Blake Snow

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Why three band members are better than four or more

The image It’s been more than two years since I’ve seen a live band perform, the last being a piano-rock trio named Keane. Before that, it was 2-3 years since seeing a live concert as this thing called life, family, and work slowly takes over.

Tonight I’m going to seeing another trio named Muse with some friends. While I enjoy groups of all sizes (I’m an equal-opportunity fanman), I’ve always liked three-man rock bands for the following reasons:

  1. The business man in me likes splitting profits (if any) between three persons better than four or more. I played in a trio pop-punk band named Formaldehyde in high school, and I can tell you from experience that the earnings were way better and the sound just as big.
  2. Getting three people on the same musical page is a lot easier than four or more. Anyone who’s rehearsed with a live band easily understands the difficulty in trying to get everyone to respectively play their parts at the right moment. Original music is even worse. My early trio was much easier to practice in than when playing with individuals of four or more.
  3. Splitting freebies among three is much better than four or more.

Two man acts like Air and Daft Punk really have it made…

From memory, here are’s an incomplete list of other rock performances I’ve had the pleasure, or displeasure of seeing: Stone Temple Pilots (first concert), Beastie Boys, U2, Keane, Coldplay, 311, Korn, Orbital, The Prodigy, The Roots, Crystal Method, Lagwagon, Goldfinger, NoFX, Sneaker Pimps, Smashing Pumpkins, Unwritten Law, Chemical Brothers, Bad Religion, Ben Folds Five, Ziggy Marley, Cake, The Cure, Greenday, ZoSo (the best Zepplin cover band ever!), The Presidents of the United States of America, Radiohead, and Soundgarden.

See also: Second-class musicians: Why some bands hide touring members