As a live artist, the relationship with your audience is everything. Their collective energy can take your performance to another level. Your performance can raise their energy levels to euphoric.
However, you cant force them to clap. dance, sing with you. If they do engage, it’s because you have moved them to do so. Of course, a little cajoling can help loosen an audience. But they come to your show as a release from the confines of everyday life. To feel more alive and more joyous then they would normally.
When Justin Bieber unexpectedly walked off the stage at the Manchester Arena last Sunday night, he did so because he didnt feel his audience were showing him the respect he merited. He wanted to talk to them about his show theme, ‘Purpose’.
Some of his fans didnt want to listen. They wanted to scream at him. Because as mid-adolescents, this is how they express themselves.
It was enough for them to be in his presence. Sharing his feelings about life was not what they were there for. However valuable his insights may turn out to be.
By walking off stage, Justin made it known he disapproved. But it’s not really his job to approve or disapprove of his audience. His work is to unite them. Bring them together as one. No difference between artist and audience. If he’s not connecting with part of his audience, then he has to find a way to do so.
Each night is different. Each audience is different. They have paid for the ticket. They want the night of their lives. You have to stretch every sinew to try and produce for them. This is your obligation as an artist.
If you fail, then learn how to do it better. But dont walk off stage and blame the fans. They have dreamt for ages of seeing you. Feed off their love and raise the performance bar!