Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Daily Riff: What Are People Paying To See?

Brandon Colina of Soundcave Studio said it plainly, speaking of Sir Elton.

“Dressed in his classic glittery black jacket, red shiny shoes, and matching rose-coloured glasses, Elton put on exactly the kind of quality performance you would expect from someone who has their own show in Vegas. Having played for over 50 years, Elton John knows exactly what people pay to see at his concerts, and he definitely delivered.”

“I was thoroughly impressed with the fact that Elton and his band were able to perform for 3 full hours at their age, with no intermissions.”

Yes, yes, YES!

This is the question that you must answer when you’re planning your stage show/live gig.: What are the people paying to see?

Did you notice that the operative word is SEE, even though we’re talking about a music concert?

Don’t go all purist on me here, saying, “It’s all about the music. I really believe in being a listener. What the musicians look like doesn’t matter to me.”

You’re wrong.

It’s true: People pay to go to a show to have their soul washed and massaged in amazing, freaking amazing music, but they still must LOOK AT SOMETHING! And if you expect to put a smile on their faces, you’ve got to do something visually interesting.

If you don’t create something visually interesting, then the best review you’ll get is something like, “Yeah man, what a great sound. This band is technically awesome. They’re great musicians.”

But if you deliver the visual performance too, you’ll get reviews like, “Did you SEE what he did up there?” OR “She was so INTO the performance. It looked like she was having so much fun,” OR perhaps “The lights were so cool. I absolutely LOVED her dress!”

So here’s a VISUAL PRESENTATION checklist, just for your consideration and to jog your thoughts.

1. Lighting
2. Clothes
3. Eye contact and direction of gaze
4. Everyone’s body movement at every moment, including position on stage.
5. Planned or spontaneous interactions.
The guiding question is, once again, “What are people paying to see?”


Glen Brown said...

Ivan, that comment about the door fee makes sense. I think that a musician who thinks along those lines, and has a desire to earn $25 a head, will definitely be concerned about their visual stage presence and their stage show. (although as I think about it now, I've paid $15 to go to a show, where I was left feeling ambivalent and asking myself, did I really get my money's worth?)

R.L. said...

have to admit #4 is my personal tuff, with my drummer dead behind me - tho I do try to pick up on his vibe