Many otherwise successful performances fall short of excellence due to a common misconception; namely, that professional show production is too costly. Performing groups will often try to save money by adopting a "do it yourself" approach to the most critical aspect of their work - their sound! This strategy nearly always backfires, placing unnecessary barriers and distractions in the way of the creative process.
In an industry where money is tight, players are rightly concerned about the high cost of buying, storing, transporting and maintaining a professional grade sound and lighting system.
It's a ponderous commitment in terms of time, money and expertise. If the financial burden is shared among the members of the group, things can get complicated if the group breaks up or changes members. Some groups are tempted to cut corners by using lower priced consumer-grade gear. This only invites reliability problems and may seriously compromise the quality of the performances.
There's also the extra work involved in setting up the equipment, tuning it to “play nice” with the room, and running it while you play. And after you have spent a few hours playing your hearts out, you get to break it all down and haul it out at the end of the night. This contributes to the well-known problem of players "burning out".
In spite of all this extra effort, even your best work can get "lost in the translation" due to this inescapable reality: When you are on stage, you can’t hear what the audience is hearing. With considerable effort, you might get the microphones to stop feeding back and achieve a usable balance during sound check. Then a bunch of people show up and completely change the acoustics just by being there. It is also typical to see players perform at a certain level during sound check, then sing and play with twice the energy once the show gets going. These are only two of more than a dozen factors that continually work to upset the musical balance over the course of a show.
You may have to repeatedly stop playing to make adjustments during the show. You might even have a buddy in the audience giving you signals, but at the end of the day you know you’re just guessing. Both you and your fans know your music deserves better.