Are You Wasting Your Fans’ Time?
On Thursday, I went to the Alamo Drafthouse‘s bi-monthly Movies in the Park series when my phone rang. It was a fellow Celtic musician who moved to Austin a few months ago. She was going to see a band. I was dying to meet her at last and to hear this band she raved about, so I decided to tag along.
In October, she was at the Saxon Pub and saw an amazing singer who was playing to an empty room. She said he was cross between Chris Cornell and Radio Head. When he arrived at Momo’s, she immediately pointed out how well he worked the room. He talked to every person who came to see him.
At 11pm, we found out that his actual show time was 12:30am. It was a small inconvenience which turned into a great thing because we got to see The Drawing Board. They put on a stellar show.At 12:30am, the show started for the band we came to see… sorta. It was a slow start. The singer messed around with his amp settings for ten minutes before they played their first song. The rest of the band waited. Then the band played a song. Afterward, the singer screwed around with the settings some more. We must’ve waited 5-10 minutes between each the first five songs.
“Is it me? Or does it sound like I have a fuzz box?” he asked?
Ho hum! Do I care? No.
WHEN he played, it sounded decent.
He finally realized he blew a speaker. So he finally relaxed into performing… sorta. His stage banter was boring. The music was mediocre. His song endings were sloppy. My friend said it seemed like he was taking this gig for granted and blowing off the audience. And she was right.
The show ended, and we left with my friend livid. This guy wasted our time. She wanted to see that amazing musician she remembered, someone who was there for us. Instead, we got someone who didn’t give a spit for who came to see him. He deserved an empty room.
Most amusing of all was that this guy planned to move to L.A. because he had been in Austin 13 years and gone nowhere. Ye think?!
There will always be problems that arise at gigs. But a professional musician knows how to put on a great show despite these problems.
Elvis Presley once said, “You gotta put on a show to draw a crowd.”
There are many ways to put on a great performance. But when you take your fans for granted, and you give them an amateur show, the best you can expect is an amateur fan base.
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© 2000-2014 Marc Gunn -- Austin, Texas