Technical White Paper: The "4-way show"

As the date of our record release show at the Chop Shop on June 8th approaches, it has come to our attention that there is still some confusion out there about the exact nature of this “4-way show”. The questions and misconceptions are generally of the following types:

  • “Is it just a cute marketing words for four bands on a bill?” (NO)

  • “I guess the bands will play a full set, and the next band is ready to go!” (NO)

  • “The bands are going to share equipment and change members back and forth on the (single) stage” (NO)

The answer is that the 4-way show, or show “in Quad” is none of those things. While any of those could be good ideas in their own ways, none of them are what the 4-way show is like, and none approach the majesty and daring-do nature of what this show really is.

To define it, let’s start with this simple diagram (Fig. 1)…

Fig. 1

Quite simply, there are four bands (Drilling for Blasting, WIG, Chicken Happen, the Brokedowns) and FOUR complete PAs. The PA systems are set up around the outside of the room, each band completely set up and ready to go, and the audience will stand in the center of the room. When the music begins, one band (Band A) will play one song, and when that song is finished, the next band (Band B) will play one song, and this pattern repeats until, as the whimsical, but accurate poster states “…all the songs are gone through”.

The beauty of this format is myriad. First, it eliminates the standard hierarchy of "“who is the opening band? Who is the headliner?”. The 4-way is almost the purest expression of egalitarianism - no band headlines, and no band opens - all are equal! We love this idea as it embodies our “we’re all peers in the music scene together” ethos.

Second, it makes for a truly unique “one continuous set”. We love music, and we love the bands, and we love variety. While this format works against the intro-development-clmax-denouement structure a single band might weave when playing a single set, it works towards having all the bands songs being responsive, reacting to each other, making a fluid and many textured immersive experience. Besides, NO ONE HAS EVER TRIED THIS BEFORE*, and you can go see the old set-after-set format at every other show you’ll ever see for the rest of time - THIS is something new.

Third, uh… fun? Yup. this is going to be fun. And unique. And a great time.

The reason this hasn’t been tried before is because it is expensive (there has to be 4 PA systems, 4 sets of lights, etc!), and because it requires a room that is more or less square, and can accommodate the format. A regular long rectangle room can’t do this.

We hope you’ll join us on June 8th at the Chop Shop for this awesome extravaganza!

— Drilling for Blasting

* Any posts or responses stating facts about someone having seen something like this once before will be promptly deleted!

©2014-2019 Drilling For Blasting