I am the lead singer and guitarist for a rock band in Los Angeles called LEAP YEAR and we have one of our biggest shows coming up on February 29th, 2008. This not only is my birthday, our cd release party, but a dream come true for me. I get to play a show on my birthday (which only comes every four years) with my band where we will be headlining the night at one of L.A.'s premiere venues The El Rey Theatre. I am so excited about this opportunity! Since our last performance at the Knitting Factory I received some constructive feedback asking for a stronger performance out of the band. We played a really tight show yet, was not as high energy as some of the other shows we have played. Now as the lead singer I feel a lot of that falls on me. Granted, there are 3 others in the band who can contribute to that but I feel that the connection to the show runs through me. I'm not being greedy for attention but trying to find a better way to put on a good show.

Now, there are different views on what makes a good show some think that a good show is a really tight set with good musicianship and good songs. The second is one goes to a show and wants to be entertained by a band. Such as a band that may not have really good music or musicianship but highly entertaining through the movement and performance from the members in the band. The last view is that a good show is comprised of an entertaining performance, good musicianship, tight set, and good songs. This last view is the one that I subscribe to... example: U2 (generic but point proven) so my question is how do we get to that last level. I'm not looking for us to become U2 but how can we put on a show that is stellar from top to bottom.

To perform or not to perform: that is the question. I have had people in my life discourage me from performing and playing to a crowd and over the last year I have been trying to rid this voice in my head. However, I believe there is a balance that one can be performing yet, inviting into the performance. Allowing the audience to become apart of this experience is key in this and hopefully, a powerful experience! Take a look at Bono from U2 he is the quintessential front man. He is engaging, entertaining, a showman, commanding, and lastly a worship leader. Somehow he is able to juggle all of these abilities to connect with everyone in the room and there are over 20,000 in attendance! I don't want to be Bono I want to be me but I'm still fighting that voice that allows me to be the performer I am meant to be on stage. I was raised on stage from the age of 5 so performing is apart of who I Am. Now, what does that look like for me? What is too much or to little, what is too arrogant, or pretentious? I guess the first start is to silence the voices from the past and move forward.

Any thoughts from what makes some of your favorite frontmen or frontwomen good performers?


  1. jeremy zach said...

    Justin Timberlake

  2. Jesse Malott said...

    Drewbert - I think that what makes a good frontman changes from an audience of 50 to an audience of 20000. If you pulled a Bono at a show I would think you pretentious and not in touch with your audience. At a small show I think that a great frontman has a load of fun, interacts with the audience, laughs at himself, and knows that a couple of well-known snappy cover songs can go a long way to open ears to artist written angst.

    I'm excited for the upcoming show.

  3. St. Brianstine said...

    Perform, perform, perform. Be wild. People want to see a show.

  4. jeremy zach said...

    I say you screw it and just your audience a show. Call it performing or not performing--just give a freaking cool and rocking concert.

    if you need some illegal substances to reduce your nerves or enhance your mental state; I got some good stuff.

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