While you might spend a lot of your creative time working at a computer, it is important to remember that music can be as much about your life as people. When it comes to building an audience or carving out a musical personality, live shows are more important than ever. In-person performances offer a way to create a human connection in a music environment where musician-fan relationships are becoming increasingly difficult due to the coldness of playlist culture.
While a fan may like your music, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will become an invested fan. Singing, playing an instrument and being on stage with people will increase your chances of having them remember you and advocate for your music. Building a solid music career will take more than just social media likes and having music stored in your audience’s digital libraries.
While shows are important for musicians, just being on stage and doing what you do is not enough to make your live performances memorable and engaging. Your music should be the core of your performances. However, if you are willing to explore creative innovation and collaborate in your shows, it can make unforgettable experiences for your audience.
Tie in compelling visual elements
Visuals, visuals, visuals. Although they aren’t as important as the music, visuals are crucial in establishing an identity and setting expectations for your work. While some bands coordinate their show outfits, visual accompaniment should be more extensive depending on the goals of each band and the performance. In every band’s live show, you can find it: giant inflatable sculptures and electrifying light shows, parade floats and confetti. Today, live music has a higher standard of a spectacle than ever before, which is an exciting challenge for musicians.
Bands of all sizes can make their live shows more engaging with visuals by using smart planning and creative work. You might consider teaming up or learning from other local artists. Not all venues will allow you to launch confetti from cannons or light sparklers onto the stage.
Your audience should be able to find something unique and different elsewhere.
Your live shows will be centred on your music. However, you can make your songs stand out by promising your audience something they cannot get only by watching you perform. You can share the big news, song debuts, cover songs, and altered versions with your fans to build excitement. These are just some ideas. There may be more if you think about who you are as an artist and what your fans can expect from you. Perhaps it’s the return to the music of an old friend or a new set of songs that you wrote. Let your fans know if it is special and why.
Look into collaborations with musicians or other performers.
It’s a great way for your audience to be entertained and discover new musicians. On-stage collaborations with musicians from different genres or bringing intimacy and mood to your performance with string and horn players can make it a memorable experience. Don’t stop there. Similar results can be achieved by working with non-musical performers such as dancers. It is a lot more work. It’s not easy, but it’s worthwhile for artists who want something different and exciting to share with their fans.
You might find certain elements of live music that don’t work out. That’s fine. Explore, find what works and refine until you have a formula that engages and excites. You’ll be a blessing to your audience and create a memorable experience that complements your music.