Now that I’m back from China, I’ve taken the past few weeks to check out a few shows and see what’s going on with artists on campus. I have to say, I’m quite impressed with both old and new. From new songs to entirely new EPs and albums, my iTunes playlists are blowing up. However, after attending a few shows, I feel that I need to share some advice with artists…that is, you need to MOVE THE CROWD!! You know, Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff “I Wanna Rock Right Now” style.
We’re in college, right? That means students go to shows to release some stress (esp. at Columbia), have fun, and hear some good music. Most artists have the good music part figured out, but the artists that really stand out are the ones that relate to the audience. How, you ask? Eye contact, call-and-response (you know, Taylor Simone style), reaching out to the audience…literally. Have you ever been at a concert, and the artist screams “Now, wave your hands back and forth like this!” All of the sudden, the crowd moves in sync – a certain energy spreads across the room. Everyone “vibes” together, as if the music unites us. That’s what we need in college. If you’re a rapper and the crowd is quiet, break out a freestyle. If you’re a jazz artist, make sure your instrument is heard in a solo. You’re in a rock band? Make everyone stand up. Impress, impress, impress. Do something different..it’s a live show, and we’re in college. It’s all about fun..right? Engage with the audience, and your show will be that much better.