I won't go to a weeknight show that isn't over by 11, 'cos I'm too old to drag my sorry ass out of bed at 5:30 for work the next day.

Friday/Saturday shows? Run 'em as late as possible.
Doors at 8pm, first band by 9 is generally pretty reasonable. If shows started a little earlier it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, and it'd give the club more time to sell booze after to those that want to stay out. A few clubs in my neighborhood do this on weeknights to help out public transit users and stave off noise complaints.

If I'm going to be all #olds about it, let's shorten those sets. This isn't the Hollybowl Bowl guys, it's a neighborhood bar. If you're playing more than 30 minutes it better be because you filled the room and your fans want more.
“...the opener should play for no more than 30 minutes ever."

Sean’s been upstaged one too many times by opening acts, eh? :-P

Ah, the good old days: four bands on the bill at The Crocodile, headliner goes on at ten minutes past midnight.
Shows should start at about 9; start, not doors open, not milling about checking mic stands, not in the green room, not chatting with friends, start. And they should end about midnight on school nights, and about 145 on weekends. Neumos should be closed, as well as Barboza. They are ruining the music business in Seattle. 9-mid is plenty of time for 2 big sets, or 3 mini-sets. A set is 90 minutes, not 60, not 30. If you don’t have 90 minutes of music, maybe you should go back to your parents basement and make some up. Nectar seems to be moving toward this model and it works. And they save their expenses by not trying to open every night if they don’t have a good show booked.
God damn, it's bad enough that The Stranger can't be bothered to write a band up unless they had a hit record at least 25 years ago, but holy crap guys.

Maybe you could at least consider paying someone born after 1978 to write a few music pieces once in a while?
If you start the shows earlier, there's not such a lag between the end of the early bird dinner special and the start of the music program. I love a "rock" combo as much as the next person, but what is a person supposed to do with that time?
@9 There are all sorts of club and music scenes I'm not a part of, so this is an honest question—what sort of band plays for 90 minutes? I can only imagine the most well-established groups pulling that off, not a weeknight gig at a dive. Shit, I saw ELO last year and that was barely 90 minutes.

Also, what are Neumos and Barboza doing wrong?

I agree about the mingling, and good god the lack of hustle on loadout, but that's just human nature. The band is having their big night and they're gonna milk it.
"No later than 8" is just dumb. Anywhere between 8 and 9 so it's over between 11-12 on a weeknight is reasonable.
Oh god yes. Combination of starting late, with openers, on a weekday... I’ve missed so many shows, especially ones I’ve bought tickets to.

I went to try to see Psychic TV a while back, with 5+ openers, I ended up catching a song or two of theirs and having to bai somewhat before 2.
I think the real problem is that it's inhumane to be asked to wake up before 8am.
I think start time should depend on how many bands are on the bill. 2, start at 9. for every extra band, start 1 hour earlier.
Can we compromise for "Headliner comes within an hour of the announced showtime"?
The rock show in general is a pretty substandard entertainment format. 30 minutes of band that is not yet (or may never be) good. Then 20-30 minutes of load/unload. 40 minutes of promising band that doesn't quite have that "thing" yet. 30 minutes of load/unload. 60 minutes of the band you actually like playing songs exactly like their record, but you have to stand up though no one is really dancing, and someone tall blocking your view, and the sound is eq'd wrong. 2 minutes clapping, 1-2 obligatory encores.

I am unsure why this is acceptable as one of the dominant entertainment formats at any start time. All dominant forms eventually plateau and decline, the rock concert is overdue.
Oh my gosh maybe this means I'm officially old now but I hope the managers of Seattle venues are reading this because I would LOVE it if shows started (and therefore ended) earlier. If the whole shebang could wrap up at midnight it would be totally ideal. I mean it's still going to be 1 am by the time you say your goodbyes and find your way home. Maybe they could play canned dance music into the wee hours for those who want to stay and keep partying? A while back I got really excited when I learned one of my favorite artists was going to be at Neumos. It was mid-week. The show was supposed to start at 8. The first opening act didn't come on until at least 8:30. The person I came to see didn't appear until after midnight. By then all my friends had given up and gone home. After all that I didn't really enjoy the show because I was so exhausted I thought I was going to barf. I haven't really been to many more shows since then because it's not worth ruining the rest of the week.
love this discussion. 33 years old here. still sees shows but not nearly as much as i did 6-12 years ago. my thoughts....

