This paragraph by Zack Smith, drummer for local band Rotary Downs, captures perfectly the hell of being a local band. I don't know what the show was, but I gather it was a Rotary Downs gig:
I made $5 last night. I got to the Pearl ready for rehearsing a few tunes for the gig at the Saturn, but there was no rehearsal to be had, and we wouldn't be gigging for another 6 hours. By 2:30 we were on stage, i was tired as fuck, playing to 5 people who were still there. But, the crowd still did outnumber the band, even though they were at the bar..so we played. Loud blues, loud funk, space rock. im pretty sure J was singing, and some keys were played, but all i had was bass in my right ear and snare in my left - yeah. Reeger even made it to see the last few tunes, sorry you had to hear that. At 3:15 we ended, collected $5 for the gig (there were 6 bands) - to have some $ for food on Sunday (im broke, again) and went home.