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Flaking out at a open mic
Old 5 days ago
  #1
Lives for gear
Flaking out at a open mic

Tonight i went to a open mic and just wasn’t feeling the atmosphere or the crowd i do more country and americana this place was a very rock oriented crowd. and mostly covers. not that i don't like it i just felt out of place.

Im new to playing out and all i do is originals and i play at the main singer songwriter place in my city two to three nights a week, where people go to listen to the type of stuff i do. And actually listen. i get feedback my buddy played and got no response He has a more rock style than me so i just left.

This was just a bar and people were there to drink. And its cool. I get it. But it bugs Me I didn’t balls up and play to what seemed like a unreceptive crowd. Whats you guys opinions on this. Im just trying to play out as much as i can and ive got some really good feedback. I feel im doing well. but i do deal with nerves stage fright and am building confidence. I know i must face adversity to get better. I just felt very out of place
Old 5 days ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer81 View Post
Tonight i went to a open mic and just wasn’t feeling the atmosphere or the crowd i do more country and americana this place was a very rock oriented crowd. and mostly covers. not that i don't like it i just felt out of place.

Im new to playing out and all i do is originals and i play at the main singer songwriter place in my city two to three nights a week, where people go to listen to the type of stuff i do. And actually listen. i get feedback my buddy played and got no response He has a more rock style than me so i just left.

This was just a bar and people were there to drink. And its cool. I get it. But it bugs Me I didn’t balls up and play to what seemed like a unreceptive crowd. Whats you guys opinions on this. Im just trying to play out as much as i can and ive got some really good feedback. I feel im doing well. but i do deal with nerves stage fright and am building confidence. I know i must face adversity to get better. I just felt very out of place
Best to keep working on your songwriting while you build up your stage confidence... it’s a marathon, not a sprint
Old 5 days ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer81 View Post
Tonight i went to a open mic and just wasn’t feeling the atmosphere or the crowd i do more country and americana this place was a very rock oriented crowd. and mostly covers. not that i don't like it i just felt out of place.

Im new to playing out and all i do is originals and i play at the main singer songwriter place in my city two to three nights a week, where people go to listen to the type of stuff i do. And actually listen. i get feedback my buddy played and got no response He has a more rock style than me so i just left.

This was just a bar and people were there to drink. And its cool. I get it. But it bugs Me I didn’t balls up and play to what seemed like a unreceptive crowd. Whats you guys opinions on this. Im just trying to play out as much as i can and ive got some really good feedback. I feel im doing well. but i do deal with nerves stage fright and am building confidence. I know i must face adversity to get better. I just felt very out of place
So, you play your own stuff regularly at one place, but this open mic was at a different place with a different overall style from yours? I just want to make sure I read this right.

If so, I wouldn't worry about it- the open mic wasn't geared to your kind of music. It happens. Just find places that are more in your style. The audience will be much more appreciative of your work, and you'll enjoy it too.

I have a love/hate relationship with open mics. Around here most of them are crap; it seems the really talented but unknown musicians around here don't play open mics. We had one fantastic one but the place closed down. Now I go to one close to home- it's terrible in a slightly good way, but everyone has a blast and they have great pizza. I'll go to another one I found out about when the weather warms up. Some day when I have a few good tunes and I'm feeling brave I'll try playing myself, which I've never done.
Old 4 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Hey, I feel yah! But this is just part of the experience we must all go through. It actually makes you stronger, if you stick with it and are able to take a good honest look at your performance and writing and say to yourself 'what would I need to do differently to win those people over?'. Bear in mind, though, that even James Taylor might struggle to interest people in some places where they're just not into his type of music (other singer-songwriting superstars are available).

I've played a ****-ton of gigs, in a wide variety of genres and styles, over the past 30 years, and you get used to the sort of places you mention. Currently, most of my gigs are with a covers band, and there are some rough old pubs we play, where nobody takes the blindest bit of notice until right at the end when they're pissed enough to forget their 'hard-men-don't-dance-or-smile-or-show-any-form-of-appreciation-whatsoever' act. Then they come up as we're packing up and tell us we're the best band they've ever seen (which would be sad, if true, btw).

