Hello band leading forum people, I wanted to ask you giggers about the importance of stage presence. My band is hoping to play battle of the bands this year. So I told my brother that the music plays a slightly bigger role than the performance. What I'm trying to say is that should we stand around playing perfectly and be the most boring band in the competition or should we miss one or two notes in favor of the performance? We play hard rock/ hair metal ( head banging is not an option. Short hair ). Alot of bands where I'm from just stand around doing nothing. I was thinking about those 80's bands with the awesome live shows. Example, Poison and GnR. Their live shows were legendary. Just wanted to know who is right. Thanks in advance.

Edit: The crowd will not be music connoisseurs, just regular people.
Last edited by darrenram1 at Feb 6, 2014,
Short hair is no excuse for not doing the head bang.
Think about it like this: are people gonna notice 1 or 2 notes wrong in the song? are they gonna remember your band because you played flawlessly or are they more likely to remember you if you come onto the stage with a huge energy level, and draw the crowds towards you?
Also, if you miss a note, how quickly can you come back? Are you able to play a wrong note and keep on the bold face, not letting on that you made a mistake? When you rehearse, do you practice jumping around, banging, interacting with each other or do you just look at each other (or worse, at your instruments) and play?

tl;dr: you already answered your own question.
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Short hair never stopped headbanging. If the people aren't connoisseurs, I think it's better to think about if you can get them up and moving while still captivating them with your sound
The people are ordinary people but last year, one of the judges was Joey Tempest of Europe, if I'm not mistaken.

Would a Poison-esq show be considered ok or overkill. Should we stick to the ACDC / GNR type thing of running around doing small guitar tricks. Eg, playing the solos behind our heads
There's a biiiig difference between showing enthusiasm, and doing stupid shit like AC/DC. You are not playing an arena of wildly enthusiastic fans.
Your job as a band is to entertain, and of course that means play well, but it also means look the part, help the audience get into it, build them up and help them rock out. It's absoutely critical that you:
- don't mumble on the mic. Be confident and in charge, without being overbearing.
- make plenty of eye contact with the audience. Acknowledge that they are there. Talk to them and interact
- don't stare at your shoes, or stand around playing.

You don't need tricks like ACDC and don't run around. Be real, be yourselves, but also be entertaining, relaxed, confident, and having fun. If you are not having fun there's no way you'll ever convince the audience to have fun. So when you walk out on stage, be roughly where the audience are. If they are already cheering and clapping then thats great. if they are quiet, then they'll need more warming up, you dont do that by grabbing the mic and wailing LETS ROOOOCKKK. You say "Hi! We're xxx. How are you doing today?! Thanks for coming. Hope you like our first song, its called whatever.."
Then you need to lead the audience. Just be a step or two ahead of them in excitement level and they'll follow. Then crank it up a bit too. Being able to gauge the audience and respond is what separates the pro entertainers from the mumbling guys standing around staring at their shoes..

Make it clear you're having fun. If you get to a bouncy chorus part, it's probably ok to hop up and down. headbang if you want. if you're gonna solo, take a few bold steps forward, spread those legs and do your slash impression. But know what the other bands do, keep a bit above them, just a bit more bouncy, a bit more movement, but don't go so far that you just stick out and look stupid.
Last edited by innovine at Feb 6, 2014,
oh, and make sure you practice the shit out of moving, too. Your rehearsals should be exactly like you want your live set to look and feel. So imagine the audience is there, talk to them between songs, get your transitions between songs rehearsed a bit too. You don't script it, that'll sound fake, but you'll loosen up on the mic by practicing saying a few things in practice. Oh, and ABSOLUTELY NO NOODLING. Not one single note in between songs. EVER. This is sooo important. Beat this into the band until it's perfect.
Do what feels right, and yes stage presence counts but only when honest.......if you do crap your not into you'll end up looking stupid.

Work with what you have....if your all a bunch of nerds but play metal....dress up like the early beatles and rock the hell out of them.....your guitarist doesn't move....slap a black suit, blues hat and a pair of shades on him and let him stand in a corner with a soffa lamp with a red bulb in it. Just don't show up in your regular going to school clothes or brand new "cool-kid" clothes and most of all.....look like you enjoy it.
I believe in god, jesus and the holy ghost.....or as i call them Angus, Kirk and Lemmy
Just do what comes natural. Doing all this stock showman shit is gonna look old at best and faked at worst.
Practice your stage show then you won't have to worry about missing a note or two. This is how you should progress... Practice--rehearsals--gigs.

Practice is you guys sitting around, getting each others parts together and getting tight. Rehearsals should be working on your final product, practicing your stage movement what you're going to say, and going top to bottom through your set list as if you were at an actual gig. You need to time yourself, figure out how long your set is. Decide on cues, how your'e going to end songs, etc. Believe me is you have a 30 minute slot and somehow manage to rush through it in 20 minutes...it looks bad. you practice every single little aspect of everything!

Now when you have a rehearsal do it a week or so before the actual show, then if there are any particular issues with a specific song or part, you can address it, then have another rehearsal a couple days before the show.

Make sense?