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Stage presence

AltariqAltariq Posts: 42Pro, 2.0 PRO
When a group performs on stage there are often breaks in between songs. What kinds of things do bands say in order to keep the crowd entertained between songs?


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,515Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Good question.

    Silence, or "dead air" is to be avoided.  Dead air can make for awkward moments.  You want to be able to connect with your audience. 

    You want your audience to identify with you.  They're either for you or against you.  You want the former rather than the latter. 


    You can reduce delays by having a well-constructed set list that all band members have, either memorized, or written out.

    A well-rehearsed band can quickly move to a new song on the spur of the moment, if they are professional enough to not have to fiddle around with their gear in-between songs. 

    You can also construct medleys of tunes that flow straight from the ending of one tune into the intro of the next tune.  This requires lots of rehearsing of outros into intros, round and round, in order to get everyone firing on all cylinders effectively.  Once worked out, this is very effective at building momentum.

    You can "break the ice" with a short joke or funny comment, but people want to think you're being genuine with them.  Be honest, and identify with THEM. 

    Most of all, have fun, enjoy yourself, and give away your energy.  You will most likely receive energy back many times over.




  • TrineTrine Posts: 269Moderator, Enrolled
    edited April 2014


    I agree with Bob. It is best if the band can avoid pauses, and move right on to the next song. I like when there are some pauses in between. When you watch band and artists, you'll see that they do it differently. Some like to talk a lot, and some hardly talk at all.

    I would put in some talking, because I like to talk and joke, that make me feel more connected to the audience. But it has to feel natural. On my first gig, I said: 'I want everybody to come to the front an LOOK at me'. Hahaha, I meant 'listen', but I guess looking could not be avoided either.

    I went to a concert with the Swedish metal band In Flames. They are very professional, but still the vocalist talked so much in between the songs, that I got tired of it. You have to find something that fits your style.


  • FMLFML Posts: 14Pro
    I think personally it is important to build some kind of set up when you are doing a live performance. I have seen through the years so many bands neglecting that aspect of the performance.

    When I am in an audience, I don't want to see a band playing song after song, with a break after each one, and see the singer basically just saying what is the name of the next song. Live sets, in my opinion, needs to be more prepared than that.

    I like to kick off a show with 2 or 3 songs in a row, then small break for tuning (I play guitar and sing in my band) while talking at the same time to the audience a bit before starting the next set of songs. I like to joke and have fun when I talk to an audience. There is a danger to speak for too long though, you really need to be balanced with the speaking parts. You also need to know a bit what you're gonna talk about, with a little room for impro, to adjust to the mood of the night. Don't need to speak for 5 minutes, only a few sentence will be fine.

    The end of the show must be memorable, the band needs to do some kind of a closing moment, and not just finish the last song plain and simple. Let the last chord open, drum fill up, crazy solo, replay the last part of the song slower or faster, whatever you feel can make the job, to let people feel it is the end of the set.

  • mkeymontmkeymont Posts: 43Pro
    Guys, I spent the $300 or so dollars to buy Tom Jackson's course on stage presence - something like 2 or 3 hours of instructional stuff, and it's all good information. Put ALOT of thought into your set list, most importantly. You want to think in terms of the relative amount of energy from song to song and DESIGN your show around that flow. There's also a couple of heat videos on YouTube of Livingston Taylor teaching the art of connecting with your audience that he delivers at Berklee in Boston. The man is a genius when it comes to connecting on a deep level. Search those videos out and drink them in!!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,515Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Thanks, @mkeymont!


    Good info! 



  • rcrosierrcrosier Posts: 275Pro

    We play in small venues where the people are very close to us.  Since we play a lot of songs "by request", we do have times where there could be a lot of dead air, but we try to avoid it by getting to know our crowd.
    For instance, at one recent gig, we were at a country club on the deck outside.  I'm a long-time golfer, so I used that to "chat" with members while we selected music and went from song to song.

    At another recently, we had a table of 5 people who were traveling the US from Australia.  We chatted with them a bit, got to know them, asked what they were doing in the US (they had traveled through 27 states!), and what they liked to hear, and asked about things in Australia... generally, we all laughed a lot!  By the end of the night, they told us they had a GREAT time, and that our little town and that restaurant/bar was the friendliest place they had been on their trip!  We all took that as a HUGE compliment!

    That might not work on a "stage" performance though.

    However, one of my all-time favorite concerts I've attended was at Saratoga, NY watching the Barenaked Ladies.  They all had SO much fun, included the audience in stories, jokes, laughs, and stole the show on the other 3 acts, which were Michele Branch, Parachute and The Goo Goo Dolls.  I walked away from there wanting to see them again... and have!

  • sspatricksspatrick Posts: 1,278Moderator, Enrolled
    As a performer you need to remember one thing... It's all about the audience. Provide them with an experience and they will come back for more. When practising/rehearsing focus on yourself but once people are listening it's all about them. Any show big or small relate to them in some level and you will stay in business.
  • mkeymontmkeymont Posts: 43Pro
    sspatrick said:
    As a performer you need to remember one thing... It's all about the audience. Provide them with an experience and they will come back for more. When practising/rehearsing focus on yourself but once people are listening it's all about them. Any show big or small relate to them in some level and you will stay in business.

    Yes! If you want to love yourself, play alone. If you want others to love you, post a video on you tube. If you want to share the communal joy of music with others, even if they never come back and you just have that memory of that night you really felt it in the air, play for a crowd. Think about that phrase - play FOR a crowd. You are giving yourself and your unique talent to them selflessly, ideally... I wish I was as good at doing it as it sounds like I might be, but this is my biggest hangup in music. I am almost NEVER able to do it because I (my SELF/ego) keep getting in the way! Social phobia dictates my existence and whenever I play in public, it is an exercise/experiment in trying to overcome that phobia. It is always about me and what I'm trying to accomplish. Stoopid self... :) Mike
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