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Crowd engagement

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by scottman72, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. scottman72

    scottman72

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    How much crowd engagement do you guys normally do during a show? Our lead singer feels that speaking to the crowd is not as important as some people think. I think crowd engagement is important personally just because you are making them part of the show. Just my opinion though.
  2. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well! Supporting Member

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    Your opinion is correct :)
  3. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I don't think its as important as some people think. If the band is good the audience will usually enjoy the show. Take Eric Clapton, Steve Miller, Pink Floyd for example. Very little crowd interaction but people love their shows. Trying to engage a crowd in a cover band situation can be tricky. In most bars/clubs people are also engaging in conversations, watching games on TV and some are there just for the band. If your front man/woman is not skilled in reading the crowd, trying to engage them can come across as arrogant. I think you can engage the crowd but you have to be careful how far you take it. Sometimes it comes across as phony and forced and you will lose the audience. You don't want a lot of down time between songs but you don't want to over do it either. If you are in a famous band and playing arenas you can usually engage the crowd more easily.
  4. Joedog

    Joedog

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    I think it has value if it is natural and not "forced". Too often I see folks jabber away, and I just want to say "shut up and play". Equally annoying is when the vocals are so muddy I can't hear the words being spoken clearly. AARRGG........

    A good sense of humor (no LAME jokes!) is very important as well!
  5. scottman72

    scottman72

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    Good points made. I usually try to add something between every 4-5 songs we play, even if its just introducing the next song or whatever. There are some awkward pauses between a few songs where I'm tuning or waiting on keyboard man to find a patch that would be a good spot for lead singer to interact, but he usually doesn't.
  6. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

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    It depends on the show. But some people talk to dang much and should play more instead. For example, every song doesn't necessarily need an introduction ~
  7. BassCliff

    BassCliff

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    Hi,

    Engage the audience with music, LOTS of good music. Dead air between songs should be limited to the time it takes to count off the next tune. If you need a little extra time to set up for the next song, then take a few seconds to introduce the song or the featured performer. We do this when a guitar change is necessary.

    For the most part, engage the audience with eye contact. Look at your audience. Wink, nod, wave, point your guitar at someone and have a little fun with them. Sing to them, play to them, not at them.

    If you must talk to the crowd, keep it short. Just ask them how they're doing and let them know you're going to make some noise and have some fun. Unless you're a big star they don't want to hear you talk.

    I know some people are really clever, witty, funny, and can engage and entertain a crowd with their speech. I'm not one of them. :p


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Supporting Member

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    Engaging the crowd is at least twice as important as most people think. Maybe much, much more.
  9. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    I am one of those guys. I've always been very comfortable with public speaking.

    My band plays original instrumentals. It is absolutely essential that I engage them verbally between songs. Mostly I keep it simple. But if the guitar player needs to tune, I am quite capable of blabbing on about something amusing until he's done. I actually practice certain "bits" and often I think of stuff to say on the spot.

    As a fallback, introduce the band, and get the audience to applaud each member. Takes at least a minute or so, and people love to clap. Makes the whole room feel good.
  10. Gaolee

    Gaolee The Fat Violin Supporting Member

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    Singerbabe loves the spotlight and is a complete cornball. She gets away with it because she's a very cute dork. The audience seems to love it, even if we all cringe a little when she goes of on some tangent. If an audience member shouts anything or says something she can hear, she will carry on a banter with that person, and it usually works. God only knows how or why, but I'll take it and hide in the background and be happy.

    Mostly, though, we just blast right into the next song.
  11. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

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    It also depends on what genre you are playing.
    Some crowds don't want to hear someone gab at them between songs. It would be considered dorky and uncool.
  12. BassCliff

    BassCliff

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    Hi,

    I'm no George Carlin but I'm not afraid of public speaking. I've got a few good one-liners that I can use to fill some dead air. But most of my gigs are dance gigs and nobody can dance if I'm talking.

    If you are playing primarily a listening venue then, yes, it's good to get a little personal with the audience. We do have a little more banter when we are playing a sit-down concert gig with no dancing.

    Break a leg!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  13. skychief

    skychief Gold Supporting Member

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    Ditto this.

    Especially if the "crowd" is also your following. If you're like most bands that hammers out the same repertoir week-after-week, this is a must.

    If your band is so versatile as to change up the set-list so no two nights sound the same, then, not so critical.

    We try to do a bit a bit of both, actually;

    Engaging the crowd AND throwing in a few off-the-wall zingers just to raise a few eyebrows. It seems to work with the crowd that follows us.
  14. pnchad

    pnchad

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    move their a$$es

    if they wanted jokes they'd go to a comedy club
  15. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass Supporting Member

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    Just don't say to the audience---

    "Okay the next song is gonna be Turn The Page by Bob Seger. Turn The Page..."

    [play song]

    "That was Turn The Page by Bob Seger. Next song is....."

    :rollno: :p

    Yeah. I played for that guy... :crying:
  16. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

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    Depends. If you're doing some wedding or dinner gig or anything else where you're part of the "landscape" as if you were a radio running in the background (been there done that - those were actually my favorite gigs, much more relaxed for me as I dislike having eyes staring at me...), I guess you'd do well to honor that role and speak as little as possible. If you're there to entertain though, let her rip.
  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

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    I just signed on with a new band a couple months ago and our first gig is beginning of February. Singerbabe has emphasized how much she loves talking to the audience between songs and the drummer is under strict orders not to click directly into the next song. It has me nervous because the singer in my LAST band tried the stage banter thing and it was awkward, dead air. But this one insists that she's been doing this since she was 16 (we're in our 40s) and knows how to make it work. I'm waiting to see how it goes.

    I guess the bottom line is that, as a general rule, I'd avoid it and keep the tunes coming... but maybe sometimes with the right frontperson, it can work.
  18. mellowinman

    mellowinman

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    You have to do it. We play blocks of songs, and then we say things to try and get the audience riled up a bit.

    When I'm "on," I can be funny and well-received. When I'm not, I stick with the rehearsed intros, which are my fall-back position. Sometimes I'm just forced to say something, because a player has to fix or adjust something. You need to have a good supply of "go-to" material, such as everybody drink, or just SOMETHING.

    You can't just be a jukebox all night.
  19. ga_edwards

    ga_edwards

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    If you're in a covers band that plays a few cheesy standards, then some of these songs are made for audience engagement and participation. For example, when we play 'Proud Mary', our singer wanders off into the audience with wireless mic in hand to get people to join in on the chorus' whilst we drop out a little to give them space to be head. Likewise, if we play 'Hi Ho Silver Lining', we'll drop out a little on the end chorus' and let the audience join in.

    Always works a treat, and makes the crowd feel like they've had some input.
  20. ultra60

    ultra60

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    If the front man has nothing to engage the audience with, other then how great he is... it's better to move on to the next song... and not engage the crowd at all.

    Trust me on this one. I've lived it.

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