I may not really enjoy getting a cake thrown on me during a show, but some people do, and some people see Steve Aoki for this reason exclusively. Steve Aoki’s marketing of his events and what he brings to each event makes his name a requested booking all over the world, and a huge reason for this is venues know he’s going to sell out dat bar.
I once saw Aoki and one of the most memorable aspects was when he made a few mixing mistakes, he just took that time to interact with the crowd and treated them not as mistakes but opportunities to connect with his audience. This element of Aoki also helps humanize him to his fan base.
Today www.BitSubmit.net (Click the link below to sign up) has brought you another blog, and this time its on why you shouldn’t let your audience know when you make a mistake. Let’s dive into it.
1. Your Audience Judges You Based of Your Stage Presence
Now Steve Aoki didn’t quite invent this concept of owning your mistakes in a live context, but I find the advice and example to be extremely helpful for early musicians and stage performers who are just starting their performance career.
Playing live with your new project regardless of what it is, is the first time the audience (could be 5-7 people) gets a chance to see how your music translates live. Most artists don’t realize that even the most minute onstage actions can help change an audience’s perception of you and your music.
2. Don’t Make Your Audience Feel Awkward
So many times when I’m checking out a new band or even a friends band, I notice this lack of self control when it comes to showing off their mistakes. If it’s not shaking their head, it’s a sigh when the band misses a part, or a look that goes through the whole band and shows a crucial error was made, or literally saying “whoops” “sh*t” and a plethora of other words.
This is a really bad idea, this takes the focus off of you killing your set and makes it now about the mistake that was just made. This is the worst use of energy imaginable in a live context, instead of going with the mistake and showing the audience you and your band have humility and grace. You’ve shown your audience disappointment, frustration, and a lack of preparedness.
This is going to result in your audience feeling awkward, unsure, and uncomfortable. Here’s the thing MISTAKES HAPPEN, it’s really about how you move on from them that’s most important. You have basically two options A) Have a negative reaction to your mistake, thus going inward and seperating yourself from your audience (Bad) B) Have a positive reaction to the mistake, and treat it as a moment to connect with your audience and have a little laugh collectively knowing that we all make mistakes sometimes.
Your audience is going to appreciate you being okay with making a mistake, they’re going to understand that it happens, the key for you is to either move on like it didn’t happen or play it off like its a joke and it didn’t phase you at all.
3. You Audience WILL Remember Your Reactions and Personality
Some of the greatest performers I’ve seen made a ton of “mistakes” while playing, but their reaction and way of treating these was with 100% confidence in themselves. I personally find that the moments in shows that seem to be taking a negative and turning it into a positive are the most memorable.
I saw a rapper once and his show was going fantastic, the whole crowd bouncing to every track and yelling back all the words. It came to a point in his show when the track ended and he had to prep the next tune by chatting a bit, as he was talking he was notified that the track wasn’t working and it was going to take some time to fix it. So instead of notifying the crowd that something was wrong, he chose to take this moment to start berating the crowd and climbing up the rafters to the top of the venue. After he reached the top (which took quite a while), but was massively entertaining, he had the whole audience gasping and wondering what was coming next. He chose to lock himself in with his knees on top of the roof of the venue, and hang upside down, at this point he yelled at his audience and got them singing the next songs hook as a group. After a few times through the chorus, we heard the track come through and what once started as a mistake became one of the most legendary musical moments I’ve ever been apart of. When the track hit, he was upside down on the roof singing the same lyrics the crowd had been just chanting. Epic.
Here’s a great example of a mistake that made the song and night way more memorable, and the opportunity to do it wouldn’t have arose had the mistake not happened.
If you have any of your own stories, of anecdotes please let us know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
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