Learn How To Perform An Engaging Concert - Analyze, Experiment, Refine

Below: What I've Learned From The Shows I've Been To

Creating the best live performance for your fans has to do with a combination of:

  1. Analyzing what other successful bands are doing with their shows, so you can emulate their positive elements.
  2. Experimenting with your own original ideas for your show.
  3. Refining your successful experiments into a replicable performance.

TheRealMusician Recommends:

If you want to take marketing your music to another level, then I can't recommend enough John Oszajca's music marketing manifesto. My favorite aspect of his complete program was his stance on email marketing, where he really leverages the that "1000 true fans" philosophy.

His website is a bit hokey (Flaming guitars? Seriously?), but his program really shows independant artists how to get a leg-up on signed artists.

Now I can't teach you to come up with your own ideas, that's your own responsibility, but I can teach you #1 and #3.

Refining your experiments (#3) is simple though, so I'll cover that here right now.

When experimenting with a new show idea, if it works, then write that down and save it.

Over the years, you will have so many of these successful ideas that you could create a show out them entirely. Simple, right?

You can even do this with improvised ideas. For example, if you decide you want to be a band that randomly does fire breathing in your shows, then you refine it by making sure you have fire-breathing equipment at every show to use if you so please. 

The improv part of it, is that you don't have to do it every show. Just do it when you like.

We will cover #1 now.

Why Musicians Should Go To Concerts

Going to a show by a band that you love helps you gain ideas for your own shows. You can decide which elements you like, and which ones you really dislike. 

Remember: nailing your own live performance is vital to your success as a musician.

Many artists make most of their money off of live performance because it can be so profitable IF they have a reputation for a great show. Your insight into what makes a show great could make a big impact on how fast the word spreads about your music.

As you go to more shows, eventually you learn enough to say "This is a good experience, and this is why". You should be able to make this statement about most elements of your show with some degree of awareness and certainty.

Some elements that I recommend taking note of:

  • Venue atmosphere
  • The band's energy
  • The band's musical performance
  • Quality of the sound
  • How the band seems to be expressing themselves
  • The lighting (might be different than the venue's usual lighting)
  • Animations (if present)
  • How the band interacts with the audience
  • How the band structures their set list, and the energy of each song (song order can really make a difference in how your audience reacts to your music, especially how you start/end your set). 
  • How the crowd reacts to each song. What makes them react that way?
  • What types of people are visiting this concert? If the artist is similar to you, then you will want to take note of who these people are; they are likely your target audience! 

And last but not least, lets remember that…

…concerts are fun! If you have a love for music, you probably already love going to shows anyways.


On top of these easily tangible elements, it's also important to consider how valuable it is to be part of this community surrounding your music.

Going to shows that are in your arena (or genre) of music can help you see what the community likes, and what their attitudes towards music are.

It can take a perceptive mind to make sense of this, so instead of teaching you that intuition (which is likely impossible), I'm going to recommend that you just submerge yourself in the culture. If you become a part of it, the culture will most certainly become a part of you as well, and your music in that area will flourish.

The connections you make in these communities will get you gigs, contracts, and maybe even TV ad placements (where all the royalties go to you); these things are a consequence of genuine human contact.

Another reason that I really love going to shows is that it inspires you to work harder on your own music. This motivation might come in the form of guilt (making you work harder because you know you aren't living up to your potential), or it might be a more positive, hopeful inspiration from knowing what you could achieve in the future. 

Both reactions are still useful though, because they make you think about writing your own music, and motivate you to do so.

One last thing I will say about analyzing performances, is that too much analyzing can make your concert experience less enjoyable. Heck, even taking pictures/video's of the concert really takes you out of the experience, but you have to weight out the pro's and cons of doing so.

If you're analyzing or taking pictures, you might be less "in the moment" while you're at the show, but your memory of the show becomes saved forever because you now have a permanent memento of the show; your long-term experience becomes stronger, but your short-term experience is diluted. Be aware of the trade-off you are making.

What Lessons Have I Learned From The Concerts I've Been To?

Below are some of the lessons I've learned from the concerts I've attended, so wander through to see examples of elements you should pay attention to at concerts.

These articles:

  • Let you see everything that I've learned so you can apply it to yourself.
  • Help you understand how to be analytical when you go to your own concerts.
  • Help you to know if you would want to see any of these following bands in concert.

Grizzly Bear always had a different and unique color set for every song that they played. Not only were their colors well designed, but they also paid great attention to have every light match the mood and dynamics of the music. 

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TheRealMusician.com Original Article

This show was incredibly exhilarating, and I highly recommend you take a look at all the pictures, video footage, and stories about the show that I have here.

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TheRealMusician.com Original Article

It can be really tempting to go out to open mic nights for quick and easy live music performances for your band. They practically have to let you play, and you get the exposure you're looking for, right?

Well it might not be quite as sweet of an opportunity as your originally thought...

