Our touring experiences have definitely changed our outlook on playing shows. Instead of just focusing on the performance, we have learned to treat the entire night as a networking event. From the time we arrive for load-in until we close the doors of the van to leave, we look for every opportunity to build relationships with everyone at the show. There are a lot of bands who choose to hang out in their vans or hang out backstage before they go on stage, but those bands miss out on a large part of the experience. Starting with the promoter (the person putting on the show), we always make sure to individually introduce ourselves and make sure that they know how much we appreciate them putting the show together. There have been cases where there weren’t a lot of kids at the show, but we made such a good impression on the promoter that we were invited back to play bigger shows with bigger crowds. We think it is so important to treat the promoter and everyone working the event with respect because, without them, there would be no show.
On the other side of that coin are the fans. If they didn’t attend the shows, the promoters would stop booking them. So even if there is a low turnout, it is so important that we try to personally meet every single person we can. Some bands get upset when there is a low turnout, and respond with an apathetic attitude. For us, a small turnout is even more of a reason to try and meet everyone. I think it is especially easy for us because we all take a genuine interest in other people’s lives. We love talking to people and hearing about where they’re from, what other bands they listen to, etc. I can recall many occasions where someone didn’t even see us perform, but ended up buying merch after the show just based on the conversation they had with us.
We have learned that the show experience is about so much more than what happens on stage. It is about every single interaction that you might have with someone in the venue, whether it is a fan, someone’s parent, or even a security guard. Each person is a piece of the puzzle and we make it a point to express our gratitude to them. A show that might seem like a failure on paper could be turned into a success depending on how you react to it. Every conversation is a chance to treat someone with respect. We think that is something that everyone can relate to, regardless of their taste in music.
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