When acting as promoter for a live show, whether your the band, band manager, venue or acting promoter, you will want to secure professional sound and stage lighting to compliment the music.
Music sets a mood, but with lighting to accent all the changes, it brings everything together for an experience everyone will remember. Think of the last pro level concert where you saw one of your favorite bands. The house lights went dark before the start, and the anticipation caused the entire crowd to bellow with excitement. Finally the first hit of the music ensued, the stage lights exploded into life, and the musical energy was at its peak. Pure sound, solid lighting, and an awesome band is the true concert experience, and they should always be as one.
On a local level, regional level, or national tour, you should always produce 100% in all aspects of live music, and give your crowd a show they will return to on the next time….With friends.
When playing a standard local venue, they will usually have quality sound equipment and engineers, but you can’t expect them to offer much in the way of stage lighting, although some will have more than average. Most times it is normal procedure to secure your own stage lighting with effects and a tech to run it. For those performers who understand that presentation is everything, you can expect them to cover all bases when it comes to their show. If the goal is to hit the “big time”, then you want to be that way from the first step.
Musicians will want to make sure their music is the best it can be in the studio and on record. They will want to print up t-shirts, stickers, and other forms of merchandise to support themselves on tour, but also give fans a means of showing their loyalty. After those priorities are taken care of, it’s time to put the other pieces in place. Planning a concert venue, show date, and production team are the most important decisions to be made next.
Some bands feel that playing out as much as possible, being on any bill they can get on, and taking any venue who allows them to hit their stage, is the best direction for exposure. That is incorrect! A smart band will play 1-4 times a year in their hometown. They will headline their own shows or open for national touring acts only. Take nothing less than a performance which proves your status as a big act. Book a clean well-respected venue, with premium sound production, and bring a sound engineer who knows your mix, unless the house engineer is to be trusted. Don’t worry so much about their lighting, as you want to be represented with your own signature look, and not one everyone else plays under. No matter who you choose for lighting production, make sure you find someone who takes their job seriously, and will accent your musical changes, stops, fills, and song endings. Go professional all the way…. Make sure your songs end in black, the fills are accented, the fans are lit when appropriate, and have the lighting tech create as much energy as possible for the crowd.
As the saying goes: “Go big or go home!” Presentation is everything in live music, and true production is a must. Remember, don’t settle for less than the direction you want your band to go, and always think of the big picture!