This past weekend, we played two relatively unattended shows at the Conway Muse in Conway, WA, and The Comet Tavern in Seattle, and had a great time anyway. The crowds were relatively small, but we’ve found that sometimes, that gives us more opportunity to really connect on a more individual level, and we use that to fuel the show. We gave 100% effort and the people in the crowd had a great time. That’s really what it’s all about anyway, right?
The show must go on . . . always. We learned this early on, and continue to learn it and be reminded of its importance on a regular basis. No matter how many times we look out and see a relatively empty crowd, even knowing how important it is to perform anyway, it’s always a challenge.
After the Conway Muse show, where they were gracious enough to offer us a place to spend the night, we had the pleasure of hanging out with the owners and a few regulars. One of them was commenting on a band that faced a similarly small audience and just sort of flopped their way through the show, bemoaning their lack of numbers the whole time. Of that particular show, he said, “I was there. I paid my money to see the show, and that’s what I got. I certainly won’t be recommending that act, or ever choosing to go out to see them again.” To my knowledge, they haven’t been booked there since. Whereas we, with a much smaller crowd, were asked back and deemed a show worth bringing friends out to see. We even made a connection with someone in the crowd that owns another venue, who booked us and got our music to the local radio station.
When you consider it, there is no downside to giving your heart and soul to every performance. We once played a show at a venue in Seattle to a hand full of our friends, the bartender, and the sound guy. At one point early on in the show, a woman walked into the bar, sat at the end, ordered, watched us for a minute, then buried herself in her iPhone for the rest of the show. We filed her away as someone who was only here to meet someone, and couldn’t care less about what we were doing. At the end of the show, she rushed up to the stage and said that she couldn’t believe how good the show was, and that she’d been on her phone the whole time looking us up, buying our music from iTunes, and telling all her friends about what an incredible band we were.
I’m sure that this is preaching to the choir, but it’s always amazing to us when it is illustrated in real life. No matter if it’s your job, your show, your relationship, your demeanor, or whatever; you can never assume that no one is affected by what you’re doing or how much you’re trying. The show must go on . . . always.