FAQ– how do I energize a crowd?
In a sense, performing and creating fans is like being a leader. Audiences like to follow…. They just want to follow someone who leads and give them something they want to follow.
If they haven’t heard your band before, and you don’t have any fans in the audience, you’ll need a minimum of 3 good songs to persuade you’re really good at giving them what they’re in the mood for. And what’s good depends much on the age of the audience, their energy level at the event, their desired music genre they initially want to hear, and the energy level of the music. So, if they’re feeling energetic, give them energetic songs. If they’re mellow, sing mellow songs initially to see if they can become energized. If metal crowd, curse. If audience is vulgar, use vulgar terms. If you have initial women fans, this is easier. They want someone who is romantic and will cheer rapidly then. Are they in a partying mood? If so, issue partying songs immediately. This leadership-followers positioning is important—you have to size the situation and then lead accordingly.
Leading nonverbally means be loose, confident, and frequently romantic. Talk with the audience a bit. Enjoy your interactions. Audiences are already primed to follow—you just have to lead. If you’re short or a woman, use your arms to project your image and create energy. Taller men don’t have to do much but sing.
After you’ve persuaded them with 3 good songs, you’ll probably get a few fans. These start start the cheering. Crowds won’t do much until these initial cheerers. After you get them interested in your band, you can play almost anything. Revving up with the initial fans is important, because they are the ones that motivate the rest to set the cheering and partying mood.
I can’t stand clichés such “Are you having a good time?”, “Hello, (City)” but these do work, but not as well as perhaps “Are you having a good time?” “Damned if I care. Drink some more if you wanna have a good time! Well, here’s our drinking song Hey babe, (point at a few) wanna have a drink with me (after the show?)J”
Getting crowd interaction is a very complicated matter, more complicated than singing. I think it’s fair to say the most successful entertainers are actually better at this than singing, musicianship, or even song-writing. So, it takes time and learning.