I go to see four or five different unsigned bands every single week. That doesn't make me cool, it's my job, it's what I do for a living; I go to shows. What makes me cool is that I show up on time for virtually every one of them. Now that I think about it maybe that's not cool, it's actually the polar opposite of cool. Doesn't matter, the fact is I don't want to miss any part of the show if at all possible. If I'm going to make the effort to see a band, chances are I REALLY want to see them which means I want to be there from the beginning. What if I were to miss the song that got my attention in the first place? What if the singer comes out and does a mind-blowing rendition of Radiohead's "No Surprises"? What then? I'd be a little ticked, that's what.
But what really gets under my skin is when a band says they're going on at say, 9:00, but they don't actually go on until say 10:00. It's ok if it's not really the band's fault. Maybe they're playing the StarBar which routinely runs an inexcusable minimum of an hour and a half behind (I'll save my thoughts on that for another time). But normally the band knows perfectly well that they are not in fact going on at "9", they're just saying that to make sure everyone gets there on time. I know, I was in bands for a long time and I did the same thing. The problem is that when you're out and about trying to catch as many shows as possible, you're sometimes forced to leave another show a tad early just to be sure you make the other one on time. And when that happens nothing is more infuriating then finding out that the band you went to see hasn't even sound checked yet.
It seems like that has been happening more and more, and I'm kind of over it. Bands: The smart, and dare I say "cool" thing to do would be to tell everyone the actual time you are going to hit the stage. If they miss the first half because they were late then that's their problem. Your show should be good enough that people want to get there early for it. Or it should be such an amazing performance that for the rest of the night the person who is late hears about from those who were smart enough to get there on time. Make people want to be at your shows, and don't earn a rep for lying about set times. I know this makes me sound old and crotchety, and perhaps I am, but I've wasted more time watching bands set up their gear during what they told me was their set time than I care to recall. Word to the wise, be honest about when you're going on stage, especially when you're still trying to earn fans.