I haven't seen any thread like this, so I hope I'm not being repetitive. My band has just started playing out, we've done about ten shows. People have been great, the audience generally really likes out stuff, but there's always at least two people who want to sing/play and of course everybody wants to request songs and give suggestions on what you should do with yourself. Now I'm not whining, I know this is all part of the game. But I'd like to hear how some of you veterans deal with such folk. How do I tell them 'no' and so on? Or just any general advice and tips about the crowd. These are the things they don't tell you in Rock Star 101 !!
Some bands use audience participation. How about having one song where you invite someone in the audience to come up and sing or play? It could be made clear this is the only song you'll allow someone to come up and do this.

As far as song requests... I think you just have to make it clear that you'll either do them, or you won't.
We usually just smile and keep playing our music i havent played a gig witout someone yelling "Play something with slayer"
When people ask if they can sing/play, I usually either ignore them, or tell them their not in the band. It may sound a bit rough but that's the cold hard facts. After the gig, I usually get down and talk to them and give them a bit advice on how to start a band and such.

When people request songs, if we know it, we sometimes play it (if we've got the time, and it's more of a 'loose' gig), otherwise we just tell them that we might try and learn it sometime.

When people give suggestions, it's always important to thank them. Be kind, take your time to listen to them (if you've got the time, that is). Surprise the douchebag that is trying to ruin your day, by being nice to him and thanking him for the criticism.

My band had played at this band-contest, and there was this guy that after the gig talked to our bassplayer. He was being pretty rude, and was saying how his "band were way better than you sorry excuses for musicians", and how he was going to beat us when his band got on stage and such. Our singer calmly said to him that we (my band) were looking forward to hear his band play, and that we would see who had won, when the votes had been counted.
Our band came first, his band was 7th (out of 8. The last band got kicked because they had been tearing up the bar or something like that). He looked kinda mad when it was announced :3
Thanks for the tips. Yeah we've been playing in small bars and clubs so far and it's great but there's no real divider between us and the audience. The closest thing to a stage has been a tiny 1ft riser that we barely squeezed onto. I guess when you're right there with everyone they all think they can come right up. I just don't want to be an ass, because I'm good at that and have to reign myself in anyhow. A friend said to tell the guys "if you want to sing and play then get your own show." I guess that's the attitude I'll have to adopt. It's just tough when they're usually really nice guys that practically beg and plead after complimenting you so much too.

On a related note, am I the only one who feels so insincere saying 'thank you' a hundred times over and grinning at everyone. I can't seem to think of anything to say to a compliment but 'thank you' 'I appreciate it' etc. Is that just something I'll have to learn to deal with?
You don't necessarily have to adopt the "if you want to sing and play then get your own show."-attitude: You can be nice too!
When that is said, don't let the audience rule your band completely.
Smile, do what you do, and ignore, was what my music teacher told me.

And with saying 'thank you' again and again, you're just going to have to get used to it. It may be a bit dull to say the same thing again and again, but it's (hopefully) not the same person you're saying it to, 50 times in a row. =)
Haha yeah it does get uncomfortable. And there have been a few guys who (while most likely drunk) have repeated the same line of compliments over and over, like a broken record. It's kind of funny, really! But over all I'm having a blast and love doing this, and the people for the most part are very nice and responsive to us. There are just the few cases that hand out headaches, but I know it's all just a part of it. Thanks for the help though!
Well we had a guy who wanted to sing only once or twice on my gigs, so we let them. It was pretty fun. As for song suggestions, either ignore them, or be polite like "Unfortunately we don't know that one, but i promise we will know it the next time we play here!" or soething to that effect.

EIDT: Sorry, the actuall advice ends here, i got a bit carried away and typed a story. Didnt realize how long it was until i posted.

One time to, there were this two girls dancing in front of the stage, slightly hammered and thinking they are some hot shit. It was actually great, since you dont usually have such a nice view at a metal show . But then they started yelling suggestions. And didn't let up. They kept requesting the same songs, that done even fit into our genre, or the type of show at all. So after a while, i had enoug of them, because you just couldnt reason with them, and they were killing the flow of the show, and annoying the other audience members, so after we finished a song, i asked them wich song they want and invited them on the stage, the whole shabang. Nobody could miss them then. They were practily beaming because of all the atention. So, they tell us wich song, and i ask into the mic "So that is the song that you would like us to play?" and they both say "Yeeeeeessss!!!!". So i looked the louder one straight in the eye and yelled "SO ****ING WHAT!" and we started the song The audience loved it, and we had a good mosh going by the end of the song. The girls just stood there a bit dumstruck for a while, and then stormed off. I didnt see them until we finished and went outside. They gave me the meanest look ever, but it was totaly worth it.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
Last edited by gorkyporky at Jan 1, 2013,