I had the pleasure of seeing a friend’s band playing in public for what was rally their first ever true performance, ad it was quite an experience that brought back lots of amazing memories for me! It was nice to see how focused the band was, as opposed to being nervous. Certainly, if they were nervous, you really couldn’t tell, and they overall, did a great job. One good thing was that even though there were other older and more experienced bands there, the audience was totally receptive to these kids’ music and their presentation. It brought back memories for me of my early “battle of the bands” days with my group when I was around 11 to 14 years of age, and I recalled just how thrilling and also innocent those times were. It would scare us a little when there seemed to be much better bands than us at these events, but we always held our own, and were so remarkably good for our tender age that it seemed to make the audiences even pay more attention to us!
It’s a wise thing to always try to tape your band’s performances so you can critique them later on and learn from your mistakes. This particular show was good because the band, The Overshadowed, really concentrated on making a handful of songs really good for a set of about 30 minutes in length. It showed that they had been well-rehearsed, but not so over-rehearsed as to make the songs seem boring to them. Rather, the music still sounded fresh and spontaneous and the guitar sounds were really terrific!
I’ve never been one for “stomp boxes” and effects that just “take over” the sound of the guitar, especially too much distortion, but this bands sound that night was dominated by distortion, and truthfully, I could’ve even heard it louder! Dynamics are also very crucial in today’s rock music, and unfortunately, a lot of these big bands these days use that “very quiet to extremely loud” equation that was first introduced during the “Grunge” phase. It’s not a bad approach, and it’s very audience-oriented, but it would be nice to hear many levels of more subtle “dynamics” in this kind of music in general.
I know a lot of you out there who are reading these blogs and taking my lessons on Gibson are at this particular phase of your musicianship, and are in a big “learning” stage right now. It’s a great time to really explore lots of creativity within your band, as well as within your own personal playing. You’ll find that both will feed off of each other, and that making it all come together at live performances is certainly the most gratifying and productive way to really improve yourself, as well as your performances. This show brought back many moments that were like that for me when I was growing up, and I felt like I was watching these kids musically grow right in front of my eyes! So get out and play as much as you can, and be sure to check out the competition in a healthy, positive way…it’ll all pay off for sure, later on!