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Engaging/Interacting with the Audience

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by eow, Apr 20, 2010.


  1. eow

    eow

    Mar 5, 2003
    Kansas City
    This one is directed toward the bar and club weekend warriors.

    Your cover band is tight, the sound is great, the bar is full but you are just not quite getting the response you hope for from the audience. You get a nice applause after each tune and they must like the band to some extent because no one is leaving right? So you call an audible and deviate from the setlist and pull what you think is a good, strong dancer from a later set but you still can't quite get them out of their seats.

    How do you get them past that level? What type of things do you do to engage your audience and get them from being content semi-passive listeners to actively participating in your show?

    And no, we don't suck because we have gotten great responses at other venues ;), sometimes it just seems like it's harder to get them going at some clubs.
     
  2. You need to somehow coerce the crowd into getting just slightly more drunk than they intend to. It's easy from there...

    Also, ask them what they want to hear. If you know it, drop that bomb on them. If you don't, assure them you will next time.
     
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Try putting the lead singer on a little John Deere tractor and have him make lewd gestures:

    25085_1388156590768_1437678820_1047.
     
  4. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Drop your pants. I saw this work 2 weeks ago.
     
  5. My band has this same problem. In clubs that aren't dance-type venues, we go over very well; they're there to listen and we deliver. At more dance oriented clubs, it can be a struggle. People seem to enjoy, but just don't seem to move to the floor. Sometimes it is our song choices. Other times they just aren't loosened up enough (i.e., inebriated). But I think the biggest problem is our front man. He's an awsome singer and has energy to his performance, but he just doesn't interact well with the crowd between songs. He just seems to go gun shy a bit. When he does interact (usually takes a few drinks, unfortunately) crowd response goes up drastically. It's all about inviting the audience in and making them feel comfortable.
     
  6. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    We make sure we have 'shill' dancers there to get the crowd going. Works well if they look good, and dance better.
     
  7. swelltrain

    swelltrain

    Mar 3, 2010
    My humble advice:

    Use the cliches. They're cliches because they work.

    Get them to clap in time to a song as it starts.

    Call/response (when I say, you say).

    Hands in the air like you just don't care.
    Etc.

    Kinda lame, but again it's a cliche because it works. Good luck. -s
     
  8. We bring them on stage sometimes. those little crowdies love to play a cowbell.
     
  9. ERIC31

    ERIC31

    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    +1

    In my band we have a couple songs that really lend themselves to the clap along and sing along deal. 'Do You Wanna Touch Me' just kills in that situation!:bassist::hyper:
     
  10. Richland123

    Richland123

    Apr 17, 2009
    Some crowds and clubs take a while to get some dancers early. Nobody wants to be the first one on the dancefloor but once somebody starts, more usually follow. They like to sit and listen and sing along but sometimes just won't get up. What I have found in 4 decades of playing is that there are tried and true songs that will get them up and they are normally the simple, three chord sing along songs that work. Anytime we do Old Time Rock & Roll, Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress, Gimme All Your Lovin', etc. in the first set, people start to dance. Keeping them there takes some quick thinking to play more songs like that in a row.
     
  11. i say come out of the gate, guns blazin, and lay down a sick, high energy track for the first one, and do the same at the end. and its always fun to talk to the crowd :) or get them involved in the song somehow.
     
  12. +3 on being able to pull out the standards. We've developed an "emergency set" consisting of Brown Eyed Girl, You Shook Me, Mony Mony, Blister in the Sun, What I Like About You, and I Want You to Want Me. This being a recent development we've only used it once, but it killed.

    It's a nice idea to be able to get a crowd going with non-standards that you don't usually hear* but people in bars don't care if they've heard it before; they're not bored with it, they haven't worked on it and played it a million times. They wanna drink, dance, and they want to hear something they know and love.

    Also, thumbs up if you have a front man who can coax the crowd into buying more drinks than they normally would. Ours is great at it.

    *If you think some other band hasn't already done it, you're wrong.
     
  13. stinger12345

    stinger12345

    Jan 24, 2009
    Hayward, CA
    +1, except -1 for hands in the air like you just don't care. Unless you're an early 90's hip-hop cover group
     
  14. derelicte

    derelicte

    Dec 25, 2007
    NJ/NYC
    get a good lighting system with effects! Often at times just a smile and good eye-contact gets them into it.
     
  15. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    I will tell you something.I always thought our lead singer had it easy, you show up and sing.

    I have grown to appreciate how hard her job is. She is a pro.

    She has to get out ther, sing all night by herslf, dancin, shakin it and she really conects with the audience. We did a family type show once and right on the fly during "Second Chance"(Shine Down) she had about five 12-14 year old young women on stage singing the song with her.

    In another song she jumps off the stage during a guitar solo ans starts handing out T-Shirts and cds.

    It's hard and it's something that to me, I think it has to come to you naturally
     
  16. I guess we're lucky - we never seem to worry or care whether people are dancing. Usually the crowd kind of undulates. We made a suicide pact to kill ourselves if we ever play Mustang Sally in earnest. That doesn't rule out a parody, though.
     
  17. nothing wrong with Mustang Sally, if you funk it up a bit...funny thing about that song, I am 46 , never remembering hearing it until The Commitments movie and then again until 3 years ago when i started playing in a cover band. My new band doesn't play it either....
     
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Whip out "Know your enemy". If that doesn't get them moving, drop your bass on the ground and walk out hurling profanities at the audience.
     
  19. The only way we would do Mustang Sally would be to contort it so out of proportion that nobody would recognize it until at least half way through. I'm thinking kind of a nine inch nails type industrial thing... wait a minute, maybe I'm on to something here...
     
  20. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    If people aren't dancing, I'm not happy. I would play Mustang Sally for an entire 45 minute set if it was the only way to get the dance floor packed, and if people were enjoying it and grooving with us.

    If I feel like playing songs I like that no one wants to hear, I'll do it at home where I don't have to drive and schlep gear.
     

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