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What are some proven on-stage antics?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by szvonek, Jan 3, 2002.

  1. Need some advice: my band is having trouble with the visual performance on-stage at gigs. We're aware of it, and have tried just joking around a little with the crowd, and that works OK, sometimes. But I feel like we need to do something more, but we also don't want to be gimmicky or anything. Plus we're not the type of guys that would be willing to do anything too wild. Our style of music is similar to STP and Radiohead. So what are some good, easy, non-gimmicky ideas that have worked for your bands?? Advance thanks...
  2. For that style, i'd just say get into the music man, ya know like sorta groove with it? The heavier it get's the sorta wilder ya go?

    People always so to move aorund heaps, but they never realise how hard it can be :) but you'll get there yo!
  3. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    What I've found is that the best stage act is to act naturally. In the past, I've gone from one extreme to the other - standing pefectly still a la Entwistle one gig, and diving round like a fool the next. Both were pretty much forced, and it showed - eventually, I realised that I was most comfortable somewhere in the middle, and that's where I've been ever since.

    The best thing to do is to try to be as uninhibited onstage as possible, and let the music take you wherever. Forcing yourself to do a triple somersault over the drummer's head might look good, but unless it comes naturally you'll get quickly tire of it.
  4. It's pretty sad but it seems you do need a gimmick to make it these days. Or you really gotta get into the music all crazy. I've been trying to find something where I don't look that dumb. I'm thinking I should rip off Claypool's moves. His strut and his foot stomp are bad ass.
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    base...I think he's not asking about a gimmick, so much as he is help with the live show, which is a good a question as any.

    Personally, in a metal outfit, I am absofrikkinlutely nuts. High energy, high impact, and generally wild child. Seems to get the crowd going. They feed off us, we feed off them, everyone leaves feeling like it was a good show.

    My advice to szvonek:

    Dude, just do what comes naturally. If you kinda just bob along, so be it. Don't force anything. If you get a reputation for doing that, people expect a lot more at the shows, and if you're not up to it, it starts becoming a chore. Just...well...ham it up enough to be good, but don't over do it. I guess. or, in the words of so many bands "Just rock!"
  6. yeah, that seems to make the most sense i suppose...that's pretty much what i end up doing, just getting into the music and moving around a little. we just came off of a gig where the crowd wasn't really into us, and the gig before that the crowd was into us, but I guess it's hit or miss and there's not much by way of 'antics' that you can do to help get the crowd into the show if they aren't already into the music.

    BTW, I just ordered the Carvin RL6815 amp, I'm pretty siked. hurry mr. UPS guy
  7. punkfunkfreak


    Dec 16, 2001
    make audience clap, talk inbetween songs, move around, even walk around the stage a bit. ask for applaud, that seems to be all that come to my mind.
  8. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    During one long song, I go to sleep on the subs in front of the stage while playing on my back. I usually end up getting molested.

    There's also one song where I have to crunch in some overdrive. I always make a mad leap from as far away as I can at the last second and pounce on the pedal just in time. I've been through several due to damage.

    Other than that, I'm the only one who really does anything in my band. Mostly jumping up and down as high as I can and doing big monster stomps.

    I'll give my mic to an audience member who is singing along.

    I also tell the audience how great they sound and how hot they look.
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Play your instruments well.
  10. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    since when?! :D
  11. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    The lack of bands doing it makes it good advice.
  12. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    :rolleyes: that's kinda what i meant ... yes, playing well is important and whatnot. whoo-dee. but people wanna see sh*t going on onstage too, you know? it'd be like going to a movie just to listen to the soundtrack. therefore i say you stab someone with something. that would be cool.
  13. I like that one...

    or ToNes, maybe I could strangle someone with the E string my guitarist always breaks... :cool:
  14. Jiles

    Jiles Banned

    Nov 28, 2001
    Jiles- Onstage Antics 101:
    Dr. Jiles-


    You are not Richard Pryor or Robin Williams. Can the jokes and humor. You'll end up looking like a joke potentially.

    Don't ever ask the crowd how they are doing unless you are bigt ime because you probaby won't get a million screaming chicks screaming in unison like you guys were the Beatles. You may get a bunch of bored, blank stares.

    Use catchy phrases when the energy level is high such as...
    "somebody scream", "make some noise for me", "let me see some (insert whatever!!!)..etc.

    Things that go over well.....

    Don't stand there like your from Seatle staring at your shoes. Move. Act the rock star and people will believe it. Good eye contact and confidence in every aspect of the show is a MUST!! Drummers can stand up, bassists and guitar players and singers need to huddle together and move in unision at times (ala Gene, Paul, and Ace!!).

    Watch guys like Mick Jagger, Scott Weiland, Chris Robinson, Steve Perry, Flea, etc. Those are showman. Be a showman. dress, look, and act the part.

    good luck man!
  15. Two words: HEAD BANG

    If you can rip out some kick-@$$ solo and head bang to the beat, people will be screaming your name.

