More From The Chat: Getting Concertgoers Charged Up
Here's a post that I didn't have time to address in yesterday's Freedom Rock chat:
Anyone who responds to one of those, "Is everyone having a good time? What? I can't HEAR you! Get LOUD, DC!" kind of stage exhortations is a chump. I am so much better than any of you. The artist will not be impressed if you can yell louder than last night's crowd in Philadelphia.
The artist probably won't be impressed - but s/he/they might be inspired to play with more intensity. Particularly if the crowd continues to respond at high volume following said exhortation. I think you're kidding yourself if you believe that performers don't feed off of the energy that's flowing from the audience to the stage. Not all of them will, of course; I can't imagine Bob Dylan cares how the crowd is responding when he's on stage, and Interpol doesn't seem to notice that there are other people in the room when they're performing. There are also some artists who respond to indifferent audiences by seething on stage. Very punk rock.
But I think it does matter to most. Consider an artist like Springsteen, who clearly performs better when the audience is, in fact, yelling louder than last night's crowd in Philadelphia. There's a bit of chicken-and-the-eggishness to the equation (does the crowd get revved up if Bruce and the band are dialing it up? or is it the other way around?); but I really believe that the audience drives the action. Sunday's Springsteen show was better than Monday's because there was more electricity inside the arena. You could just feel it when the band took the stage, before a single note had been played.
If Bruce exhorted the crowd on Monday, it was all in the service of the show. He was simply trying to take it up a notch. If you were there and refused to play along, then it's quite possible that you're the chump.
By J. Freedom du Lac |
November 14, 2007; 4:09 PM ET
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