Live shows are the primary means of making a solid connection with your fanbase as a musician. For many listeners, live performances are their favorite way of experiencing your music. There’s not much that can cement your place in a listener’s like a well-rehearsed, high-quality live performance. While many musicians think that you need significant capital to have a top-tier show, this need not be the case. You and your project can make many reasonable purchases to enhance the presentation and stature of your live performances. In today’s article, we’re going to show a few healthy investments you can make to elevate your live show.
The very first thing you should focus on as a band or live project is how you sound. There’s no point putting money into the aesthetics of your live shows if you or your band don’t play as a tight-knit unit. If you have a drummer in the band, be sure to request that he play your setlist to a metronome or click track. Most bands use the drummer as a cue for tempo and groove, so if your drummer is clicked tight, the rest of your musicians should follow suit.
Your drummer can use various ways to access a click track. Some drummers choose to buy a basic electronic metronome with a tap tempo button to adjust to each song. Alternatively, there are several mobile apps that you can use that are equally as proficient. If your band can purchase some form of in-ear monitoring, you can have a sound engineer send the click to each respective band member during your performance to ensure that every band member stays in time.
Sound quality can improve the execution of your set ten-fold. Often during a performance, you’ll hear a singer struggle with a pitch if they have stepped away from the monitors placed in front of their mic stand. Likewise, you can hear that a band is tighter and more confident in their performance when they’re able to hear each other’s instruments and without interruption.
Monitoring quality can vary between shows due to factors such as a venue’s acoustics, the sound engineer’s level of expertise, or the type of sound rig provided for performing. In-ear monitors consist of a pair of earphones that can be sent audio information via radiofrequency. This technology allows each performing member to have their optimum monitoring levels sent to their ears while moving around on stage during performances. Users can set the monitoring level of any instrument, vocal, click, or backing track during shows. Excellent monitoring will ensure that you and your band will never miss any cues and stay perfectly in time and key.
Wireless Guitar Systems
Have you ever been to a gig where the guitarist will throw themselves into the crowd for a solo or big moment? Can you imagine the mess they can create with their cabling system by jumping into a rowdy audience? Thanks to wireless guitar systems, guitarists can save themselves from any sound hiccups or faulty signals caused by faulty cabling.
Wireless systems generally feature a radio pack that players can clip onto their belt, with a jack that leads from your guitar to the pack for signal output. This signal is then sent to a receiver, usually plugged into an amp or pedalboard, depending on their setup. Wireless radio packs generally have an incredible range, allowing players to perform further away from their stations than average. Wireless systems lower the chances of players tripping over and pulling out each other’s cables, helping to ensure that your show stays smooth from start to finish.
Stage Props/ Visuals
Once you’ve managed to address your show’s audio aspects, you’ll want to give some attention to its visual presentation. You can utilize several means to enhance your show’s aesthetic, be sure to make the visual additions relevant to the music you’re playing.
Spend some time looking up other live shows and determine the visual elements that appeal to your musical project’s direction. You can employ a graphic designer or animator to create video sequences that run time with your performance. Alternatively, you could purchase lighting or stage props that your team sets up at each venue you play to generate a consistent look for your live shows. Consider that much like a movie; your audience is going to be watching you as much as they are listening to you. The more cinematic your performances are, the more likely you will garner a good following and feedback from your live audience.
Dress The Part
A sometimes overlooked element in a band’s to-do list is the wardrobe. You’re twice as likely to create a superstar impression on your audience if you and your team look the part. If you’re in a band, try to pick a common color palette when appearing on stage together. For example, you could wear all black during big stage performances or all denim for intimate acoustic shows. This kind of understated continuity goes a long way to add to a band’s visual integrity, and dressing with a sense of style shows that you care about your product or project.
If you’re a fan of extravagant outfits, try to seek out local designers that would be interested in developing the wardrobe for your live shows. Your costume ideas need only match your ambitions and budget. It’s vital to understand that you’re presenting a larger-than-life version of yourself when performing; dress accordingly.
Tech and Team Support
Ask any major festival headliner how they manage to deliver consistent top-quality performances, and most often, they will credit their support team. Live performances entail much more than just walking onto a stage to play through a setlist of songs. There are several areas around the performance that require trained attention.
You can employ trusted members of your circle to handle your live shows’ sound, lighting, or instrument care. Having access to good technicians who know the running order and cues of your show will exponentially improve your live performances’ quality and consistency. You can also seek people to take on other non-technical aspects of your show, such as fan-access or merchandising, to help improve your live shows’ overall consumer experience. These team members can be just as crucial as your performing party when creating a top-quality performance.
Producing a memorable and impactful live performance takes a combination of investment and playing experience. As seen above, there are various things you can integrate into your shows to make sure that your ticket buyers get their money’s worth and leave wanting more. Make a list of the areas where you feel your live performances can improve and spend some money on them. You’ll be surprised how just a little bit of money can take your act a long way. Thanks for reading our tips on investments that will boost your live performances.