In the modern era, there are plenty of ways to generate money from your music, including promotional and exposure opportunities that we call “off-stage promotion”. These are things like performing on social media and releasing new singles and music videos that go with it.
That often leads to bands becoming lazy or too picky about the gigs they would like to accept.
On the one side, being picky has its advantages! You only perform when the price is right, or you keep your exclusiveness to a certain venue or audience. This will raise your performance value.
The other side of not performing live on a regular basis is that you will start to lack shape and accuracy on your instruments and not grow as quickly as you should. That’s why we only recommend being picky to more well-known bands who’ve already established their value in the market.
Let’s look into the key reasons why performing live is crucial for bands to succeed and to become successful.
Promoting Your Personality
Being live on stage is the first impression you make to new fans and fresh audiences.
It is such a great opportunity to make new followers by addressing the audience with your charm and charisma in order for them to build an emotional connection to you as the frontman.
Normally, we only remember the names of the frontmen of bands and not the other band members just because we build a personal connection to the person who addresses the audience the most.
If you’d like to know more about stage banter, check out my article called Stage Banter – How to Keep Your Audience Engaged.
Interacting With the Fans
The people buying your tickets are the ones deserving the most love and attention.
I always try to mingle with members of the audience before and long after our performances. This creates a very open and transparent relationship with the fans, and it makes it worth the travel for fans coming from far away.
Take photos with them and create memories together. In a couple of years, these fans will continue to remember the good old days and carry on following you and listening to your music.
Read How to Build a Following and Finally Fill Your Venues next to learn more!
Networking With Other Musicians
The sooner we realise that there’s space for all of us in the industry, the better. Performing live gives us the opportunity to listen to other bands and get to know them a little closer.
I am an advocate for bands standing together in solidarity, sharing fans and touring together. It makes performances more profitable for bands in the beginner phase and allows artists to grow.
Use every opportunity to perform live to meet new bands and follow each other’s journey. Open gigs for each other and be happy for each other’s successes. Everyone is at a different stage of their journey and people need mentors and to look up to the more experienced bands to find vision and inspiration.
I love organising events for our buddy bands so that we can perform together regularly. We also have performance seasons where we’ll play 4 gigs in 4 cities together and sponsor the money to charity.
Performing for a special cause in the shape of a charity event is a great way to get people and meet new fans. People want to give and feel open to new music when they know that there’s an empathetic touch to it all.
Feel free to steal my Guide to Organise an Amateur Band Night for Charity while it’s still free!
Networking With Venues and Staff
People enjoy working with like-minded people and people that they get along well with. Especially principled artists that have a good work ethic and can be relied on.
I’ve often encountered situations where we wanted to perform with another artist and the venue manager immediately said “No, we don’t allow that artist here anymore”.
That’s pretty sad building a reputation where venues don’t want certain bands to perform anymore, so be attentive to doing the right thing while being a guest at a venue.
Use the chance to perform live to interact with a variety of people including gatekeepers and people of musical interest.
It is key to perform live regularly to build bridges and create opportunities for the unforeseen future.
Promoting Your Music
Of course, this is one of the main reasons 🙂
When I was still young and in school, I loved attending rock shows so that I could hear how my favourite bands performed some of their music a little differently from what one was used to hearing on their albums.
It’s like my horizon has been broadened just by discovering that things don’t need to fit in the same box as what I’m usually used to.
I always try to surprise my audience and play their favourite song a little differently. That could even mean adding minor changes like another chorus, an acoustic start, mixing the song arrangements around a bit, or using an adjusted melody.
Use your live performances to promote your music by adding extra value to the known songs.
Express Yourself Through Your Music
I remember attending a Seether concert a few years ago, where you could clearly feel the emotion of the vocalist. The audience felt the value of the lyrics and instrumental music colliding at the exact emotion of the songwriter.
Use your performances to live yourself out and to express your art of making music by showing emotion and honesty.
The more real emotion, the better. We all want to be taken seriously and we want to be the witness of an honest live performance.De Wet Kruger
To Gain Inspiration
There are not many things more inspiring than pitching at a venue filled with your grateful fans singing your lyrics back at you.
Performing live offers the chance to realise how grateful we as artists could be to be on stage and living our dreams in front of a group of people enjoying it.
You gain inspiration from experiencing how much the people need you and what distances they will go to support you.
This post was written and posted by De Wet from startingmyband.com on 14.10.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.
To Stay Humble
Sometimes putting a mirror in front of you is exactly what we need.
Often artists tend to get a little too arrogant and by performing live you get a more accurate measurement of your current state of success.
This brutal honest feedback you get should be taken on board for your next band practices to keep improving and growing.
I recommend bands also take their journey of getting on the big stage step-by-step. First by performing to our loved ones from whom we’ll take feedback less personally until you’ve mastered the skill of live performance and you’re more experienced.
I highly recommend my article Steps to Reach your First Paid Gig – From Zero to Hero for step-by-step guidance.
To Gain Experience
The experience you gain from live performances is priceless. Even if you are continuously performing for free, the experience is worth gold.
The day will come when you need to perform on TV or live on the radio where the stage fright will become less and less and your fingers do the talking, even when the brain is dysfunctioning.
I remember a massive gig where we had an encore, and the band randomly called a song that I had no idea how it went again, but when it started, it was like my fingers were performing where my brain had absolutely no clue what it should be doing.
Being away from performing live has the opposite effect. Your fingers also forgets how your songs go, and the stage fright starts to have an effect on your performance quality again.
If you can think of any other good reasons to perform live, please add them to the comments below!
For a next read, I can recommend scanning through some of my related articles:
- Landing an Opening Gig for a Succesful Band
- Why Teamwork Is Golden In a Band
- Concert Etiquette For a Performing Band
Until next time, Rock On!