12/10/2017 – It is very intriguing to probe into the minds of music lovers. Music fans can provide a wealth of knowledge and information to help independent artists make better decisions when it comes to promoting, marketing, putting on shows, and earning new fans. We sat down with live music fanatic, Jeff of Houston, TX to find out his thoughts about that and what he shared can be very helpful in promoting your music and gaining a footing on your local music scene.
I’ll be honest, I had a hard time with some of his answers. I wanted to come in the defense of artists from my own artist perspective. I had to remind myself that he sits on the other side, in the audience, and his opinions should be highly valued. That’s the whole purpose of this article – to get deeper into the mind of a person that goes to hear live music. I think everyone can get something out of what he has to say.
The Crafty Musician: How many concerts would you say you’ve been to in your lifetime?
Jeff: I’ve never kept track but I would conservatively estimate at least 100-200
The Crafty Musician: How often do you go to concerts?
Jeff: Frequency varies greatly depending on who’s in town, but I would say over the course of a year I go to 1 or more per month.
The Crafty Musician: What do you enjoy about live music?
Jeff: There are several things I like about a live performance – I like hearing a favorite song played live, but at the same time I like hearing a new song for the first time live that turns out to actually be really good (hits have to debut before they become hits); I like seeing the same band multiple times because I know they always put on a good show; I like the energy in the building when the crowd is really into the band and you can tell the band is giving the same energy back; I like when a show has very thoughtfully produced effects (visuals, lights, etc) that really enhance the performance – but I don’t want those things to be there just to be there.
The Crafty Musician: What is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen an artist do at a concert?
Jeff: That’s a very difficult question to answer. I’m not really going to shows for a “spectacular trick” so to speak, or even one big moment. I want the whole thing to be great, even though every show will of course have it’s highlights. It’s very hard to pick one coolest thing.
The Crafty Musician: What do you appreciate about independent shows versus mainstream concerts?
Jeff: Independent shows are often in smaller settings, and generally speaking the smaller the setting the better, no matter how big the band is.
The Crafty Musician: What gets your attention when considering going to a concert put on by a local artist?
Jeff: I don’t necessarily seek out concerts by local artists, so I would say the main thing that gets me to see a local artist would be the same thing that gets me to see any other act and that would be hearing something I like.
The Crafty Musician: What should musicians put on their show posters to convince people to come to their shows?
Jeff: Art that echoes the spirit of the band and is also location specific. Show what makes you interesting and that you’re aware of where you’re playing. Essentially make people want to buy the poster as much as they wanted to buy a ticket to your show.
The Crafty Musician: What advice do you have for artists when it comes to putting on a good show?
Jeff: A good concert is like a magic trick to me. It’s hard to believe that humans are even capable of it when it’s done at a certain level. Give people goosebumps. Give them something to remember for the rest of their lives. Write a great song and play it well. That’s the point of it all to me. Make the empty space on stage just before and just after the show seem like it was filled with something dreamed by the audience.
The Crafty Musician: What are some things you’ve seen musicians do at a live show that actually hurt their show?
Jeff: TALKING TOO MUCH – both between and during songs. That would be number one for me. Sometimes a band may jam a song too long, or just play a song too fast or too slow, and sometimes someone just flat out screws something up entirely and things like that happen, but there’s no reason to go off on a long irrelevant monologue at any point in the show. Sometimes there are some relevant things or funny things to say- and those things should usually be said quickly. But in my opinion, you really don’t even need to ask how people are doing or say thank you after a song. Although most bands do those two things and it’s not a big deal, but the audience really won’t care about any of that if you’re playing great songs. If you really want to hear the audience get loud and involved, don’t ask how they’re doing, start playing a hit.
The Crafty Musician: Out of the several artists you’ve gone to see again and again, what is it about those artists that make you want to attend their shows multiple times?
Jeff: Good songs played well. It sounds very simple but that’s why people go to live shows. I’ve seen bands where I have an album or two of songs I really like but their live show wasn’t very good and I may not ever go see them again. But there are also bands where I don’t own any of their albums but will see them again because they’re great performers with good songs – and I probably should buy some of those albums eventually.
The Crafty Musician: What advice do you have for artists who want to make a name for themselves on the local scene?
Jeff: Not to be too repetitive- but play live and play well. Play as much as possible. And speaking specifically of this local scene – Houston seems to be a great place to get the reps necessary to hone a good live act because there are so many live music venues in town. If you’re good people will take notice and tell other people and more and more people will show up and I really believe there’s nothing more to it than that.
We appreciate Jeff for taking the time with us to shed a little light on live music from the fans’ perspective. Our biggest takeaway from this interview is that it’s our job as artists to make our community aware of us. Even a live music fanatic will only come out if they hear about our good music. Additionally, it’s clear that creating a memorable experience is the magic that keeps fans coming back for more and more. What’s your biggest takeaway from this interview? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.
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