An artist I work with was feeling a little under the weather but he had a show that he had committed to. It was an acoustic show with just him and his guitar. There was no way to hide the hoarseness in his voice. I suggested he spend a little time before each song giving some background on the song or telling an interesting story. When we talked after the show, he told me that he was able to rest his voice between songs and it really helped. But the best part was how he was better able to connect with the crowd.
I’m sure you’ve seen artist just go on stage and do a great show. But I believe you’ll do even better when you talk to your audience too.
I was at a show where there was so much going on, I expected someone to burst into flames. Every song was a bigger event, but the audience started taking out their phones and generally loosing interest. Maybe it was sensory overload. The artist and everyone on stage were pouring their harts out and getting less back. Someone realized this and at the next song she had an acoustic guitar brought out. The quieter she got, the more the audience reconnected. At one point she just stopped. The audience began visibly bouncing. I thought she milked it too long, but to her credit she never lost the audience. When she knew she had them back, the show was back full-tilt to the end.
A tight, well-rehearsed set list is vitally important, but watch the pros and you’ll see they know when and how to connect to their audience in a way that sets them apart. Learn to do that and your shows will be received on a much deeper level.