I saw John Fogarty live the other night. CCR was the soundtrack to many family road trips so I was understandably excited. Now I’ve seen a lot of concerts. Everything from unknown bands to music legends like John Fogarty. Although these artists are all very different they all have one job; to keep the audience engaged.
You can’t blame the venue, or the sound, or most commonly the audience themselves. If the audience is not with you then it is your fault and your fault alone. Sure many factors can contribute to a dis-engaged audience, the night, the weather, the bar, etc., but really the club has paid you to keep the audience engaged and drinking.
Many factors can help you win over an audience. Appropriate set pacing and song choice, good banter with the band and the audience (more in the New Rockstar Philosophy Book). Yet there isn’t a magic formula for winning/engaging audiences.
Some bands have a number of crowd pleasing covers ready to be used at a moments notice. Some turn their amps up. Supposedly, when Dylan was losing an audience he talked very quietly in between songs. That forced people to quiet down and listen closer to what he was saying.
It’s your choice what to do, but definitely do try new things and see what works for you. If you’re gigging often then you should have ample time to try new things out and find out what really engages your audience.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yioIIhxY8_U]
Take Control of Your Music