The Importance of an Amazing Live Show
If you are like me…a true music fan who loves an amazing live show…this article is for you!
Before I begin writing this article, I am going to turn on some really cool background music to set the right mood for myself. My goal tonight is to get thru this writing experience without it turning into a long winded –soapbox preaching – pontificating diatribe filled with expletive peppered rants. This is one of those subject matters (next to songwriting) that I am very passionate about…because next to music sales…it is one of the only revenue streams left for Bands and Solo Artists to make a living from that they have 100% control of.
Ok…are you ready? Here we go!
I want you to close your eyes and imagine the first concert that you ever went to…you saved your money for weeks to buy a ticket and to have some extra money to get a concert shirt to commemorate the whole experience. Now without sounding like I am trying to hypnotize you…I want to you to remember how you felt during the performance…the goose bumps that you got….the “holy shit” I can’t believe I am watching them perform feeling…that feeling you got like they were performing and singing to just you. Feels good huh? I too have the same memories of my first concert…I truly felt like I was part of something much bigger than myself…wow such a great feeling!
Now….let’s fast forward thru your prepubescent days to today!
You are now on stage performing your carefully crafted songs to an audience that is just standing there watching you…they are emotionless and ready to fall over from boredom….some of these fine folks are texting their friends…or better yet…they are Twittering about how bad your performance is to anyone who will listen to them. You of course are telling yourself in your head that the crowd sucks tonight and how the previous band really screwed up the mood in the venue tonight. Sucks huh?
But wait there’s more!
The rest of the band isn’t helping you…the bass player has his head up in the air during the whole performance (I think he is daydreaming about what is on TV right now). Your lead guitarist has been looking at his shoes the whole time and hasn’t once looked up to see what’s going on. Your drummer is in his own world theorizing macro-economics and parallel universes.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Your performance sounds like a train wreck…but do not fret…it is all fixable!
Ok…quick flash back to your first concert experience…let’s analyze why it was such an amazing experience so we can push your live show over the top.
Do you remember when you felt like you were the only person that they were performing and singing to in the venue? There is a reason for that!
The key to communication on stage is eye contact and body language…in other words…it’s not what you say…but how you say it or in this case…. sing it/perform it.
The reason why you felt like they were singing and performing to you is because the band mastered these performance principals. The lead singer when they looked at you while singing…he/she was also looking at the people behind you and to those to the left and right of you….everyone in the crowd felt a part of the experience. The rest of the musicians in the band also did this and you didn’t even realize it. Always remember that when you are on stage performing, the second you break eye contact with the audience…the communication with them stops.
As for body language, the correct body movement, hand gestures (reaching out to the crowd), hand on heart…etc….needs to be practiced before using in front of an audience (don’t want to look like a tool on stage). Have your band mates watch you perform for them and have them let you know if you are any good at it….practice makes perfect.
I recommend that you Google “Eye Contact” and “Body Language” for further tips and explanations on these subject matters since I can spend hours telling what you need to know.
I am going to be blunt here….
If you are not spending a lot of time pushing your live show performances to the limit, you are ripping off your customers and you should be ashamed of yourself. Every show that you perform has to be better than your previous one….why you ask? Because if it isn’t your audience will get bored of you and will stop coming to see you perform. Don’t you get bored? I love meatloaf….but I will be damned if I have to eat the same meatloaf 7 days a week for the rest of my life for dinner. So why should your audience have to as well?
What you need to do is this…start video taping your live shows and analyze them like you are in a Pro Football Team…find out what worked and what didn’t work from the audience’s perspective. Did you look like a tool on stage? Was someone playing sloppy on stage? Did your songs connect with the audience?
To truly make it as a live performance artist, you need to step up your game and make it a memorable “holy shit” experience for everyone involved.
Well…that’s all I have for you…hope you got something out of this article!
– Rob Daily