The study was carried out with visitors to a web site being asked to judge the winners of a music contest with three options:
- Listening and watching the video of the performance
- Watching the performance without music
- Listening to the music only
In case number 2 a very high percentage (more than 60%) guessed the winners correctly. In the other two samples the results were on a par with guessing (35% or less).
What does this prove?
It proves that audiences don't go to a concert or gig to listen to music, they go to be entertained. A show is exactly that - a show. If audiences want to just listen to music they would just listen to a CD. Do you hear people saying "I heard Bon Jovi at Wembley last week"? Or do they say
"I saw Bon Jovi at Wembley last week"?
Most likely the latter
And that's because of a simple statistic. 15% of what an audience experiences is what they hear, 65% is what they SEE! And 20% is down to emotion - what they feel.
And yet most bands focus on that 15% and forget about the rest. I've been to see many bands in my time and some have been technically brilliant but left me cold, some have been under par musically but had the audiences begging for more.
I was fortunate enough to meet Tom Jackson last year at a festival in Los Angeles. I was even more fortunate that he came to our rehearsal and gave me some advice on performance on two songs.
Tom Jackson is a world renowned live music producer/director who teaches performance the world over. He gets the most out of an artist's performance.
The day after, when we played live, I executed the advice he gave me for those two songs. Those two songs were the two people most remembered about the performance. They were talking about those songs after the show. It certainly drove home what I already suspected - that the show is much more than just about the music.
There have been times when musically/vocally I have performed badly yet the audience has gone away singing their hearts out, (even though I was thinking it was terrible and believe me there are those willing to let you know).
Here's the thing though. A lot of bands focus on themselves. They think that the music will speak for itself. So they practise the music to death then perform technically brilliantly, but the audience walk away unmoved.
I have a simple philosophy - come along and take away a bit of magic. And now that I've met Tom and since then a few others, who've reinforced that view, it's something that I actively engage in. Giving a great performance and ENTERTAINING is much more important that being a great singer or fantastic guitarist.
I know some talented singers/musicians who leave an audience as cold as ice.
I prefer to have the audience leave having witnessed something special.
Come along and take away a bit of magic!
It's not just a tag line, it's a philosophy.