Showing posts from June, 2009

Happy in the Crowd

In addition to singing a lot lately, I've been going to lots of shows. I've already been to Ravinia three times, and I can be found lurking in the back of many a Chicago club (or theatre), checking out the bands, the singers, the acts. I love live performance!
But I get the feeling that some performers feel uncomfortable when fellow artists show up. Being a performer watching performers isn't any different than being a "person" watching performers, other than a performer might have more understanding of what went into the performance and rehearsal, technique-wise, and what's going on technically on stage. 
I do know that seeing performing colleagues in your audience can sort of ramp up the show a bunch when you're on stage. You feel you have to bring your game a bit more, and you know that all your "tricks" are pretty transparent. It might make you a little more self-conscious too, but there is something titillating about singing in front of fello…

Read Your Crowd

Conversely, the other night's gig was sorta sad. The band leader, a formidable jazz singer and earnest-enough drummer, also served as the sound guy, emcee, event planner and music director (doh!). He also didn't really gauge the crowd. This is very key at any party: Read your crowd!.

He started out the night playing the usual mellow dinner music standards and instrumentals, and after the dinner ended, he kept playing the same kinda mellow dinner music standards and instrumentals (doh again!). They are ready to rock now, dude! Time to play something UP. Thrill the crowd. Even dare to play something upbeat during the dinner set! Just know when to back off the slow-tempo and mid-swing thing (classic mistake of playing what you love versus what they want to hear).
Of course, there were two older couples on the floor this whole time, but the young peeps (the majority of the guests) were at the bar...
That is, until we played DANCING QUEEN three hours into the night. I know, this is a …