The night before last, in the heat and humidity of Stellata night Sliotar got on the stage at the Bundan Celtic festival. The expectation was high, but years of touring has taught us to tame our own expectations. If you look forward to something too much, usually the expectation ends up being higher than the event itself. Sounds pessimistic, I know, but this way of looking at it has served us well over the years. But when you stand there at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the stage, listening to the introduction and hear the crowd gearing up with anticipation, it is hard not to get exited 🙂
So up we went, picked up our instruments and Des counted us in to the first set of reels. It was nearly impossible to not realise we were on to something great. For the next two hours the Italian Celtic fans rocked, danced, got a mosh-pit going, stage dived and even built human pyramids in the crowd. The energy was immense.
And it is that energy that feeds us. A band can play musically the best show ever, but if the crowd is not with them, it will never be a great concert. I consider myself to be lucky to have learned at the early stages of playing with Sliotar, that a lot of that connection between the crowd and the band is in our hands. Yeah, there are days when it just simply does not happen, and those are hard gigs. But most of the time if you show the audience from the get go that you mean business, invite them to be part of it, communicate with them, look them in the eyes and smile, they will respond.
You as an artist need to understand that none of it would happen without the audience. You need to respect them, nurture them and they will give back more than you can ever imagine. And the same goes with your fans online. They are the people who give your music purpose, by listening to it, enjoying it and sharing it with the world. Without them you as an artist are nothing. Respect the audience, respect the fans.
As I write this blog post while sipping on my morning coffee (damn it is good here in Italy!) and the memories of the show still flooding through my mind. I know my dyslexic mind works in a funny way, but I still remember faces in the audience,crazy face paintings, facemask or two, the kid on the arms of her mother looking at us from the side of the stage, the lonely girl leaning on the stage rigging, who had a sad look on her face, which I managed to turn into a smile, the gang of mad dancers on top of the bass bins, who never gave up during the whole show. Those are memories I will carry with me, and make me want to work even harder at the next show 🙂
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE