Creating an Experience by Allee Futterer… We’ve all seen these YouTube videos of Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, the list goes on… but what’s up? Why are their live shows so much more appealing than say your friends rock band performing at the local club? Besides obviously the millions of dollars, thousands of fans, huge arenas and etc., there is really no reason for any band to create any less of an experience than what these lovely gals have going. Living in an age of digital and social media should go to our advantage, not only does every household have a computer but just about everyone is addicted to it. With access to so much, we can use that as a tool to create performances of our own.
Back in the day artists such as Elvis and Led Zeppelin pushed the boundaries of performance in a way that few people had dared, veering away from socially acceptable and delivering much more than a song. It’s important to get in touch with what speaks to your fans and market your production accordingly. For instance New Yorks steam-pop superstar Kiesza has started a movement of neon-goggle wearing patrons that are apart of her and just as important to her performance as she is. Though her shows are relatively low budget she has managed to captivate her audiences and make them feel like they are apart of something much bigger than a club night at New York’s Industry Bar.
Many young performers think that “image is everything” and forget that they actually must embody the image they are presenting. Let’s say you don’t play pop music but that you play hard-core or metal, it’s hard to differentiate your band from all the other long hair djent projects out there. In order to stand out your show must tell a story that has a beginning, a twist, a climax and an ending. Some things to think about when your building your bands showcase story is the size of your audience, the location of your performance (outdoor/indoor), how many members are in your band and the age demographic. If your audience is say 50+ shooting paint all over them like Gwar might not be a good idea but hey, you could follow Animals As Leaders in getting an awesome pulsing sound wave detector and project that on a massive screen behind you. See what I’m getting at? Maybe it’s not an image that is going to pull in your fans, maybe it’s a throwback song or a medley, or a remix that everyone knows that engages them and gets their attention. Between the Buried is a great example of a band that uses imagery in their music and writes through composed songs that set up a story so that external props don’t have to!
Just like every good book, record, and movie, your show must make sense and have a direction. Once you’ve figured that out you’ll have no problem growing your audience and getting a great response.
Check this out for a great example of a “story”.