It’s Thursday in mid September. I’ve had less than 10 hours sleep over the past two days and there is an illusion of time on my calendar this weekend. I’ve had 4 shows in 6 days and the idea of a coma is not unheard of.
I’m also still thinking of one show. This past weekend I caught an amazing headliner. They had their car broken into on tour, and were suffering horrible guitar problems during the set. What could have been a 45 minute set going through 10 songs became a 4 song set. It was still one of the most enjoyable this year. The band brought their game all night and was a blast to see.
Seeing an act like that is the epitome of what all artists should remember. You can have the worst day of your life before the set. When you get on that stage you are the one everyone is looking at. It is your responsibility to be the act everyone wants to talk about. If you come to stage like it is another day, another gig, another job…you disappoint your band and your audience. I’ve been known to attend shows that have a minuscule audience. If the artist on stage plays their show to same level whether it is a stadium show or a coffeehouse gig, it counts. Don’t think that just because you have a handful of people in the audience that you can skip being a show.
I used to work with a photographer who had a wonderful insight on how to think of a gig. It was “How much was that show worth?” If I pay $10 for a show and see 3 great acts who deliver their shows then that may be worth $20 not $10. If I see the same three acts and only one plays like they mean it then that show may only be worth $5. How much would I pay to see that act again? I’ve seen arena shows that bored me to tears. I’ve seen small venue shows that stick with me for years. How much of a show do you deliver to your audience ALL the time? How much would you pay?
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