    I've found that small amounts of pyrotechincs will always grab a crowds attention. I usually set up a couple of cans of powder along the front edge of the stage, and on our final song we hit the cans on the last downbeat. You might want to change this to suit your needs, i.e. confetti, streamers, balloons, beach balls, iflatable dolls ;) whatever.

    But have fun. If your not having fun, the audience will sense it and get bored VERY quick.

    Rock on
  16. I recently gained the ability to headbang and play at the same time. I'm so proud of myself! :D
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Ah! The Headbang/play combo... I favor the spaz/groove thing. Full body headbang, you know?
  18. most people ive talked to say you shouldnt talk between songs, people come to a show for the music not to listen to the band talk

    some bands talk way to much, especially if its a more aggresive kind of music, it kills the energy, people wanna mosh and jump around in the pit, not listen to the singer making crappy jokes and shouting out dedications

    less talk, more rock
  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Our band use to majorily have this problem. We are just starting to remedy it. Everyone use to come up and tell us the same thing. "I love you guys' music, you're all good musicians.......you just need to get up front and into more".

    Well, when we would play with other bands, I would start to watch their stage presence. (When I was learning bass/guitar I would watch their riffs, I still do that, but now I watch how they interact with the audience)

    There are a few general tips that seem to work. The first, and most important I think, is, when up on stage, Don't Look Scared. I never got scared going up on stage, but I have a very shy and stand offish type personality. I changed this by standing up at the front of the stage, and trying to look out at the audience a little bit more. (Just don't eye a certain chick up to much or anything, or her boyfriend/husband might think your checking her out, and that could be categorized under "Things that suck" :D ;) )

    Zulufunk has a lot of great ideas. I agree somewhat, and disagree somewhat on what Jiles said about asking the crowd how they are. If it's early in the night and the crowd isn't into yet, it would be a bad thing, if it's obvious the crowd is digging you, then you should get a kick ass response if ask that. Try not to have to much dead time between songs, if someone has to tune, Adjust the PA, ect., interact with the audience while that's going on.

    I think a lot of it begins with your front man (or whoever is suppose to be the main MC) They are the ones who have the vocal personality of the group. They are the ones who should invite the audience into your music. (Not to say the other guys' stage presence isn't important, it is) It's always cool to have someone you know in the audience to "crack a friendly joke at" For instance, when we do "Hoochie Koo Man" by Willie Dixon, our lead singer always makes a crack saying it was written about someone we know in the audience. (Of course, make sure you know the person well enough that they would be comfortable with it)

    If the crowd doesn't seem into you during the your first set, don't worry. By the second set, they've had a few drinks in them, and they've loosened up a lot. Beer: Helping bands get fan bases since 1901. :D

    Something very important is to respect the audience. (Unless you have heckler(s), that's a different story, you have the right to make the biggest asses out of them :D ) Don't ever act concieted on or off stage. If someone compliments you or the band, shake their hand, be very polite, and ask them their name. It seems more like a personal expierence to them then. A lot of times, you'll meet other musicians. (If they are good or not is a different story) Be nice and talk about your gear, the scene, mutual musicians you know, ect. with them. Sometimes drunks get annoying, but they usually not mean anything by it, so keep being polite.

    I think doing on stage things should be a spur of the moment type thing. Don't walk up on stage with any sort of "plan" just do what feels natural at the moment. If you are thinking of doing something and it doesn't feel "right", don't do it. Here's a list of some cliche and non cliche things to do on stage. I haven't done everything, but I've done some.

    Jump, (pretty obvious, good for when you come out of a break in a song), Head Bang, (another duh, of course, there's a time and place for that, I wouldn't head band during Johnny B. Goode, unless I was purposley doing it for laughs), Resting one foot up on the PA monitor and playing over the crowd, playing behind your head, (I recommend songs with breaks so you can have time to get it up and down without missing any notes), playing on your knees, jumping down on the dance floor with the audience, holding your mic over the audience, doing little dances, (usually played for laughs), getting close to your lead guitars and playing "at" him/her while they take a solo, lifting neck straight up, asking audience to sing a part of the song, if some someone wants to come up and sing a song, let him/her (does wonders for securing a bond with the audeince, wait to your well into your gig to do this though, if the person sucks, you don't want new people walking in thinking they are your lead vocalist, interact with the person too, while they are up on stage) if a person yells Free Bird, (as they always do) we usual play "Dominated Love Slave" by Green Day as a joke, then we usually play Free Bird. (Again, shows the audience you don't take yourself to seriously, but you are willing to try and please the audience) Also, play Mony Mony, then yell "Hey Hey What" during the designated times. I'm sure everyone here knows what the audience usually says. :D

    There are so many other things you can do, be creative. Always remember, you are there for the audience, and the bar/club/fair/basement/party/whoever hired you in the first place. Treat both, with the utmost respect.
  20. ConTraBajisTa

    ConTraBajisTa Guest

    Oct 5, 2000
    auburn, ny
    when i take off my shirt the crowd usually goes wild and our drummer loses time... maybe thats just me =)

    haha, just playin. i couldn't resist.

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