upbringing that defines his sound; like a romantic little beach bar in a bottle. With his latest release ‘OTICL’, Clarke marks the start of a busy summer season, with credits across upcoming Leeds-based releases and the opening of Evoke Studios, a recording studio ran by a collective of songwriters and producers in the heart of Leeds. Follow him on Instagram @jacobfrancisclarke.

Sabrina Cheref (formerly known as Sans Elle) is a French singer and songwriter and award winning vocalist. Winner of Jazz en Baie, semi-finalist of Montreux Vocal Competition and other French national jazz contests in 2015, she made quite a name for herself on the jazz and soul scene with the release of her debut album ‘Beyond’ in late 2014. Hear her sing the jazz standard ‘Skylark’ here on Youtube. Follow her on Instagram @sabrinacheref_.

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