Tag Archives: Live Performance

Why Aren’t People Coming to Your Shows?


The entertainment business is incredibly tough to be in. We all think we are amazing talents and think we should be paid for all of our hard work and what it takes to put on a show of any kind but that isn’t the reality. The reality is it’s hard to separate people from their hard earned income and with all the entertainment being thrown at them from every angle now days, it’s very hard to capture their attention.

This is why is so incredibly critical that word of mouth spreads about your show the entice people to your future shows. It almost always takes lots and lots of shows before you start to see the crowds you want but there is a strategy to doing it and most importantly, it has to be an experience they will remember and always talk about.

The other day, Dana White of the promotions company UFC came out and said “If you want to get paid, you don’t want people doing the wave during your fight.You want them talking about you on Monday and Tuesday and that isn’t going to happen if they aren’t paying attention to your fight” (paraphrased.) This is completely true of any form of entertainment. If you can’t get people to talk about how completely amazing your show or performance was, you are not giving the audience the experience they are paying for and hence, you don’t deserve to get paid no matter how hard you worked nor should you expect them to. This isn’t an hourly paying gig based on the hours you put in. Lot’s of people work hard (most likely in the wrong areas) but may not be talented enough, visionary enough or a good enough producer to put on the entertainment experience of a life time.

This is the truth. Hard work doesn’t determine getting paid. Buying gear doesn’t determine getting paid. Nothing determines getting paid other than your show putting butts in seats no matter how hard you work or talented you are. This can be a very long and arduous process for any entertainer but it is usually the most common road. Time, effort, talent and an amazing amount of patience are absolutely necessary in the entertainment business. If you aren’t giving the public something that makes them want to part with their money, then you have no one to blame but yourself. You don’t deserve to get paid just for showing up.

Along with talent, planning, intense amounts of practice and the vision to make your dream happen and to also deliver something the public finds value in comes the actual real work that most entertainers don’t want to do and hope others will do for them before they are big enough for anyone to want to. The promotion, booking and business end of things. Somehow the entertainers have to be able to do all of this. It’s obviously very hard and if it was easy, every one would be doing it but they aren’t. However it can be done and there are plenty of examples in the business to prove it. It comes down to will, determination and talent not only to perform but design a show that will provide and experience, not just another so-so show that the public usually gets. They deserve much better than average if they are going to spend money on a ticket plus any other expenses such as drinks, dinner, parking or babysitting etc.

I would estimate that about 95% of what entertainers are putting out there in their performances or shows is completely average or below, yet all I see are entertainers demanding that they should get paid. Paid for what? Mediocrity? I won’t pay you for that. When you send in your material and tell me how amazing you are then that is what I expect. If you aren’t that, if you don’t deliver on your words of your live show, if you don’t put butts in seats or increase your crowd on average over time, then you simply are not as good as you say you are. That is reality. That doesn’t mean give up though. It means you need to re-evaluate your show. Take the time to make adjustments, improve in the areas that need it and learn to put on the show that people wan’t to see. If you don’t, you can’t complain about people not wanting to pay ticket prices. You aren’t providing the value to make it worth the price to them.

You want to sell tickets? Provide the experience that people can’t stop talking about. This means the most well rehearsed, professional dedicated performance you can deliver and it must keep getting better. Until then, you will be mired in mediocrity and low ticket sales and letting the business jade you for your perceived slights. No one owes you a living. In this business, talent, hard work, creativity and vision are all you have. Bring it or go home. Don’t complain about people not coming to your shows when you aren’t giving the very best for them to see.

This is the reality that haunts us all. You and me alike.

Good luck!

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Phoenix Drive CD Release Party Live Music Review – Hard Rock Café 8/7/12


I was really looking forward to this CD release party as I have seen Phoenix Drive twice before and have been very impressed both times. I have to say I was blown away this time. Phoenix Drive took the stage with an energy that I had not witnessed from them before. I am not sure if the was the excitement of the night or the chemistry with new drummer David Rollins but it was a welcome sight to behold. I am a big fan of high energy and bands that realize that part of their job is entertaining the crowd.

Phoenix Drive in my estimation has always had impeccable vocal harmonies and this night was no exception. The blend of both lead vocalist Jon Scott and Felicity Combs along with bass player and background vocalist Brian Powers are smooth, melodic and always sound just right. Jon and Felicity both have beautiful voices and compliment each other so well and they both share the stage without either one overshadowing the other. Jon Scott has a fresh voice that I feel separates Phoenix Drive from many other acts out there that all sound the same. Scott’s shining moment to me is his live performance of “She Ain’t Coming Home.”  Felicity Combs vocals are sweet and melodic with a rich tone that brings it all the voices together. You can really hear her on my favorite “live” Phoenix Drive song “Trouble Down,” a sexy, swampy slow groove tune where Felicity really shines.

Guitarist Chris Combs is very capable player with an incredible sense of melody and top notch chops. Chris was the most-welcome surprise last night as for the first time I saw him really energized on stage. Watching him rip into the songs was a delight and made me want to pick up my guitar and play, which very rarely happens to me at a live music event unless the player is simply amazing. New drummer David Rollins fits well into his new role and really solidified the night. Rollins is a very tight pocket player that added a nice intensity that really showed through during the performance. Bassist Brian Powers is the “entertainer” and brings the “show” to the stage. Powers is a well rounded bass player who locks up perfectly with drummer Rollins to drive the bus like no other. A solid vocalist in his own right, Powers is a crucial fixture in the band and brings a ton to the live performance.

