6 Ways to Spice Up Your Live Performance

Live shows are one of the best ways to win new fans and entertain old fans. Therefore, you should make your performances a major focus. Here are some ways that you can inject more energy into your sets.

1. Bring out a guest.

Any sudden change in your performance can make for a dramatic opportunity, and there are few bigger changes possible than bringing out a new person on stage.

This will work particularly well if you bring out someone you expect at least some of the crowd to know. See if you can find a musician in the same scene as you. He or she will get exposed to your fans, so it’s really a win-win.

Watch how excited the Bonnaroo crowd gets when J. Cole brings out Chance the Rapper.

2. Take on a different persona.

You do want to give the audience an authentic performance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the same person that you are in everyday life.

You’re on stage, so have fun with it! Taking on a different persona or character can help you build confidence and stage presence, and it makes for an entertaining set.

David Bowie is a prime example of a musician who adopted an alter ego: Ziggy Stardust. His character became so well-known that he wrote a song about it.

3. Try playing your songs differently.

You shouldn’t restrict yourself to playing songs live the same way that you recorded them or even the same way from show to show. Experiment with your arrangement. See what feels the best to play live, and see what gets the best crowd reactions.

By playing around with your songs, you can turn slower tracks into more energetic songs that will feature well in a live show.

Courtney Barnett, whose records have a relaxed vibe, is well-known for ramping up the energy during her live shows.

4. Tell a story.

You need to say some things to fill the gaps between songs. Plenty of that can come in the form of various thank-you’s, introductions, and quick jokes, but it can be very advantageous to tell a story to the audience.

It helps listeners feel like they are connected with you and your performance. Especially if you are an opening act, it’s a good idea to provide the fans with some reason to remember you. Stories can often stick out more than the songs you played.

Here’s a great video that hammers home why you should try telling a story on stage. As it explains, it can also help you sell merchandise.

5. Dance.

If you’re not doing some kind of dancing at any point in your show, you’re probably doing it wrong. You want the crowd members to get into your song and start moving their bodies, so you might as well, too.

It will naturally raise the energy and fun level of your performance and give you another way to stand out and stick in people’s minds. Plus, you’ll seem like a fun person.

Mick Jagger’s renowned dance moves are a huge reason why the Rolling Stones have long been a top-notch live act.

6. Experiment with your fashion.

Perhaps you’ve never thought all that hard about what you wear on stage. Maybe each member of the band does his or her own thing.

That can be fine, but remember that your outfits are part of your presentation and your performance. Try mixing it up, perhaps wearing more eccentric, memorable clothing or possibly coordinating a look between all members of the band.

KISS is an extreme example of costuming, but it definitely helped them stick in people’s memories.

If you’re trying to build a dedicated following, you should make sure you’re getting all you can out of your live shows. At a basic level, you need to do a good job playing your material, but these ideas can help elevate your set and get the audience going wild.

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Matt Cummings grew up in the Bay Area and now attends UCLA. He enjoys sports, music and comedy.

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