Here’s our bassist Jake to take you through some performance basics.
Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened.
Date: Every gig.
Venue: Every venue.
Crowd: With or without.
Putting on a good show is down to a few different things, different factors of which musical talent is just the tip of the iceberg. Well, bit more than the tip actually, but you get my drift. There are other things. Energy for example, you go out there like it’s your 9-5 and no one is gonna have fun. Go out there like it’s your dream and everyone will. It is your dream isn’t? Because if it isn’t? Stop now.
But this brings me onto another point. Power poses. You’re out there on stage, feeling like a rock god, looking like a rock god, hell, to the people in the audience you ARE a rock god. So you’d best give ‘em what they want and pose like one. Strike a pose, not like Vogue, but like you’re the living embodiment of all the rage and rock that mosh pit is pouring out, like you’re the biggest bollocked bastard in the room.
You have choices galore you lucky git. You don’t have anything to get in the way like an actual instrument. And even the mic stand can be an excellent prop. You can cradle it like a lover and strangle it like… well a lover sometimes. But step away from the mic for a bit and consider…
Rock Jesus – Legs together, arms flung out to the side, you are the melodic martyr!
Foetal – Get down, get low, curl in on yourself because the rock is just too much. If you can, bring the mic into the huddle with you for some low and intense vocals. Rocking back and forth is acceptable.
Cocky Pirate – One leg up on a monitor (if you are lucky enough to play somewhere with those) and lean your arm across it. Stare out across the crowd as if they’ve hidden all your booty/rum. Bonus points if you do this while drinking rum.
Guitar Sex – That’s right, you’ve got an axe to grind… in the sexiest kind of way. Drop that six string betwixt your legs and pretend you’re the last stripper on shift.
Sky Beam – guitar to the sky like you are summoning angels with your playing. If you’re a lead guitarist you probably think you are.
Gettin’ Low – This isn’t a limbo-style maneuver, more of a hunch, bend over at the waist and just try to drop your guitar to about knee level, all while hammering the strings like they’re on fire. Bonus points if you actually set them on fire.
There is No Spoon – This is a limbo move. Bend back as far as you can like you’re dodgin’ bullets while you play. Woah.
One Stick Salute – One stick, thrust triumphantly into the air while your other arm frantically tries to keep everything going.
Two Stick Salute – Both sticks in the air, best saved for the end of the song because there are some things even your mighty legs can’t do.
I See You – Pick a poor sap in the crowd and use one stick to point at them through the maze of toms and cymbals on your kit. Fix your best demented look and nod like they just agreed to a murder-suicide pact.
Standing Ovation – Best used at the very end of the set, tower over your kit like the beat-god you are and smash everything in reach with the power of your mighty arms. Imagine there are ants all over your kit, or pop fans. Whatever it takes to get you thrashing like an enraged kraken. When you are done throw the sticks carelessly over your shoulder and stride off stage. Bonus points if a cymbal falls over as you exit.
Basically the same as the guitarist but way better because yours is bigger.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jake’s opinions do not necessarily coincide with the rest of the band.
Now, obviously these are just a few to get you going. In the white hot fire of gigging your body will automatically contort and bend itself into physical expressions of rock and roll. Trust me. But, only if you remember the golden rule, have fun. You can’t channel the music into power poses the likes of which Olympus will envy if you don’t have some bloody fun out there.
Photo by Andreas Ivarsson via Flickr