Please don’t do this at your show!
I recently had the chance to interview, Tom Jackson, of Tom Jackson Productions for the DIY Musician Podcast(Episode 43 listen here). Tom’s career as a performance coach runs the whole musical spectrum from working with solo indie artists to chart toppers like Taylor Swift. I’ve also had the pleasure to work with Tom personally, and have seen first hand how his idea of building “moments” into a show works to connect with the audience. In future posts, I’m going to highlight some specific examples of moments that I have personally seen work, but before we get to that, I had to share a few of my performance pet peeves. They seem pretty obvious, but I have seen artists at all levels commit these offenses over and over again. They definitely work against inviting your audience into a moment.
Not telling the audience your Artist/Band’s name – It’s sad that this even made the list, but I’ve seen this obvious mistake happen over and over again. The first thing you do when you meet someone is tell them your name, so the same goes with your musical career. There’s always someone in the crowd who is “meeting” you or your band for the first time. Give them the courtesy of telling them who you are. It should be noted that I’m not talking about introducing the individual band members. Yeah, like I said, it’s sad that this made the list
An artist who insults the audience – How many times have you stepped up to the mic and said, “Where is everybody?” First of all, all your fans don’t live and hang out together, so they don’t know where “everybody” is. Second of all, you basically just told them, “I’m disappointed in the few of you that actually came out to see us play!”
Not selling merch at the show – I’ve heard bands go on and on about how the audience should buy their CD, only to say that anyone interested in making a purchase would have to buy it online when they got home. If you listened to my interview with Tom, you’ll realize why this is such a costly mistake as fans buy moments. The moment is long over by the time they get home and are online.
Those are my top three, but I would be interested to hear what your live performance pet peeves are. Please add them to the comment section!