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5 concert suggestions

This Side of Sanity

    Here are five commonly known ways to improve your shows.

    (1) Start strong.

    In the first 30 seconds an audience will decide if they like you or not.

    An audience wants to be entertained. They want to like you. They want to feel like they spent their entertainment money wisely.

    Give them a great, high energy song. They will respond with enthusiasm. Your show will go well.

    (2) End strong.

    Save your best song for last.

    Every fan of every musical act of every genre can predict the last song. It will be the artist’s best song. This is a cliche because it works.

    The last 30 seconds of your show determine how the audience remembers you. You can actually suck for most of the show, but if the last 30 seconds blow the audience away, they will tell their friends how great you were.

    (3) Never two slow songs in a row.

    Two slow songs in a row and your audience will be bored. Put at least two up tempo songs between every slow song.

    Singers love slow songs because that’s where they can show off their vocal gymnastics. Let your singer have his or her fun. The audience will love it. Just space it out.

    A famous example: Almost all of James Taylor’s songs are slow songs. Great individually. Not so great one after another. James Taylor had a sold out arena tour where he played all those slow songs. The next time he toured he completely bombed, because people remembered the show as horribly boring. One slow song after another is worse than attending a funeral.

    (4) Rise and fall of tempo.

    You build up tension and release it in music (the classic I - IV - V7 - I). Do the same thing with your shows. Get everyone dancing with up tempo songs, then sit them down with a slow song. Then get them dancing again. Not only does it make your show more interesting, it increases alcohol sales, which will get you better bookings and more pay.

    (5) Change one thing every show.

    If you have a great show, later everyone will come back to see you again.

    If they see the exact same show, they will decide they’ve seen your act and they don’t need to see it any more.

    Make one change every show. Every show will be a little different.

    You can replace an old song with a new song. You can replace a song with an old favorite that’s dropped out of your set for a while.

    You can change a song (or more than one song). Change the tempo. Change the style, try out new lyrics. Try out new arrangements. You are an artist — experiment with your art.

    This makes every show different, but the change is slow and gradual, so you don’t shock your audience.

    Have a great show!

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