I’ve been thinking…
Q: What makes for a great live performance – apart from the music itself?
A great lightshow that relates to the music,
An atmospheric crowd with much whooping and screaming,
A good old sing along, (perhaps even better when the frontman lets let the crowd sing on their own?)
A great soundsystem,
An appropriately sized venue for the artist,
Any homecoming gig,
The performers looking like they genuinely care or are truly moved by the moment,
The band having an emotional relationship with the crowd causing one of those magical connections,
A brilliant frontman,
Stage invasions and crowd surfers,
A packed house,
Not one but two encores,
A band at the peak of their powers,
Bands lower down on the bill stealing the show,
Giant inflatables/A mass of bubbles/An explosion of confetti/Balloons falling from the ceiling etc,
A walkway that stretches out into the crowd,
The artists unexpectedly improvising something totally original into a song for the hell of it,
Even bigger speakers,
A guitarist with a jetpack.
You see there’s loads of amazing stuff that can happen apart from hearing the artists latest album played out live. I’ve been lucky enough to pretty much witness all of these at some point in the thousands of gigs I’ve been to over the years…except perhaps the jetpack…
Here’s a couple of examples of a truly fantastic live set, that ticks plenty of the boxes above. Enjoy…
1) ETIENNE DE CRECY – An outstanding light show, that’s a great example of timing it with the music.
2) U2 – It’s not all bands that can afford to appear out of a giant, floating lemon, in the centre of the crowd!
3) KASBIAN (LSF) – The best singalong I’ve ever been involved in.
4) DAFT PUNK – Lights, banging dance music, and the use of a giant pyramid – perfect!
5) FLAMING LIPS – You want balloons and confetti – you got it!
It’s also worth noting that there is plenty of awful things that can occur to ruin a gig too, so please leave a comment, or your own clip/link, with your thoughts on what makes a good or bad live set …