When you are starting out as a new act there are lots of obstacles you have to overcome, but once you get into the swing of things you can feel like your set has hit a plateau. Playing the same tracks nightly in the same order may get a little tedious for you but to audiences it is still new, however your deteriorating lack of enthusiasm can affect your performance. The other hurdle you have to tackle on a constant gig circuit is your ever growing competition, if you want people to remember your name, connect online and bring you up in conversation you need something to hook them. Once you’ve got your nights into a comfortable swing, why not try spicing things up with some of these things to keep your act fresh, lively and memorable.
Change Your Look
Every other indie band is a bunch of guys in black shirts and skinny white ties, so its worth thinking a bit more outside of the box on this one. Image means a great deal especially for audiences who are seeing you for the first time. Think of some of the biggest acts from Slipknot to Deadmau5 to MF Doom, a drastic look can work in favour of any genre. Though it doesn’t always have to be so bold, think of a theme that fits your style and run with it, or just add a little something extra, a simple mask, some UV paint or just a different outfit, it all adds up.
This is one that will take some time and investment but will definitely pay off once you’ve figured it out. With projectors and screens, you can make a far more engaging set for crowds, with anything from music videos to abstract visualizations. However, it doesn’t always have to be complicated, a simple animated logo will help newcomers remember you, or why not project stuff onto yourself for a constantly changing appearance.
It may seem odd depending on your genre, but a stage presence is always great for an audience, even more so if you are stuck behind a console yourself. Adding some more physicality to your set is always a good thing (unless you play lengthy drone music), it gives the audience something to focus on and can subliminally make them more active. You can alter the style to fit your sound too, they don’t have to be scantily clad ladies, get them in novelty costumes for something more jovial or why not hire some aggressive looking fellows to dance it out instead – it worked out fantastically for The Prodigy.
Almost every startup band has a cover in their set, and it works, people remember things better if they already have a memory in their heads to attach them to, which is how you can use all those overplayed radio tracks to your advantage. The key here however is to do something unexpected, don’t simply lay down something that sounds like the music you play anyway, instead leap over a genre or two. If you are acoustic, cover a dance track, if you are black metal do a rendition of some bubblegum pop, it will be fun, completely surprising and after all if the crowds are gathered to enjoy your genre of music, chances are they are going to prefer your version of the song over the original.