So you did all this crazy and amazing work setting up your show. You got your music ready to be unleashed, planned a killer show, managed to get booked for a night, built hype around your show online and got your super fans dying to see your perform. There are now just a few things left to look out for in order to get the most out of your show—besides just being completely fierce on stage of course!

Let’s cover some important rituals before, during and after the show.

Before

Here are the most important things to do before your show to ensure its success:

  • Confirm the technical rider with the venue to ensure there won’t be any issues occurring right before the show. The last thing you want is to be stressing out about any incompatible or absent equipment.
  • Arrive on time for your soundcheck. Get all your levels set properly, test your gear, and make sure that everything runs great, and you didn’t forget anything for the show. Also you can meet the artists on the bill for the night.
  • You want to make sure that your show is going to be documented. Whether you hire a professional photographer/videographer, or ask a friend to volunteer— it doesn’t really matter. Just make sure you wind up with a few good shots of your performance. This material can be used on your social media, to shop around for a record deal, and as part of your press kit.

During

Okay, you might not have an army of dancers surrounding you on your stage. But this performance of “Trouble” by Taylor Swift can inspire you to amp up your live show. Everything works together with the dynamic progression of the song. Check the second chorus of the song [1:51] when she changes her outfit from a good girl in white into the very image of trouble mentioned in the title of the song. Think about what can you do to creatively reinforce the title of your songs too.

  • Be the boss. Dominate your show with your energy. Forget shoegazing: this doesn’t communicate any of the energy the audience came to receive. You are the hype machine. Of course we’re discussing genres that assume a high amount of interaction between the artist and the audience. if you’re playing a morning Indian raga then it might not be such a great idea to smash your sitar just yet!
  • Communicate with your audience during song transitions (segues), get everyone hyped up and keep going.
  • Props may seem silly, but they’ll work for you. Millions of Taylor Swift fans can’t be wrong.

Make it a night to remember! Your audience will go home thinking just how awesome it was, and wanting to share the experience with their friends. They’ll be back at your future shows as your new super fans.

After

Don’t rush into grabbing your gear and bouncing away! There are still a few things you can do to squeeze the most out of your night:

  • This is the time for you to meet all the people who really digged your show, invite them to follow you on your social media.
  • Stay and support the other acts. You can meet really cool people this way and collaborate on future projects.
  • Have a few words with the promoter or the venue owner. Once you’ve done a great job during your show you can talk about your next gig, or ask them if they can recommend other shows around town.

Post Show Recaps

Keep those memories alive. The day after the show, make sure to express your emotions on social media, share pictures and give shoutouts to everyone involved in the night. This includes:

  • The promoter
  • The other bands performing that night
  • Your super-fans raging in front of you
  • The venue
  • The photographers and videographers

Spending a bit of time recapping a successful show can reinforce your fans’ happy memories and nurture the relationships which will help your next show go even better.

Plan for Success

There are so many things to account for before, during, and after your show and so many ways to approach this task that it’s easy to get lost. Of course it would help to have a personal manager and other industry professionals around. But you’re more likely to grab the attention of these folks once they see you really care about what you’re doing!

Work out a well-oiled routine that helps you keep track of everything you want to do. Go through it on paper, on your phone, in your mind, and with your bandmates so it all goes like clockwork. Then you can direct maximum energy to what really matters: connecting with your audience through your music.

We’ve covered a lot in this short series! What questions do you still have about performing live? Leave a comment and let us know!

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