The composition of a great live performance


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Highwaytohell
01-06-2010, 12:17 AM
I got into a bit of a skiff with my friends about the composure of a great live performance today. Now, of course, I am only 17, and have only been playing the live scene for 2 years or so - so the quality of the gigs i'm playing are generally composed of scrawny teenagers and such. However- I believe the answer to really digging your own hole or as my friend would say "f*cking sh*t up"- is to find what does not exist , and make it exist. For me, I want louder, more powerful stage shows. I want the rawness of the music to coexist with an artistic form and stage set, attire and such. I want it to be more than just some punk kids getting up and sounding like motohead, I want it to be a musical orgy of power and emotion.
Why should I limit myself?
I was thinking stage sets and simple black tshirts with red circles in the center (adorned with each bandmate's personal wear as a way to unify yet keep individual personalities alone- i was thinking setting up 2 large screens with a logo painted with UV paint with lights behind them to get a cool effect, than painting the drumhead with UV paint and throwing a blacklight in the head- and possibly 2 glowing orbs alongside these simply for effect.
All of this can be constructed at a reasonable price. (you can get telescopic mic stands to hold up the screens for easy transport, and get blacklights and spraypaint at home depot)

Obviously- musical execution comes first, if your music sucks- embelishing it is useless.
I want to go beyond the monotony of a punk kid getting up onstage and going nuts. Am I thinking too beyond my range, or perhaps am I only questioning myself in a skeptic measure of doubt?

6stringbassist
01-06-2010, 04:55 AM
I think it's a bit much if your a younger band, I mean, just get up there and show the music, a little bit of added stage stuff is okay, but don't over do it. People will think you tried to hard. I'm just saying from a musicians stand point, even if your great [as a local or young band] and you have tons of lights, and props, it can detract from your music, unless you do it right. I've only seen it done once by a band called Allshewrote [portland oregon], and I've seen just about every local metal band here, hell I am in a portland local band.

So some effects and props are okay, just make sure your music is as TIGHT AS WHITE ON RICE when you do it. Or it will probably end up looking bad. We try stage banter instead of props, the crowd responds to it more.

Tallman
01-06-2010, 08:32 AM
1. buy strobe light
2. play mathcore
3. ????
4. PROFIT

but srsly, whilst I think your concept of embelishing the live show is a great idea, for a young band, or one that isnt that well known, it will most likely come off as wanky and pretentious.

Forkman
01-06-2010, 08:36 AM
It could come off as wanky and pretentious but honestly, if you pull it off right it could set you apart and have people remember you. I went to a local gig where one of the supports was a shithouse electronica/DJ style act, but I was impressed by the set up of their show which had random images and clips projecting onto a screen behind them which was a cool touch.

AlanHB
01-06-2010, 09:29 AM
I think the real key to a great live performance is connecting with the audience on a personal level - if more stuff on stage helps you create a persona that's cool.

Highwaytohell
01-06-2010, 09:46 AM
I think part of it is a desire to create a more interesting atmosphere to present the music in a more personalized environement. I want kids to come to my shows and say- hey these guys had these wild flashing banners and really raw heavy music you know?

AlanHB
01-06-2010, 05:07 PM
Of course it could amount to nothing as well. Instead of the generic headbanging guys with long hair you will now be the generic headbanging guys with a strobe light.

JackFlash19
01-06-2010, 06:47 PM
What makes a good live performance?

Being engaging.

Whether or not you find it a good or bad thing, but 'being engaging' is purely relative. At one end of the spectrum you could have a metal show with the crowd jumping up and down in sync and a mosh pit the size of maryland, and on the other hand you could have a solo violinist concerto in a theater where everyone is black tie and sitting down silent. Both scenarios can easily evoke intense emotion.

Point is, you can have an amazing live performance and not move your feet at all, BUT your goal is to have peoples eyes glued to you on stage. Keep their attention. If you can't do it with just the presence you hold on stage, make their experience visual. You are their escape from their lives for a night. Make them feel alive because you are. Keep their attention. Connect with them. Make them feel something. That makes a live performance

scguitarking927
01-06-2010, 08:14 PM
What makes a good live performance?

Being engaging.

Whether or not you find it a good or bad thing, but 'being engaging' is purely relative. At one end of the spectrum you could have a metal show with the crowd jumping up and down in sync and a mosh pit the size of maryland, and on the other hand you could have a solo violinist concerto in a theater where everyone is black tie and sitting down silent. Both scenarios can easily evoke intense emotion.

Point is, you can have an amazing live performance and not move your feet at all, BUT your goal is to have peoples eyes glued to you on stage. Keep their attention. If you can't do it with just the presence you hold on stage, make their experience visual. You are their escape from their lives for a night. Make them feel alive because you are. Keep their attention. Connect with them. Make them feel something. That makes a live performance

Great Post!

Guitarfreak777
01-06-2010, 09:16 PM
I think part of it is a desire to create a more interesting atmosphere to present the music in a more personalized environement. I want kids to come to my shows and say- hey these guys had these wild flashing banners and really raw heavy music you know?


I'd def come out and see you guys just to see the amazing performance you could put on.

You'll get more fans this way I think and more people will come to see you.

Zycho
01-07-2010, 02:16 AM
I'd say if you wanna step up your live show invest in a respectable light rig. Matching outfits and banners are just kinda lame.

MR. Goodcents
01-07-2010, 02:28 AM
Don't listen to these other guys, if you want to do it go for it. It is something that sets you apart. There are tons of bands out there that just get up on stage and play music, but people remember things that are different. My band was playing a show last week and the band before us was called HAM, and they actually brought a ham on stage and held a raffle for the ham. I certainly remembered them. Look at other successful acts that try and make their concerts into a show. Just off the top of my head I can think of Alice Cooper, Tool, Kiss, Pink Floyd. They all have great music, but it was that something extra that really brought them into the spotlight.

ncregan
01-07-2010, 02:44 AM
To get your full potential as a live band, you, the musician, should decide how to entertain the audience. The best way to do this is think of things through the audience's perspective.

Just think that if you were going to see a band live, what would you like them to do. The best things are actually the most casual and simple things such as just interacting with the crowd, getting the to sing, dance etc.

The idea that you have in the first post, while it isn't bad, it's not nessecary as a young band. Such it'll stand out, but in a good way? You could be classed as tacky and then people will focus more on the "tacky element" of your band as opposed to the musical talent.

However I would recommended the clothing idea. This shows that you are professional and a group but at the same time shows individuality. I wouldn't overdo it though. Maybe a few gigs you know.

Niall :peace: