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Can’t Download This! The Live Connection…

Amy Wolter teaching at a Tom Jackson Workshop

 Performing artists still have it…that one thing.

Something a CD can’t contain, it can’t be duplicated, digitized or downloaded, and you can only get it if you’re in the same room.

It’s that personal connection with your fans.

The Booming Concert Industry

A couple years back, while on a long flight, I read an article that caught my eye in our local weekly Nashville Scene. 

The writers were looking at the current state of music and talking about how there had been a shift from focus on the record industry to the concert industry, (In case THAT one slipped by you! :-/ )

One thing the club owners and industry folks interviewed in the article pointed out, was that the concert industry does have a major advantage over the recording industry, and that is “No one can digitize the experience of seeing the performance in the flesh, feeling the immediate give and take between artist and audience”. 

Hearing a performer in the same room was the first music medium to be promoted and it’ll be the last one downloaded.

So with this in mind, what is it that will make YOU stand out to a room of people?  One club owner stated, “It’s harder and harder to maintain peoples’ attention and their investment in an entire set and an entire night of music.”

Yes it is — but not if you know what you’re doing!

Stand Out from the Noise

This is exactly why we as Live Music Producers are getting busier… It’s because we help artists STAND OUT from all the noise to win the fans and get booked again.

Peoples’ iTune catalogues are filled with songs, so we know audiences don’t just come to hear you play songs.  It’s the “emotional impact of going to a show that can’t be duplicated,” states promoter Rick Whetsels in the Scene article.

As I worked with a Canadian artist recently, I wanted to know what was behind a song she’d written titled, “Who Saved Who”.  When she told me the story, it let me know something about who she was.

Suddenly, the lyrics came to life!

Realizing then how intimate the song really was, I wanted the band to strip down what they were playing so the music wouldn’t overshadow the message, switching them from drums to shakers, electric bass and guitars to upright bass and acoustics.  

I had them all sit on stools so that the audience would mentally ‘sit down’ and let the meaning of the song wash over them.  Then we worked on what the artist would say – how to tell the story in the most effective way so the listener would zone in on the song’s message.

The result was stunning.  I watched and listened with goose bumps all over me.  The singer got tears in her eyes as she sang.  The raw emotion was laid bare, and to say a moment was happening was an understatement!

I know we talk about moments a lot, but it needs to be said again and again.  People don’t feel songs.  They feel something when a moment is created. 

Connection is Power

At the conclusion of the Scene article, Beth Cameron of a live event consulting company called Show This, made a powerful statement.  She said, “As long as artists can control their connection with their audience, then that will always be the power that artists have.”

Yep.  And you can’t get that from a download.

Amy Wolter

As a trained Live Music Producer for Tom Jackson Productions, Amy Wolter brings her years onstage as a lead singer & keyboardist - along with her experience as a producer, arranger, and songwriter - to singers and bands who won’t settle for ‘good enough’. She’s worked with artists at all levels, and genres ranging from Rock to Celtic, empowering them to have confidence and authority onstage, and put on memorable live shows, a few of whom have been on two of the largest US tours in recent history. Some of her clients include Grammy award winners The Band Perry & Lacrae, CMA and ACM –winning country acts, Gloriana & Thompson Square, 2016 The Voice contestant Mary Sarah, CCMA (Canada) winners High Valley, Jess Moskaluke & Chad Brownlee, and Winter Jam Tour veterans Sidewalk Prophets & Love and The Outcome.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. Great article, Amy. Saw you and Tom at CD Baby in Nashville back in August. What y’all did with Trent and his band was amazing!

  2. It’s true. when you come away from a show and you are inspired, moved, whatever…even a feeling of something tangeable…that has sustaining validity!

  3. Awesome read Amy. Love that line “it’s the emotional impact of going to a show that can’t be duplicated.” Keep up the good work!

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