Being in a band, or putting yourself out there as a solo artist genuinely comes down to two things; first you obviously need to make music, and preferably music that other people are going to enjoy, once you've got that down you then need to work on step two, playing it live.
I've been going to gigs and concerts since I was about eight, I've seen everyone from Britney Spears to Bring Me The Horizon, and pretty much every genre of band or artist in between. Live shows have always been a big part of my life and I'll continue to attend gigs and festivals for years and years to come. However, I've begun to notice during a few gigs that I'm becoming bored all too easily. The music industry is one big giant ocean of bands, acts are getting signed before they've even played a headline show and it's a vicious fight to the top, it's also fair to say that the music sometimes just isn't enough.
In order to get that record deal, a publishing contract and everything else you need to fight for as a band, you need to nail those first two points. So why does it feel that some bands have lost the passion for playing live?
Bands tend to tour around four times a year, maybe more, maybe less. But personally, I don't want to pay out for a show, that'll be no different to the show I saw from the band five months prior. Sticking in one new song isn't quite enough of a change either. I want to turn up to a show and have my mind fucking blown. I want my jaw to fall open with awe and admiration, I want to leave that dingy music venue going "fuck that was incredible".
Seeing Paramore at Reading Festival is where it really appeared to me that bands aren't making the effort any more. Okay, I'm a bit biased but love them or hate them, they put on an outstanding performance, particularly during the crossover between Let The Flames Begin and Part II. Yes they had a bigger budget for fancy lights, but if you look at it, all they did was add in some extra drums, create an interlude of epic proportions and just fucking went for it.
Watch the full performance here, or just skip to 3:20 to see what I’m on about:
letlive. are another band who never disappoint live, even injury will never stop frontman Jason Butler clambering walls and getting up close and personal with fans. A Day To Remember brought a fucking house to their London show and plonked their singer in a zorb ball to roll across the crowd. On record, bands like Zoax and Baby Godzilla are not my first choice of music to listen to, but I’d choose to see those guys live whenever I could because they never put on a dull performance. The first time I saw Baby Godzilla they started a mosh pit in a bin. An actual bin.
I’ve spent my past few weekends attending all-day music events and Festivals and I have to be honest I can probably count on one hand how many bands actually impressed me with their sets. I understand it’s hard to feel passionate when you’re playing to less than 20 people or if you’ve been on tour for a while, but you never know who is watching, someone in that audience could greatly improve your career so prove your worth.
I’m not saying I want to walk into every show and expect fireworks and dragons on stage, you don’t necessarily need gimmicks to make your shows amazing, but please for the love of god enjoy it. Enjoy every single fucking show like it’s your last. Get involved with the crowd, come up with ways to mix things up and don’t hide behind your mic stands. Put some god damn effort in and make it memorable.
The girl who spends every single penny attending your shows.
PHOTO CREDIT: Live-Production