The thing about a Phoenix Drive performance is you are always in the “moment” with them. Their music is so good that you aren’t distracted by anything else. Their songwriting is very strong, the vocals are amazing and their performances are flawless.

This “CD” Release Party was the best performance I have seen at any CD Release Party and I would give it a 9 out 10 stars with the only knock is it wasn’t long enough. It certainly left me wanting more and I can’t wait for the next Phoenix Drive performance.

Phoenix Drive is a must see band and dare I say, no matter what genre of music you like. You will love this band.

You can find out more about Phoenix Drive here:

http://www.phoenixdrive.net

http://www.facebook.com/phoenixdrive

http://www.twitter.com/phoenix_drive

http://www.reverbnation.com/phoenixdrive


Expecting Greatness Without Proper Preparation


By David Lowry

“If you don’t think what I do is the best show on Earth, let’s see what you’ve got!” — Gene Simmons

You could learn just about everything you need to know about the music business from this statement alone. As a manager in this crazy business, I constantly hear things like “If someone would just give us a chance, they would see how great we are. We blow everyone else off the stage.” I have to admit I very rarely ever see something like this. Most of the time it’s just another band with very little stage presence, a set and show that never changes, improves or really entertains. Why is this, I constantly wonder? Is it because people don’t have enough time? They don’t have enough drive? Well it’s a little bit of everything really but mainly, they don’t know how to prepare and use their time wisely or efficiently. Many bands say “well the music scene has changed and it’s harder to get noticed” honestly that is just an excuse period.

The reality is that at the level most of the people reading this are at, it hasn’t changed at all. You still had to do everything I will talk about here just to get noticed and get offered that big record deal in the past. Today you have to do this, and at many stages in your career you may now have to do it all by yourself unless you can pay a team to help you, but the good thing is today you can keep control of your own music career, which may or may not be a good thing depending on the artist.

When I was younger and recruited as a tennis player to play for the Navy sports team, my coach once told me after I was getting frustrated with my inconsistency “Look kid, you may have got here on your own without lessons, but you can’t get down on yourself for not being able to pull of what you haven’t trained and prepared for. Unless you are Chris Evert the number one player in the world, you have absolutely no right to.” Okay I just dated myself I could have said Tiger Woods but the point is made. Bands that haven’t achieved the level they want shouldn’t get mad at themselves, the scene or the music business when they haven’t ever even learned to prepare properly for this business. If after years of serious effort, practice, planning and execution you still aren’t achieving the results you wanted, then you can get mad and frustrated. Until then you are swimming upstream. So turn yourself around and start swimming with the flow so you can get to your destination faster.

In order to get to the next level that every band seems to think they are ready for takes usually a lot more work than they are putting in and truthfully until you get the very basics down like I have posted in past blogs you aren’t ready for the next level. There are obviously many things to be covered here but for the sake of this blog let’s just talk about live performance.

Live performance is the proof in the pudding. If you don’t have the best show at least in your neck of the woods, then you really have nothing. You need to practice, prepare and plan your lives shows. From everything on how to talk to a crowd to how to prepare the right set list and how to put on an energetic entertaining performance. Your practice time should include all of these things and you should never practice with out playing like you would on stage. Why? Because, it takes practice to put on the best show on Earth! You have to practice moving like you would live so you are used to performing that way which leads to making fewer mistakes, check out what does looks good vs. what doesn’t and just as importantly keeping yourself in shape for your live performances so you don’t get tired or worn out. Live performance takes an extraordinary amount of energy and you should be in shape for it just like any athlete prepares for their performance.

You need to find a way to bring a live show or performance that blows people away. What does that mean? I don’t know for your band and can’t tell you until I see it, but the problem is no one is even trying to figure it out. Besides great songs, this is the most important part of your career. This is what creates viral social media marketing. It makes people buy your merchandise at your shows because it creates the emotional bond between fan and the band. It is wins over the skeptics and the industry people you need to help your career. Bands seem to be very unoriginal when it comes to live performance and it can be very hard to tell one band from the other.

To put it bluntly, “No one cares about your career, until you do.” This means until you are willing to truly focus, get together as a band, start acting like a business and a band that can actually blow people away, you are just another band taking up space and spamming every ones Facebook wall trying to get attention the wrong way.

I ask you this; can you beat Gene Simmons at his own game? Learn from the very best at what they do. Quit posing and acting like you are the next big thing when you aren’t because you really haven’t done what you need to do. Become the next big thing because you want it more than anything, because you have put in the time, effort, planning, practice and execution and then let the crowds decide who puts on the best show on Earth. Actions speak louder than words folks. If you are going to talk about how great your band is don’t you think you better deliver on that statement?

Remember you are only as good as your last show.

Till the next time. Get it together and good Luck!

David Lowry is the President of The Lowry Agency, a full service artist management agency that works with musicians, speakers, entertainers, actors and models based in Nashville, TN. David manages and or books the musical careers of Brother Cane, Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper), Rob Balducci, Dave Weiner, Jon Finn, Kris Bell and Mindset Defect. For more information please contact The Lowry Agency at http://www.thelowryagency.com.