How does the size of the crowd affect your performance?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BillisCool, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. BillisCool


    Apr 16, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I've played many gigs for crowds of a 100 or so, because I play mainly in smaller clubs... but when it comes to a larger crowd, I don't have much experience.

    I never have a problem relating to the audience in a smaller setting... I'm very comfortable, and put on a great show.

    Last month I played a pretty big show for more than a few hundred people, from a pretty large stage... and I realized that I didn't feel the usual connection that I do with a smaller crowd in a more intimate setting. I've played larger shows before but I never realized how out of touch I felt until now.

    This weekend I'm going to be playing a few hours for a few thousand people and was wondering if anybody has any tips to make them more comfortable performing for a larger audience. (besides picturing them in their underwear... :) )

  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i have played for just a bar staff and up to about 20,000 people....

    i get really nervous sometimes when playing for smaller crowds...just too intimate for me and i get freaked out with eyeballs....

    larger crowds - can't see the eyeballs, so it doesn't bother me at all...

    i know it sounds funny, but eyeballs freak me out.
  3. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    I actually am kinda with you here. I have much more trouble playing for 2 or 3 people than i have had when I've played for a few thousand. I'm not sure it's the eyeballs, but being able to see how they react to every note you play is freaky to me.
  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    yeah, i think you have a better choice of words than i do! :D

    you nailed it with the "being able to see how they react to every note" - that's exactly the way it is with me!!! :)
  5. Small crowds get to me too. But mainly because I am pissed that nobody showed up! Just hard to get into it mentally when you are trying to do a high energy show if there aren't people there to play off of.

    I always feel like I played better when it's a bigger crowd. I don't try to short change people who are part of a small crowd and really I doubt the music sounded any different but I always have a different feeling about it. :meh:
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Makes no difference. Preference for a smaller crowd. Although bigger crowd means big PA and sometimes separate monitor mix which is really nice.
  7. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I think for me it isn't so much the size of the crowd but the size of the place i'm playing. I like the small to medium size clubs because I just think things sound better.
    I think another thing isn't the size of the crowd but how they react to what you are doing. If it's only 30 people in a small bar but they are up in your face rocking out, you can feed off of that energy. If it's a 1000 people and they just sit there like an oil painting it can really make for a bad time.
    Wearing sunglasses helps. :cool:
  8. from 5 people to 600, it's never been a problem for me.

    i'll still rock out no matter what - the TB 'gig moto' ("you're there for the job and you put your all into any job, big or small") has made me feel at ease doing so.

    and i like to rawk out. even if in just my bedroom. :cool:
  9. my scene sucks, i hate going to shows where there's only about 15-20 people in the room your playing whether i'm watching or performing. don't let a larger crowd frighten you, just don't say anything stupid, lol
  10. I play to crowds from anywhere to about a thousand.

    No issue.

    My favourite place to play holds about 100. Its just a great venue!

    I think if you have the show, the music and the presence, you'll be great.

  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I like to play for 50-1,000,000 or for 1. Sometimes it's fun to play for the bartender. But when there is 2-49, it is a bit weird. Because these people don't want to freak out and dance around because there are so few people there. Big crowds go crazy... and as long as the drunk guys stop falling all over my gear, I'm cool.
  12. I don't really care about the size of the crowd, but more about the size of the stage.

    Really... if i don't have neough space to move around, i don't feel good after the gig.
  13. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat

    I am no shoegazer. :bassist:
  14. MazeMouse


    Jan 27, 2005
    I don't care about the size of the crowd. I care if I can see them and see their reaction to it.

    Did small gigs which were packed to the limit. 800 people in.
    But the stage was so high and almost all lighting in that place came from off stage so it was very difficult to see the crowd and see their reaction. (and while you're playing it's hard to HEAR their reaction ;))
    Which gives me the chills because I didn't know if the crowd was digging it cause they were quite tame in between songs.
    (afterwards judging from the amount of people coming up to me telling me they absolutly loved it I figured it was great)

    I also did outdoor gig on a small festival.
    We were on the smallest stage. About 1200 people watching. High stage but all people in plain view and seeing people dance, seeing people wave, seeing them sing along. And hearing them freak out after songs. It was pure rush.
    The bigger the crowd, the better the rush. Even better if they dig what you're playing :)
  15. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    I think there's a lot to be said of a band that can put on the same rocking show for just a few people as they do for a few thousand.
  16. Its not the size of the crowd, its the size of the people in the crowd. All it takes is enough small slender women for the band and its a good crowd. :hyper: :bassist:

    As long as the crowd is responsive, I dont' care how big they are. I go by how crowded the dance floor is, not the bar.

    Crowd into it=band into it. Can't help yourself, its the home court advantage of the music biz.

  17. DrewBud


    Jun 8, 2005
    When I was 15 I had the very luck opertunity to play in front of 14,000 people. Up until then the parges I had played for was 800 in my HS Auditorium.

    Since then I've played for anything from 1 - 2500 people on a regular basis.

    I think when playing for a VERY large number of people (14,000) is closer to playing for about 300 that 2500...'cause that's all you can really see...the others are just lost in the darkness and you only know they're out there when the song ends.

    I think the best way to feel conformatble playing in front of any size to remember that you're just there to play music...and that you should be able to look at the people you're on stage with and have a great time regardless of how many people are watching you do it. IF you're very uncomforatble because of a crowd I think then best solution is to turn towards the rest of the band and play to them.
  18. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    depends on the takes alot of confidence and personality to rock hard with only 20 people in the room. The bigger crowds are easier somehow...I feel more anonymous, and can concentrate on my playing. Its wierd.
  19. Gomez

    Gomez Live from the Shire

    Apr 15, 2005
    None, what so ever. I always take off my glasses before I go on stage. I can't see for **** without them so a crowd, naked women, dancing headless chickens......whatever. I missed it.
  20. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    i know it sounds funny, but eyeballs freak me out.[/QUOTE]

    :eek: How about them apples?