So last night we had a blast on stage playing over 30 hit songs from the 1990s.
It was one of the few outdoor gigs I play each year, which brings its own challenges in terms of keeping the audience engaged and entertained.
My approach on these gigs has been to generally keep the chat to a minimum and let the music do the talking. But that means the music has to be great…tight, right and hard-hitting. Gaps between songs kept as short as possible which means that every single member of the band not only has to play/sing the current song to the best of their ability but also to think ahead to the next song and be ready for whatever challenges it entails.
And when you have 30+ new songs and only one chance to play them, there’s not much room for mistakes.
And in fairness to the band last night, they were on it. Cues, entrances, delivery, always ready.
And almost to a man afterwards they put that down to the fact that we gigged the music, albeit in a less pressurized environment, two nights previously.
Rehearsals are important and necessary, but a gig does two things. Each performer gets to see exactly how comfortable they are with the music and hence what they need to work on, and also the MD gets to not only hear what parts of each song still needs attention, but also which songs are really working with the audience and which aren’t.
It’s the same in sport or business, or many walks of life. A run-through in conditions as similar as possible to how they will be on the big day goes a long way to ironing out the creases and making sure the final performance is as good as possible.
It’s worth putting some thought into how you can make that happen.
PS there’s always an exception that proves the rule. Chris (top left in the pic) didn’t get to run his songs with the band at all but still nailed them!!