So it’s the big gig day! You’re just moments away from taking the spotlight and the crowds revved up from the act before you. You’ve been rehearsing every waking moment. You walk onto the stage, amps fired up, the venue music fades and the crowd quiets. Wait- were you supposed to introduce the band?? Or maybe your bass player was? Do you just jump into the tune? You’re realizing this might have been something to consider before jumping on stage!
Ok, so that’s happened to me once or twice. My band was so focused on perfecting the music, that we forgot a crucial part of our stage presence- talking to the audience. Now you don’t have to have a script exactly but here are the top 5 things to say on stage that’ll give you a good road map.
What’s your band’s name?
Never forget to introduce your band. But don’t think you have to do it immediately. You might not capture the audience’s attention until after the first song or two because they want to hear your music first. Once you’ve got their attention, remind them who’s on stage rocking. And don't think your band logo will give it away. Sometimes that artistic expression isn't very informative. You have to be the one to tell your audience what your name is. Don’t leave your audience saying, “That band was cool! What was their name again?”
Who’s line is it anyways?
Your singer doesn’t need to be the only person getting the crowd excited. Maybe there’s a particular song your drummer really wants to introduce. Maybe your bass player isn’t in charge of “crowd control”. As an entire band it’s important to map out who’s going to say what, and when. If there's a Top 5 things to say on stage, make sure you know who's saying them.
So it’s always our hope that every show goes smoothly and nothing goes wrong. But one golden principle to bring to the stage is “prepare for the worst and hope for the best”. Time-consuming accidents happen such as breaking a string, switching instruments, picking up the fallen floor tom. You need to be on stage entertaining the crowd. This isn’t time for improvisation or jokes- you’re at a rock show! In these times you can always take a moment to introduce your band members, Thank the audience for being a great crowd or get them psyched for the next tune. Maybe your band has a short goofy story about rehearsing for this gig! Keep it short, and entertaining, and be ready for the show to go on.
Don’t forget your manners
It’s important to always thank the venue, sound guy, other bands, and don’t forget the audience! Ok so it may sound like a lot of people to thank but it’s not and it’s essential to being a good band. You can make this short and sweet all in one, or space out a few thank you’s throughout your set. But these are the people making it happen so don’t forget to let them know how much you appreciate it.
Encourage and inform
You’ve got the crowd rocking and dancing to your tunes. Now it’s time to encourage them to hang out with your band again! You could think of this as time to promote your band. I like to think of it this way. Encourage your fans to see you at your next gig, follow you on Facebook, or check out your new demo. They’re excited and want to know more about your awesome band so now’s when you want to let them know how to get more awesome music! Inform your new fans about all the awesome things you’re doing and how they could check you out again.
Get on stage, and get to sharing your awesome music! And keep a checklist of the top 5 things to say on stage at every one of your shows. If you want more professional band tips, check us out here at Littleton School of Music.
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