"Costume" When on Stage

It just hit me like an epiphany, this Halloween evening! When I was a kid, I was a punk rocker for at least a half dozen Halloweens, I’d spray my hair wild colors, and get into the role, before hitting the neighborhood with a pillowcase soon to be filled with treats. I’d get into the character too, ham it up.

What does this have to do with my 42 year old self, reliving the dream? I don’t know! :rofl::joy: But for anyone who does gigs, is in a band, etc., do you sort of get into a role, and/or wear clothing/gear/etc. that fits the genre you play? I want to start playing with other musicians soon, and maybe find other somewhat newbies, and form a band. What “costume” do you wear when you go play? Or is it just jeans, casual wear, normal clothes?


I never used a costume really, but with an old band I had in the first half of the 2000’s, I used to have a little ritual. At the begining of each concert, I used to wear a different pair or sunglasses. The band didn’t knew about the sunglasses I’ll had this day, and of course I tried to find the more silly/strange/funny sunglasses I could. It was like a private joke to my buddies and we often started the concert laughing and giggling.

Latter my long hair has been my only costume :grin: but I finished by cutting all that


I’ve certainly had to costume up.
Some gigs need it. Private events will make it more a… uniform, I guess. It can get heavy handed.

In the band I toured with for 10 years, we started out real sloppy… but the sloppiest of us necessitated the creation of an on-stage dress code:

  • no camouflage pants on stage.
  • no board shorts on stage.
  • no flip flops on stage.
  • no shorts on stage.

The agonized and ridiculous van conversations that revolved around these rules have to be heard to be believed. Imagine you were a UN ambassador being tried for war crimes and you had to defend your sovreign nation. That level of defense and rhetoric.

Because it was Americana, the ‘costume’ ended up being collared, pearl-button shirts. Some dudes wore boots. Main guy started wearing a big cowboy hat. We’re all from the suburbs, living in urban centers now. It was dress up. But it sure does make a difference when the band is looking the part.

I always say: People hear with their eyes at a show. The visual part is so so so so so important.


Been there, done that! Yes, I dressed up for a C&W band. I looked like a typical cowboy, red satin shirt with white embroidery, bootlace tie, jeans and boots. Felt like an absolute twat, I was in the middle of the English countryside after all! Strange to walk into Gloucester Rugby Club in the '80’s dressed like that to the cheers of Rugby players yelling “Get em off!” Gigs went great guns, we looked the part. I’ll never forget how to play half the songs either, 2 days to learn for a small “tour.” Glos and surrounding counties. I am feeling blessed that no footage exists! I still loathe “From a Jack to a King” with vehemence… It was no job for a punk!


Lovin’ the long hair, woulda never guessed, you’re quite clean cut now! Great pic! Sounds like you and your bandmates had a lot of fun - the most important thing :smile:

Haha, I’m just picturing this drama, with these bandmates. Yeah, I guess style is just as important as music, I’m realizing, and also just as personal.

Noted. You’ve said this before, but it’s really hitting home now. When I watch the share some good music threads, it really is almost as much about the “act”, as the music itself. It’s always been that way when I go to live shows too - I like the visuals.

:rofl: I can just picture this, walking into a Rugby club in the English countryside dressed like that. Those blokes had to have given you a hard time! For me, I grew up in the far flung Texas suburbs, and a good chunk of people actually dressed like that, and 80% of the radio stations were Country. So I was the not-so-normal one listening to punk, metal, and later, grunge.

Cool stories, All, thanks!