The TLP Network

No One and a Half: Two Cents on Stage Shows, Pt. 3

by on Nov.12, 2007, under Articles, No One and a Half

Scribed by Jason Firestone.

More ways to get your band’s stage show to not suck!

8. Don’t EVER while you’re on stage advertise an upcoming show of yours that’s at another venue. I’d think this would just be common sense, but I see bands doing it all the time. Running a venue is a business just like any other. Like with any business, the people who work at a venue (and especially the owners) are always doing everything they possibly can to get people not only coming to the venue, but coming back as well. If you’re directing everyone to other venues, you’re basically giving the venue and everyone who works at it a big “fuck you” right in front of their faces. Expect the worst from doing this.

9a. People will easily pick up on how much time you spend rehearsing your stage show in front of a mirror. If, during your slow ballad-y song you all group together in a cluster that looks like something straight out of a Wal-Mart Photo Studio family portrait, people will know. If you choreograph all your little kicks and head nods with each other, people will know.

Look, if you just want to put on a theater act, don’t act like people should give a shit about your music. Your stage show should be a way to compliment your music, not the other way around (unless, of course, that’s what you’re going for). Don’t try to associate yourself with serious musicians if you’re more interested in having people see the intense, complicated emotions you feel deep inside expressed ever so passionately by your detailed facial expressions than actually taking the time to write a fucking song.

9b. The other side to this is the bands who just stand around looking at each other like they’re at band practice. There are people watching you play! Acknowledge the fact that there is an audience. It doesn’t matter if there are three people in the audience or three thousand. Don’t stand there looking at each other the whole time. There’s a little bit of a mind over matter factor between audience and band. If the band is going absolutely apeshit then often the audience will pick up on that vibe and start moving a little too.

10. I was told this one early on and quickly found out how true it was: Play for where you want to be, not where you are. If you’re playing at a dive bar and your show is FOR the dive bar environment, chances are you’re going to stay in dive bars. If you’re playing your ass off like you’re in a stadium people are going to catch that vibe no matter where the hell you actually are. Of course, if you suck then that won’t really do much for you anyway.

11. 95% of the time, extended feedback (more than a few seconds) DOES NOT SOUND GOOD! Manipulated feedback (where whoever is making the feedback is messing with the sound of it) can last a little longer, but there’s still a point where it gets very, very, very, very, VERY fucking annoying. Generally, it’s not a good idea at all to have any kind of feedback for more than a few seconds. Unless you want things thrown at you.

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