Some more from TDB
most artists will tell you that once you’ve played more than your fair share of shows after a while anything much less than opening for jay-z at coachella seems like a big deal. but i am one of those junkies who is addicted to performing. i crave the stage and when I’m away from playing concerts on the road I miss it and pine to go play more. i find true joy in the process of not just playing and singing the songs but feeling so connected with the message that i have epiphanies while performing. i can think of many times where i’ve either gotten a second wind of energy due to this type of emotional symbiosis with the music or even been moved to tears while continuing to be able to sing. that type of ecstatic joy is what i definitely search for when i’m on stage. so in order to prepare effectively for these performances i know there are certain steps that i like to follow ahead of showtime.
i always find it helpful to do my best to be extra relaxed on the day of the show. from the time i wake up i want to be telling myself that everything is going to be great, better than expected, whatever i need to say to myself to keep my spirits up. i like to exercise every day, but on the day of a show i often work out as early as possible and go as hard as i can….like a run, or swimming laps, or a game of basketball. the idea is to get a significant cardiovascular work out before lunch and then by afternoon i have that runner’s high to help keep the butterflies at bay as well. then later on in the day i usually take a 1 to 2 hour nap about 4 hours before the show. that way i’m awake and getting ready with a few hours to spare and a clear head. i know some people think that’s weird but i don’t care. naps are good for my 2 year old son and they’re good for me. i swear they make me more relaxed and focused when i’m on stage.
of course it’s important to rehearse my set before the show. i tend to take practice to near obsessive compulsive levels when there is a big show coming up. i start weeks in advance and run the entire routine every day…working out the kinks….noting which songs seem the most difficult and practicing those ones more than the easier ones to play. however as it gets to be the day of the show i tend to not rehearse early while i’m chilling and napping and wait until i’m in the car on the way to the show or in the parking lot of the venue or backstage before the band and i go on. somehow rehearsing almost immediately before going on gives it an extra sense of sharpness that i like. much like when i’m recording with my label mates at the frozen food section i want to hit it on the first take but i see, tp usually do my best run through on the second or third. running my lyrics right before going on…even a couple of times….usually helps me maintain command of my delivery when it’s showtime.
when i get to the venue before i do anything else i make a point of introducing myself to the owners, managers, sound people, and door staff of the establishment. if it’s a private gig i usually know what i’m in for but if i haven’t met the staff yet i do that first. i think it is important to make a good first impression, introduce myself, and get all of us up to speed on what we all need to do to make it a winning night. i also have seen artists and bands who have blown off the staff and later had their sound murdered during their sets. clubs get so many crazy narcissist performer types coming through that i think it behooves one and all to make a connection with the club and go the extra mile for them so they will pull for us too.
usually the last thing i do before i walk on stage at every performance is say a prayer. the prayer usually changes but it is not a petition to god for some desired result. it is an affirmation that i am already a winner because i know what is most important in my life: my faith, my family, my friends, my music. everything else pales in comparison to those blessed gifts. so many times praying right before going on stage has given me a strong sense of peace and power. even if you are not a religious person the power of positive thinking is an amazing thing and i highly recommend thinking happy, courageous thoughts about your desired outcome before performing. it always helps me.
tucker dale booth
director of public relations
the frozen food section