The Magic of “Live Music”By Don • Category: Live Music, Songwriting Tips
Something happens when you´re on stage in command of your performance and yet so fragile to multiple things affecting you.
Those songs so carefully crafted and mastered suddenly transform and take a shape of their own. Your delivery might change from that of your living room or studio depending who´s in the crowd. The audience are all expectant, the room and the sound all play vital roles and are very significant, however it is something magical that happens that maintains that “gripping factor”.
This means grabbing people´s attention as you introduce them to your world and you do not let them leave that circle for another four minutes or the remains of your performance. Even if just one song got to them, you did your job well because you reached out to them. That song is no longer in your bedroom, stacked up by old dusty papers, or in some tormented section of your head, its out there and it meant something to someone.
As you pick things up you begin to feed off the crowd, whether its the sound man and your two friends or Brixton Academy. This all now becomes intuitive and inspirational. Live music should be about an extra “umph” in you delivery. Something that surprises them and is not only eye-catching but more importantly contagious for the ears and you want to listen to some more. You take on certain roles all of a sudden as you´re swept away by the act of performing. This doesn´t have to be some big ego trip or a showing off exercise (although it certainly is at times), it just means you´re on stage commanding and they´re “there” listening, expectant.
Artists and bands should always aspire for an element of surprise and/or improvisation in Live music. This is where the magic lies. If the delivery is as it is on the album, things become mundane and repetitive, even for newcoming fans. The ups and downs of a song somehow have more relevance live. You feel that loud crescendo more or the sudden drop down to almost absolute silence. It should be a sensational experience, where your audience dwells deeper and deeper into the substance of your material. It helps, i find, when interpretations are left open for the audience to figure out for themselves as spoon-fed music is pedantic and boring. So a suggestive introduction to the song is always inspiring without giving too much away. As the topic says, you want to leave them wanting more. Not enough bands or acts deliver this now a days and thats why the focus of so many of the true, truely great bands around is in their live performance, not only where the business lies but where the magic does too.
About The Author
Juan Zelada has been a singer-songwriter for more than 15 years. He has been involved in serious recordings as well as tours, session work in several bands both in spain and the UK, since he was 15 years old. Eclectic styles very much about substance and style with clear influences been Sting, Dave Matthews, Ben Folds, Josh Rouse or Van Morrison to name a few.
Editorial support and songwriting prizes (2006) from SONGLINK magazine, as well as LIPA (liverpool institute for performing arts).
He is now based in London, writing, gigging, and writing some more.