Thursday, April 18, 2013

5 Musician must-do’s for a kick-ass live gig

5 Musician must-do’s for a kick-ass  live gig

Welcome to the generation of the D-I-Y Indie musician, where the person you can depend on the most for getting anything done is yourself. Here are some pointers for an amazing gig with happy audiences , happy venues and a satisfied bandJ

1.    Get a Packed house
One thing every venue will love you for is your ability to bring in a crowd. If it’s your first gig at a new venue this is an important deciding factor for booking your next gig.
Here are some things you(& the venue) must do prior to the gig:
o   Facebook Event: Create a facebook event at least 2 weeks prior to the gig and invite everyone on your list. Post 3 reminders as your status at intervals prior to the gig date. This ensures that people who have missed it the first time see it. Urge your friends & fans to share the event as much as they can.
o   Phone Calls: Personally call your close friends, relatives, die-hard fans,anyone who you would like to invite for the gig. Never underestimate the power of a personalized phone-call. It’s way more effective than facebook and e-mail.
o   E-mail : People might not always follow facebook updates. An e-mail is a sure fire way to get the message across to them. Make sure the subject has all the gig details, as not everyone might open the e-mail and go through all the contents.
o   Press: Get the venue to do a press release or contact the press yourself with dets about the show.

After the show, make sure to thank all the people who came for the gig personally.

2.     Give the Audience what they Want
Although some bands are opposed to the idea, initially it’s best to have a  mix of originals & covers in your set list. When the crowd doesn’t know you and they hear something familiar it helps them to build a connection with the band. Your band can always do your own take on the songs and make it sound different from the original. While selecting songs, gauge the venue, the event and the target audience that you’re expecting for the gig.
Sense the mood of the crowd and play your set accordingly. If the audience is  looking disengaged you might want to play one of the faster songs in your set to get their attention or of of your numbers they’re more familiar with.

3. Engage the Audience
Face it ..there’s a little part of everyone that want to be up on the stage singing to a crowd and receiving applause. Why do you think karaoke nights are always such a hit?  Teach the audience a section of the song and make them sing along or clap along. It makes them feel like a more integral part of the experience. Needless to say this always gets the band a huge round of applause after.

4. Have Band merchandise/CD’s Available
Give your fans a reason to remember you after the gig. If you have CD’s ,T-shirts or other merchandise ,make sure you or a friend set up an area near the stage to sell them after the gig. Also make announcements about the same during the gig. Something that I often do after gigs is walk around with a box of my CD’s and ask people if they would like to get one. It also helps you talk to your audience post the gig and make it a more personal experience for them. I sold 2 boxes of CD’s at a festival gig and got a bunch of new FB fans after I went around post the gig with my boxes of Cd’s. I’ve even seen big artists do this at gigs with their own CD’s.

5. Announce where people can check you out online
There was this band that played at a hip joint in Delhi and after the set “Thank you folks” was all they said and left the stage.Now when people like your music they want to hear more of you..but you have left them with absolutely no indication of where they can find you.
Make sure that you announce the band name clearly at the beginning and at end of the show & where the audience can find your music on the web (Website/facebook page/mailing list). You could even get your friend to hand out slips of paper to the audience with band info  that would help them remember where to find you guys online post the gig.

 That been said, remember there is no excuse for not practicing before a gig. Practice comes first and the all the rest comes second.                        

Now go kick some ass!

About the author: Pragnya Wakhlu is a singer-songwriter from Delhi & the front woman of the folk-rock band  “Soul Strings”, international all women’s band “White Lilies” and her own band “Pragnya Wakhlu Collective”. She has performed over 250 shows across India and the US. She released her debut album “Journey To the Sun” in 2012 in collaboration with artists across India. (Get it at musicfellas : )

To get in touch with Pragnya visit:
Twitter  @pragnyawakhlu