3x bands tops. ideally only 2x, an opener and a headliner.
doors open between 7-8p
show starts between 8-9p
headliner on by 10:30p at absolute latest. 9:30p is ideal start time. assume an avg 75 min headlining set with the ideal start time and you're out before 11p.
guidelines should vary by day of week (friday and sundays get +30-60mins for all ranges presented) and genre (great points about electronic/club music, dave. i see comparatively much less of this so it wasn't something i had previously considered).

in general though, yeah, an 11:30p start time for a "solid" band at neumos or wherever on a wednesday night is pretty absurd. i have a hard time believing anyone that would argue the opposite has something more pressing going on that hypothetical weds evening at 8-9p that would preclude them from getting to a show earlier. the evidence in this poll certainly confirms that theory.
Mr not a robot I’m glad to hear we are ruining the music scene since we just posted our highest attendance records ever.

As for the times, 95% of our shows are doors at 8 show at 9. Most of these shows during the weekdays only have two bands maybe 3. We like 3 band bills because that means we can put a local on it to help them get exposure but that’s not our choice and another story.

I guess I don’t know what shows you have gone too that don’t fit those times other than dance as segal said or some hip hop. We even do doors at 7 when we know it’s an older crowd. It’s also not always up to us what time a band wants to go on or actually gets on stage on time. It tis Rock N Roll ya know. Anyways just wanted to set the record straight.
14 curious who the artist was because a huge majority of our shows are doors 8 show 9. I know sometimes folks will see the door time and then think thats when the show starts. I know we are always clear about when the doors are but cant with showtime simply because we cant control every musician. Generally it’s not an issue but sometimes it is and we used to say what set times were but people would yell at us every single time they didn’t go on exactly on time. So we stopped. Anyways
Final thought. How many people would want to see doors at seven show at eight during the week. Does that give you enough time to get off work eat dinner and if you have kids get your sitter there etc.? We don’t pick the set times because they fit our lives, we pick them for what the majority of the people want. To this point that has been 8 o’clock doors for most of the shows. Do you want 7 o’clock doors?
Jesus Steven Severin, defensive much?

Maybe instead of reacting with anger and vitriol, you should, you know, listen to your customers or prospects. It's wonderful you posted your highest attendance ever - but you're an anomaly - and you would do well to pay attention to the larger industry trends and plan for a time that your venue sees similar trends.

Also, not being a dick on message boards is probably a good idea too.
I've been playing in bands and touring the US and overseas for 25 years- seen it done just about every which way.
In most other countries, and many parts of the US, shows happen much earlier. Just got back from a midwest tour where weekday start times varied from 6pm (all ages skate park show) to 10pm (big city rock club). Weekend start times held firm at 9 or 10- Never had music past about 12:30...that was drinking time. Lots of 2 band bills, lots of very short sets- 20-30 minutes.

Overseas seems to be more of a mixed bag, but pretty rare for bands to play much past 11 or 12, except in the 'crazy' places like Hamburg or NY, where music may go til 3-4.

My guidelines for optimal experience-A) enough with the 4/5 band bills.. they are exhausting to watch. B) openers play 25-30 minutes tops. C) get your stuff on and off stage quickly- no more than 10 minutes to set up once the other band is off- if you can't do that, you have too much stuff and haven't practiced setting it up. D) share equipment- your guitar cab doesn't sound any different that the opener's cab, at least not in a live setting.

robot, yes when you tell me that I"m ruining the music scene, when Ive been a big part of it for 20 years, i"m going to say something. I'm not the avg. passive agressive Seattleite. FYI, I have been listening. I'm part of the reason this post is on Slog. I also have about 100 comments on my personal FB talking and hearing what people want. I think if you read outside me correcting your comment, for whatever reason, thats exactly what I did. Gave the facts of what we do and then asked folks what they wanted.

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