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TheRealMusician.com Original Article

I need you to imagine that a clown ate the Doodlebop’s, and threw them up into a fiber-optic cable containing the entire world’s collective information on DIY Electronic instruments and happy electro noises, which then came out of the speakers in the room we were in.

Except the Waldorf Hotel concert room (where the concert was), was no longer a concert hall, but a giant blow-up bouncy castle made out of radioactive Jello.

You have a GOBBLE GOBBLE concert!

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TheRealMusician.com Original Article

Even including getting your car searched at the border (and having to write down all my possessions, I definitely wrote “Jelly Beans” as a possession) couldn’t ruin the thrill that this concert brought.

3 days later, I’m still high off of the experience, and my drive to become a better musician has shot through the roof.

I even spent a day (taken off work) just playing guitar, and learning their Colors Album (I’ve got the first 3 songs down, Sun Of Nothing is proving to be quite difficult!).

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TheRealMusician.com Original Article

To say that this was only an awesome concert would be a terrible thing to say, because it was easily one of the best experiences of my life.

And for a guy that’s done all the amusement parks, cliff jumping, and snowboarding you would ever need, to say that this was the most fun he has ever had is a pretty big deal.

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TheRealMusician.com Original Article

We made the trek from Canada all the way up to Seattle In Washington. About a 4 hour drive each way (at 2 in the morning...not as much fun as the way there).

We got inside the massive and finely crafted "Moore Theater" and took our seats.

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TheRealMusician.com Original Article

As the orchestra sits in the back, and Guitars whale, the thing I notice most is the two violin players; a white girl and an Asian boy. Their energy is astounding.

As the show goes on, and we hear Classic Christmas Tunes, and Revamped Beethoven, these two Violin players just run...everywhere; they are jumping and leaping, all while playing incredibly difficult music.

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TheRealMusician.com Original Article

Share Your Live Performance Experience

Maybe you are a band who has been performing live for some time now.

Or you are just a music lover who loves seeing concerts.

Regardless of either, I want to hear about your experience.

Share something cool that you saw done at a concert, or something awesome that you did at a concert that really helped audience interaction.

If you just want to review a concert so that other visitors can get idea's for their live shows, this is the place to do it!

Share your live performance experience now! It will become a real web page on this site.

That's right, if your live performance experience you submit is good, I'll publish it on this website.

It's really simple, just use the form below to submit your experience or idea!

Other Visitor's Live Performance Experiences

Click below to see experiences that other visitors to this page have written about...

Rye and Silence Live @ Bovine Sex Club April 5, 2012 
For weeks, when the topic of hot new music came up in my circle of friends, the band Rye and Silence inevitably was mentioned. I downloaded a couple of …

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Edge of Paradise live at the Majestic Ventura Theater was a great night for the band and the hungry metal fans. Edge Of Paradise is an upcoming heavy …

Foster The People @ Brixton Academy 28th April 2012 Not rated yet
Best 15 quid i've spent? you betcha! I entered the legendary sold out Brixton Academy, to witness a concert i will never forget. For an american band to …

Songs of Wales Concert Review - 2nd March 2012 Not rated yet
I was listening to the Roy Noble show on BBC Radio Wales and it was announced that a concert was taking place that evening at Penrhiwceiber Hall. I have …

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ORILLIA It was a fitting tribute from a son to his late father. Frank Sinatra Jr. stepped onto the stage at Casino Rama Saturday night, just 11 days …

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Johnny Forgotten: In 1993 I gained backstage access at a Ramones concert by "volunteering" as a security guard. I was hanging out in the artist's refreshment …

Blink-182: They Still Have It After All These Years Not rated yet
One might think that an overcast sky and a group of over-aged and over-played musicians would be the perfect concoction for a horrible show, but Blink-182 …

Karousos, 6-5-2011, Montreal Canada Not rated yet
Canadian classical music composer Panayoti Karousos presented a concert in Montreal featuring a song on the lyrics of President Barack Obama's poem: Underground. …

Sandhya Sanjana live at Goa Chitra Not rated yet
Goa Chitra presented Indo-jazz fusion diva Sandhya Sanjana live in concert with her band 'Random Access Melody' featuring Vishnu Prabhu on bansuri, Bob …

Ultravox @ Admiralspalast, Berlin, Germany, 26th April 2010 Not rated yet
By the time ULTRAVOX hit Berlin, their "Return to Eden 2" tour is well underway and graciously polished, despite one temperamental volcano that appears …

LeveL / May 11th/ Just the Tip Tour Not rated yet
So I started this band back in high school with a good buddy of mine, the drummer Steven. I ended up moving away for a while. when I came back, they …

ISIS - Wavering Radiant Tour - Ft Thrones & Mamiffer - Seattle, June 20th 2009  Not rated yet
Arriving at last, the day I had awaited for almost 3 months had finally come. Isis, an amazing "post-metal" band from Boston, Massachusetts, had just …

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About The Writer

My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.