So just keep on keeping on, use each gig as a learning experience, and don't be discouraged - you're out there playing your own music to other people. Doesn't get much better.
Old 4 days ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer81 View Post
Tonight i went to a open mic and just wasn’t feeling the atmosphere or the crowd i do more country and americana this place was a very rock oriented crowd. and mostly covers. not that i don't like it i just felt out of place.

Im new to playing out and all i do is originals and i play at the main singer songwriter place in my city two to three nights a week, where people go to listen to the type of stuff i do. And actually listen. i get feedback my buddy played and got no response He has a more rock style than me so i just left.

This was just a bar and people were there to drink. And its cool. I get it. But it bugs Me I didn’t balls up and play to what seemed like a unreceptive crowd. Whats you guys opinions on this. Im just trying to play out as much as i can and ive got some really good feedback. I feel im doing well. but i do deal with nerves stage fright and am building confidence. I know i must face adversity to get better. I just felt very out of place
Everyone faces a tough crowd from time to time. Sometimes, it's just not your crowd. Period.

But I do recommend that, if you go to play, and folks are playing, for the most part, I think you should go ahead and do it. Especially if you're just getting your feet wet in live performance. It's good for you. It's good for your discipline. Number one rule of show biz: the show must go on.

That said, in tough circumstances, my rule of thumb is to keep the songs and the performance short and to the point. Get in, get out. Three songs, maybe only two if it's really tough. (It's an open mic, after all. People come because they can see a bunch of different people but have some assurance that none of them will likely go on for long.) Leave 'em wanting more... or at least not throwing things and yelling, 'Get off the stage.'
Old 3 days ago
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer81 View Post
Tonight i went to a open mic and just wasn’t feeling the atmosphere or the crowd i do more country and americana...
Country and Americana can rock. And it doesn't have to be about tight jeans and whiskey and dirt roads and jail and Mama. Write some rockers and leave the ballads in the case. Side benefit: they're easier when you're nervous.

Oh, and at your regular venue where people actually listen... play your rockers there, too. Good chance nobody else has any.
Old 3 days ago
  #7
Lives for gear
Back in the late 80s the band I was in (60s 70s 80s covers - mostly middle of the road stuff, Bowie, REM, Van Morrison etc) got called up by an agent at 1 day's notice to play a gig - it paid well. We turned up - it was a biker place with megadeth blasting on the PA. ****! I thought - this will be tough. I just told the lead guitarist to turn up and solo over everything! We got them head banging to REM! At the end of the gig the guvnor said "great gig - refreshing change to the usual stuff we get here - want a monthly slot?" We bottled it and declined! I don't think we could have kept up the intensity! Still, it went down well - we expected it to be a disaster, you can't always tell!
Old 3 days ago
  #8
I once (late 80s or early 90s) opened as a solo folk act (my songs are long on tales of betrayal, broken relationships and guilt, with a little salacious sexuality occasionally thrown in for spice) for a new wave kind of outfit fronted up by a pretty-but-tough woman singer (sort of Joan Jett without a guitar; I was told she was an LA Sheriff's deputy in real life).

They had a BIG crowd for the venue space, pretty much SRO, between 80-100 people in a [venue side] room that usually felt fine with 20 or 30. When I looked out over them -- almost all of them women, mostly lipstick wearing, but with maybe about 10 tough girls interspersed, I thought, Oh, man... these fish don't need my bicycle.

And it definitely started slow, polite applause after the first couple tunes. On the third, I plunged in with a rocker with a romantic/sexual theme, thinking, OK, I finish this and then thank them and good night. But the tune seemed to get the crowd going and the applause was strong and deeply reassuring. I figured, well, you know, we're all romantically interested in women here, so maybe this will all work out...

And it was one of the best, ultimately most welcoming crowds I played to back then. (That said, they REALLY went nuts when their deputy-sweetheart got up on stage. )
Old 18 hours ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Always found it helpful to know a few barn-burner southern rock tunes I can belt out solo - because they're almost plug and play for any bar because they have elements of rock, country and blues. When you find a hostile or drinker crowd, let 'em rip. Also helpful if people want to join or vice versa.
Old 16 hours ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
standup's Avatar
I do open mics now and then. Probably not a hostile crowd exactly? But I think the thing to do is get up there, look 'em straight in the eye, and say, here's some songs. It'll be over in under 10 minutes. Mother****ers.
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